Do Soft Skill Courses Really Help: Yes! – May 2, 2023

Sheriff Consulting designs and delivers courses on both communication (soft) skills and technical skills. In my over 20 years of delivering continuing education, it has been my experience that there is more “buy-in” with technical courses than soft-skill/communication courses.

Communication topics such as teamwork, motivation and psychological safety are often compelling for participants; however, there is a sense of uncertainty about whether it will move the needle or change anything about how our people work.

The feedback I get from various organizations is that leading people in our current environment is very challenging. There is a general sense that managers and above have lost connection with who they lead.  When it comes to teaching these critical communication skills courses, the initial understanding of importance is there, but then there is a question afterwards “has anything changed.”

In my experience, things have changed. The challenge is how do you measure this change.  CPAs and finance professionals excel at developing and measuring key performance indicators (KPIs) in our technical work, such as controllership, valuation, tax planning and financial reporting. However, we don’t often apply the same rigour to establishing and measuring performance goals around communication skills. This is necessary to measure the change when employee communication skills are learned and implemented within an organization.