O'Reilly logo

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Bridging the Soft Skills Gap: How to Teach the Missing Basics to Todays Young Talent

Book Description

Solve the number one problem with today's young workforce—the soft skills gap

The number one challenge with today's young talent is a problem hiding in plain sight: the ever-widening soft skills gap. Today's new, young workforce has so much to offer—new technical skills, new ideas, new perspective, new energy. Yet too many of them are held back because of their weak soft skills.

Soft skills may be harder to define and measure than hard skills, but they are just as critical. People get hired because of their hard skills but get fired because of their soft skills.

Setting a good example or simply telling young workers they need to improve isn't enough, nor is scolding them or pointing out their failings in an annual review. However you can teach the missing basics to today's young talent.

Based on more than twenty years of research, Bruce Tulgan, renowned expert on the millennial workforce, offers concrete solutions to help managers teach the missing basics of professionalism, critical thinking, and followership—complete with ninety-two step-by-step lesson plans designed to be highly flexible and easy to use.

Tulgan's research and proven approach has show that the key to teaching young people the missing soft skills lies in breaking down critical soft skills into their component parts, concentrating on one small component at a time, with the help of a teaching-style manager. Almost all of the exercises can be done in less than an hour within a team meeting or an extended one-on-one. The exercises are easily modified and customized and can be used as take-home exercises for any individual or group, to guide one-on-one discussions with direct-reports and in the classroom as written exercises or group discussions.

Managers—and their young employees—will find themselves returning to their favorite exercises over and over again. One exercise at a time, managers will build up the most important soft skills of their new, young talent. These critical soft skills can make the difference between mediocre and good, between good and great, between great and one of a kind.

Table of Contents

  1. Acknowledgments
    1. Prologue: Meet the Newest New Young Workforce
    2. Chapter 1: The Soft Skills Gap
      1. The Soft Skills Gap: Growing Steadily from Gen X to Gen Y to Gen Z
      2. Something Much Larger Is Going on Here: The Post-Boomer Generational Shift
      3. Gen Zers Are the Ultimate Non-Conformists in an Age of Non-Comformism
      4. The Soft Skills Gap: The Missing Basics in Today's Young Talent
      5. Face the Hard Realities of the Soft Skills Gap
    3. Chapter 2: You Can't Hire Your Way Around the Soft Skills Gap
      1. Staffing Strategy and Hiring
      2. On-Boarding and Up-to-Speed Training
      3. Performance Management and Talent Development
      4. Ongoing Training
      5. The Human Element: What Role Are You Going to Play?
      6. Become a Teaching Style Manager
      7. Take It to the Next Level
    4. Chapter 3: Unlocking the Power of Soft Skills
      1. Drill Down: The Missing Basics
      2. Unlocking the Power of Soft Skills
      3. Unlocking the Power: The Rest of This Book
    1. Chapter 4: How to Teach the Missing Basics of Professionalism to Today's Young Talent
      1. How to Teach Self-Evaluation
      2. Self-Evaluation: Lesson Plan 1—Introduction
      3. Self-Evaluation: Lesson Plan 2—Evaluating Yourself on Ability, Skill, and Will
      4. Self-Evaluation: Lesson Plan 3—Evaluating Yourself on Productivity, Quality, and Behavior
      5. Self-Evaluation: Lesson Plan 4—Evaluating Yourself on the Key Soft Skills Competencies
      6. Self-Evaluation: Lesson Plan 5—Drill Down on Understanding the Key Soft Skills
      7. Self-Evaluation: Lesson Plan 6—Explore Your Own Successes with the Key Soft Skills
      8. How to Teach Personal Responsibility
      9. Personal Responsibility: Lesson Plan 1—Introduction
      10. Personal Responsibility: Lesson Plan 2—All the Factors That Are in Your Way
      11. Personal Responsibility: Lesson Plan 3—Considering the Most Common Factors That Get in the Way at Work
      12. Personal Responsibility: Lesson Plan 4—Response Power
      13. How to Teach Positive Attitude
      14. Positive Attitude: Lesson Plan 1—Considering Theories of How to Be Your Best at Work
      15. Positive Attitude: Lesson Plan 2—Defining “Good Attitude” Behaviors with Your Team—or Any Individual
      16. Positive Attitude: Lesson Plan 3—Considering Common Bad Attitudes
      17. Positive Attitude: Lesson Plan 4—Considering Good Attitude Behaviors
      18. Positive Attitude: Lesson Plan 5—For Individual Employees Who Need an Attitude Adjustment
      19. How to Teach Good Work Habits
      20. Good Work Habits: Lesson Plan 1—Introduction
      21. Good Work Habits: Lesson Plan 2—Self-Assessment
      22. Good Work Habits: Lesson Plan 3—Self-Improvement Planning
      23. Good Work Habits: Lesson Plan 4—Wellness
      24. Good Work Habits: Lesson Plan 5—Planning a Wellness Initiative
      25. Good Work Habits: Lesson Plan 6—Self-Presentation
      26. Good Work Habits: Lesson Plan 7—Using a Time Log to Start Living by a Schedule
      27. Good Work Habits: Lesson Plan 8—How to Make a Basic Project Plan
      28. Good Work Habits: Lesson Plan 9—Taking Notes and Making Checklists
      29. Good Work Habits: Lesson Plan 10—Doing a Time/Motion Study on Yourself
      30. Good Work Habits: Lesson Plan 11—Spotlight on Follow-Through
      31. Good Work Habits: Lesson Plan 12—Going the Extra Mile
      32. How to Teach People Skills
      33. People Skills: Lesson Plan 1—Interpersonal Communication
      34. People Skills: Lesson Plan 2—Self-Assessing Interpersonal Communication
      35. People Skills: Lesson Plan 3—Learning to Use the “People List”
      36. People Skills: Lesson Plan 4—Putting More Structure into Your Communication
      37. People Skills: Lesson Plan 5—Putting More Substance into Your Communication
      38. People Skills: Lesson Plan 6—Preparing for Meetings
      39. People Skills: Lesson Plan 7—Email Best Practices
      40. People Skills: Lesson Plan 8—Communicating Remotely
    2. Chapter 5: How to Teach the Missing Basics of Critical Thinking to Today's Young Talent
      1. How to Teach Proactive Learning
      2. Proactive Learning: Lesson Plan 1—Proactive Learning
      3. Proactive Learning: Lesson Plan 2—Open Mind
      4. Proactive Learning: Lesson Plan 3—Suspend Judgment, Question Assumptions, and Seek to Learn
      5. Proactive Learning: Lesson Plan 4—Question Assumptions
      6. Proactive Learning: Lesson Plan 5—Research
      7. Proactive Learning: Lesson Plan 6—Study Skills—Building Knowledge
      8. Proactive Learning: Lesson Plan 7—Practice Skills—Building Skill
      9. Proactive Learning: Lesson Plan 8—Contemplate Competing Perspectives to Build Wisdom
      10. How to Teach Problem Solving
      11. Problem Solving: Lesson Plan 1—Introduction
      12. Problem Solving: Lesson Plan 2—Preventing or Avoiding Problems Before They Happen
      13. Problem Solving: Lesson Plan 3—Ready-Made Solutions to Commonly Occurring Problems
      14. Problem Solving: Lesson Plan 4—Common Denominators and Underlying Principles
      15. Problem Solving: Lesson Plan 5—Applying the After Action Review Tool
      16. Problem Solving: Lesson Plan 6—Using the After-Action Review Tool to Learn from Others
      17. How to Teach Decision Making
      18. Decision Making: Lesson Plan 1—Introduction
      19. Decision Making: Lesson Plan 2—Information Analysis: Simple Pros and Cons
      20. Decision Making: Lesson Plan 3—Cause and Effect: Positive Outcomes
      21. Decision Making: Lesson Plan 4—Cause and Effect: Negative Outcomes
      22. Decision Making: Lesson Plan 5—Applying the After-Action Review Tool
      23. Decision Making: Lesson Plan 6—Using the Decision/Action Tree
    3. Chapter 6: How to Teach the Missing Basics of Followership to Today's Young Talent
      1. How to Teach Respect for Context
      2. Respect for Context: Lesson Plan 1—Introduction
      3. Respect for Context: Lesson Plan 2—Reading the Structure, Rules, Customs, and Leadership
      4. Respect for Context: Lesson Plan 3—Where Do You Fit?
      5. Respect for Context: Lesson Plan 4—How Can You Adapt?
      6. Respect for Context: Lesson Plan 5—Context- Limiting Factors
      7. Respect for Context: Lesson Plan 6—Complicated Relationships
      8. Respect for Context: Lesson Plan 7—Positive Contexts
      9. Respect for Context: Lesson Plan 8—Negative Contexts
      10. Respect for Context: Lesson Plan 9—Dealing with People with Bad Attitudes
      11. Respect for Context: Lesson Plan 10—Dealing with People with Great Attitudes
      12. How to Teach Good Citizenship
      13. Good Citizenship: Lesson Plan 1—Introduction
      14. Good Citizenship: Lesson Plan 2—The “Respect for Others” Model
      15. Good Citizenship: Lesson Plan 3—The “Best Interests” Model
      16. Good Citizenship: Lesson Plan 4—The “Civic” Model
      17. Good Citizenship: Lesson Plan 5—The “Communitarian” Model
      18. Good Citizenship: Lesson Plan 6—The “Common Sense” Model
      19. Good Citizenship: Lesson Plan 7—The “Solid Standards” Model
      20. Good Citizenship: Lesson Plan 8—The “Personal Sacrifice” Model
      21. Good Citizenship: Lesson Plan 9—The Theodore Roosevelt Model
      22. Good Citizenship: Lesson Plan 10—Create Your Own Model
      23. How to Teach Service
      24. Service: Lesson Plan 1—Introduction
      25. Service: Lesson Plan 2—Common Myths About “Service” in the Workplace
      26. Service: Lesson Plan 3—Realities About Service in the Workplace
      27. Service: Lesson Plan 4—Myths Versus Realities in the Workplace
      28. Service: Lesson Plan 5—The “Be a Great Employee” Model of Service
      29. Service: Lesson Plan 6—The “Service” Approach to One-on-Ones Between Managers and Direct Reports
      30. Service: Lesson Plan 7—The Service Approach to Meeting Attendance and Participation
      31. Service: Lesson Plan 8—Helping Your Boss Monitor Your Performance
      32. Service: Lesson Plan 9—Putting Yourself on a Performance Improvement Plan
      33. How to Teach Teamwork
      34. Teamwork: Lesson Plan 1—Introduction
      35. Teamwork: Lesson Plan 2—Defining the Dimensions of Teamwork
      36. Teamwork: Lesson Plan 3—Your Role in Relation to the Mission
      37. Teamwork: Lesson Plan 4—Coordinating, Cooperating, and Collaborating with Others
      38. Teamwork: Lesson Plan 5—Supporting and Celebrating the Success of Others
      39. Teamwork: Lesson Plan 6—Identifying Your “Go To” People and Building Relationships with Them
      40. Teamwork: Lesson Plan 7—Becoming a “Go To” Person for Others
      41. Teamwork: Lesson Plan 8—Using Influence to Get Things Done
      42. Teamwork: Lesson Plan 9—Consider the Lessons About Teamwork from This U.S. Air Force Special Operations Team
  4. About the Author
  5. Index
  6. EULA