Soft skills are measurable and malleable (and the data to prove it)

Would you believe me if I told you that most people have trouble with spontaneous speaking at work?

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I passionately believe that most people have trouble articulating themselves in important moments at work. I believe this because I have the data to back it up. As a creative, I was always intimidated by data but this year, I listened to that resistance and leaned in.

In my years leading internal communication workshops at global corporations, I've asked every room, "Who here has anxiety speaking up at work?" This number is always higher than the 74%-reported-national-average. In most rooms, I've eyeballed it to be closer to 95%.

This has been true with data scientists and salespeople; in New York City and in rural Georgia; with high schoolers and C-suite executives; with women, yes, but equally true for men; with people who reach out for individual coaching but also in my team workshops. 

Inspired by my many clients who are Data Scientists, this year I collaborated with an engineer to build data assessments to make soft skills measurable. 

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In a recent training with global leaders at one of the world's top tech companies, 100% of the room reported difficulty with challenging conversations, giving and receiving feedback, speaking nerves, unconscious behaviors, communicating over videoconference, and managing up. But with these assessments, they also reported improvement in all 27 areas of communication following the workshop.

Early data from my client base is proving what I always knew to be true: That most people have trouble speaking authentically and confidently in moments that matter most at work: 

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But early data is also proving that soft skills are malleable, measurable, and tangible, with participants reporting the following improvements:


Today, all of my clients⁠—whether they're seen for organizational consulting, team workshops, or individual coaching—receive visualized data assessments documenting their pain points and progress. I'm proud to report that every individual and group who has completed this process have reported improvement in every single communication area assessed. Click here to see anonymized examples or visit the Metrics page on my site.

Help Me Get More Data

I'm collecting data to continue to destigmatize challenges with spontaneous speaking at work. All information submitted will be anonymized and will not be used on an individual or identifiable basis. Click here to fill out this quick survey (and feel free to share this far and wide).

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