Getting And Keeping A Job: The Soft Skills

Jan 12, 2015

Most people who are looking for work spend a lot of time polishing their resumes. But it may be that working on your handshake or your communication skills is just as important. How do you deal with a difficult coworker? How do you speak up for yourself without being seen as pushy? How do you get through endlessly boring meetings? Learning how to deal with conflict at work can sometimes be the most difficult part of a job.

We'll talk about workplace communication skills with Leora Dowling, who teaches teaches communications and public speaking at Community College of Vermont, and Pamela Gardner, Director of the Career Center at the University of Vermont.

Also on the show, we'll hear from a researcher at the University of Vermont who has found that people generally eat MORE food during January than they do over the holidays, despite resolutions.

And we'll learn about a program from the US Department of Agriculture that helps to house low-income Vermonters.

Broadcast live on Monday,January 12 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

Resources mentioned by the guests on today's show:

Books:Dealing With People You Can't Stand: Bringing Out the Best in People at Their Worst,  by Dr. Rick Brinkman and Dr. Rick Kirschner The Hard Truth About Soft Skills, by Peggy Klaus Snap, by Patti Wood The Naked Presenter, by Garr Reynolds The Art and Science of Communication, by P.S.Perkins Writing That Works, by Kenneth Roman and Joel Raphaelson The Definitive Book of Body Language, by Allan and Barbara Pease PeopleSmart: Developing Your Interpersonal Intelligence by Mel Silberman Ph.D. How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie  Blogs:
The Positivity Blog: http://www.positivityblog.com/index.php/2008/01/17/dale-carnegies-top-10-tips-for-improving-your-social-skills/Forbes.com  http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexmcclafferty/2014/10/21/soft-skills/  Real world practice and mentorship:
Toastmasters of Greater Burlington: http://toastmastersofgreaterburlingtonvermont.toastmastersclubs.org/Toastmasters International: http://www.toastmasters.org/
 Most "soft" skills assessments link to books or products that offer help.  Brief assessments can be found at Mind Tools: http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/get-started.htm and Peggy Klaus: http://www.peggyklaus.com/books/the-hard-truth-about-soft-skills/take-quiz-now

Mindtools.com also offers a great description of Emotional Intelligence (scientifically identified "soft" skills) and suggestions for improving them. 

http://www.dol.gov/odep/topics/youth/softskills/ -- this site identifies critical soft skills and offers free exercises for improvement

Related to interviewing, there's a quick article at The Muse https://www.themuse.com/advice/8-ways-to-make-a-great-first-impression-at-an-interview that offers tips.  A more detailed article can be found at https://www.experience.com/alumnus/article?channel_id=career_management&source_page=oh_behave&article_id=article_1200586167230