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People with low soft skills tend to undervalue softskills?

This could be the crux on why we only have a few active users in the forum, and even most of those who buy PU don't finish it (According to Lucio). PU is excellent and at the current price not something that you toss aside and forget because you bought it on a whim.

It's important for me to understand the demand for 'power awareness' training because I'm considering rebranding a tech training I sell to contain more soft skills.

But my gut feeling is that People with low soft skills tend to undervalue soft skills! (particularly tech people or academics)

I'm using soft skills here when I really mean Power dynamics. But mentioning power in any way in a tech training would make people run for the hills. Telling them we are going to train soft skills is the neutered way to train them on power awareness. I know Lucio has thought long and hard on how to call what he does. It's a new discipline, after all.

Using the term “soft skills” makes it sound like they’re optional, easy to acquire, or “nice to have.” Which cannot be further from the truth.

These skills should not be devalued in any way, and if calling them “soft” does that, perhaps it’s time to change the name, and more importantly, change our mindset.

Coming form a machine learning background, these skills are the “hardest to automate.” Which is a very good thing!

Asking for your opinion in this forum is going to be a biased sample... Because everyone has invested big time in their soft skills/power awareness.

But! Would you say people with low soft skills tend to undervalue soft skills? And how would you train soft skills on a population that is not motivated to learn them?

 

Quote from leaderoffun on March 6, 2022, 2:11 pm

(...)

I'm using soft skills here when I really mean Power dynamics. But mentioning power in any way in a tech training would make people run for the hills. Telling them we are going to train soft skills is the neutered way to train them on power awareness...

...Using the term “soft skills” makes it sound like they’re optional, easy to acquire, or “nice to have.” Which cannot be further from the truth.

(...)

Hi LOF,

Instead of soft skills, have you thought about calling them "exec skills"?

Lucio has a saying:

Lucio: "Tech skills give you job security. People [exec] skills give you board seats."

Maybe you can position your tech training as being a great fit for anyone who wants to reach the top (and as not so much of a fit for anyone who's comfortable remaining at the bottom).

Quote from leaderoffun on March 6, 2022, 2:11 pm

(...)

But! Would you say people with low soft skills tend to undervalue soft skills? And how would you train soft skills on a population that is not motivated to learn them?

I think that, in general, we tend to undervalue the things we don't see the benefit of.

So, if you wanted to motivate one (or many people) to learn soft skills, it would be prudent to highlight the rewards of learning them and the consequences of neglecting them (hence my rationalization behind asking Lucio to start this thread).

There might be a better question to ask here though: is it wise to try and motivate a population...or is it more effective and time-saving to inspire them?

The former might require a lot of persuading with the downsides of coming across as a "motivational guru". The other only requires you to have a mission and the charisma (and, ideally, social skills) to recruit people to that mission.

Only food for thought.

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Lucio Buffalmanoleaderoffun
Quote from leaderoffun on March 6, 2022, 2:11 pm

But my gut feeling is that People with low soft skills tend to undervalue soft skills! (particularly tech people or academics)

(...)

But! Would you say people with low soft skills tend to undervalue soft skills?

For sure they do.

(Edit: as Ali also says)
And I guess that could be said of any important life skill in which people are at very low levels of competency/awareness (call it "blissful ignorance" if you want, albeit it's certainly a misnomer since there is little bliss in lacking "soft-skills"/"power awareness"/"(advanced) social skills" or however you wanna call them).

Quote from leaderoffun on March 6, 2022, 2:11 pm

And how would you train soft skills on a population that is not motivated to learn them?

How do you teach the people who don't want to learn?

I'd rephrase that question to the next level of solution-orientation: how do you make them want to learn?

I don't think the good old solution of "selling the benefits" works nearly as well here because it feels like sales talk.

I think one good way is to show them a common situation -ideally, an issue- in their life, and then open up a new way of looking at it from a power-aware perspective.
That makes people go "wow". If you add some solutions to it, then you get people who are eager to learn -PU costs a lot now for a website that is still poorly marketed, the simple fact that someone buys it to me signals eagerness-.
I think it's not a coincidence many guys love the "covert power moves" section: because it does exactly that in the most dramatic fashion.

This website probably does OK because many articles do exactly that: they show a whiff of that new "world" that opens up when you acquire those skills.

How YOU can do it...

If you eventually write that article on academia power dynamics, it should accomplish exactly that.

Be that wake-up slap that tells people "fuck, I've been clueless all my life, I need more of this".

People who are more power-aware can read between the lines of popular -and rich- academics and see that many of them are very power-aware.
But the majority will miss it.

Your article/video would ideally spell out all those games and power dynamics that keeps them poor, overworked, and on the sucker side of the trade -and then propose a few solutions-.

Edit:
Improved the answer

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leaderoffun
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I think it comes down to that quote - everything you want is on the other side of hard.  There s also a certain threshold before these skills help you and half learned they may hinder.   It's not easy to change bad habits.  It's not easy to find time to invest in skills that have a long term payoff.    It's similar to my redpill journey I had to do a lot of learning and adjusting to my style before it could become a useful and familiar toolbox I could dip into.

I can liken this to my skill development in tennis.  Against the training wall I have built a much more powerful backhand and added some new footwork which moves me around the court more efficiently and quicker.  But I know it will take 6 months or more to bring those improvements across into my game and I will have to accept losing more matches while The strokes become battle-hardened.

There s probably an ego problem too.  To get the most out of the forum you have to bring your problems and failures.  I suspect the membership of this site is predominantly male.  Men put a lot of value in their ability to solve problems unaided.

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leaderoffun

Some more points from today's conversations and PU reading:

  1. Tech people are usually in positions of low visibility; where they don't talk much to others and don't need to influence others. They like it that way. Their ideal boss is someone who shield them from office politics and buys them time to build stuff instead of having to attend meetings or 'talk to people. They may not 'need' power understanding; they sacrifice any value that comes from understanding power in exchange for a secure, isolated life where they just need to solve problems on a screen. No wonder ...
  2. They don't attend soft skills training when they are offered. Talking to PhD coordinators (who are in charge of offering courses to help people in their careers): soft skills courses were poorly attended. They had to push people around, merge groups, etc just to make the course look somewhat well-attended. Python courses though... they were full

All this is research I do while writing the article; and sometimes I wonder if it's worth writing, because there's a risk we are selling something people don't want.

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Lucio Buffalmano
Quote from leaderoffun on March 8, 2022, 12:12 am

All this is research I do while writing the article; and sometimes I wonder if it's worth writing, because there's a risk we are selling something people don't want.

I'd change the question around there:

Is there a new product or niche where you can eliminate all risks and be sure it will work?

The risk is there.
If you're looking for a sure thing, then this most certainly isn't.

On the other hand, if you see at least some business potential then it might be worth it a try -also considering that you're not risking much here: an article shouldn't take you much work-.
And if you see the possibility of helping someone out of a win-lose exchange, then it might be even your duty to do it.

But that's up to you to decide.
And you're a smart guy, I think you know that the odds are probably higher that it will fail than it will be a runaway success :).

Quote from leaderoffun on March 8, 2022, 12:12 am

Some more points from today's conversations and PU reading:

  1. Tech people are usually in positions of low visibility; where they don't talk much to others and don't need to influence others. They like it that way. Their ideal boss is someone who shield them from office politics and buys them time to build stuff instead of having to attend meetings or 'talk to people. They may not 'need' power understanding; they sacrifice any value that comes from understanding power in exchange for a secure, isolated life where they just need to solve problems on a screen. No wonder ...
  2. They don't attend soft skills training when they are offered. Talking to PhD coordinators (who are in charge of offering courses to help people in their careers): soft skills courses were poorly attended. They had to push people around, merge groups, etc just to make the course look somewhat well-attended. Python courses though... they were full

For tech guys, it makes sense.

For academic guys, maybe less so.

Still, to potentially address that I'd personally add some mentions to how those same skills translate to life and dating.
I'm sure many of those guys will care more about that :).

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Can't comment on academics so much.  Have worked with with IT people for over 20 years.

The more senior ones often want a seat at the table with the business.  The millennials and gen next want leadership for sure.

I think there s a niche.  One source you could leverage is a lot of the data science books & blogs.   They are all about framing business as data-driven and moving away from boring old reporting and data governance to insights.  From back room to boardroom play.   Seem like you could just tweak all that material.   You can also pick up the agile theme of conversation being the most important thing.   And the business agility crowd have their own pitches too.  And the great thing is they have plenty of quotes from important people in those books and you can reuse them.

So I think dinner is already made you just have to plate it a little differently 🙂

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