Skills (Soft & Hard)

Not understanding the difference between so called "hard"and "soft"skills. Hard skills are those that produce an immediate, visible and measurable result, eg trained in how to prepare accounts. It usually involves a person getting a mastery over an inanimate object. Soft skills usually involve interaction with other human beings who

- have a mind/will of their own

- suffer from short attention spans

- are prone to personal trials and tribulations

- have their own biases, prejudices, experiences, etc

- have their own agenda that is not necessarily aligned with the organisation, etc

Soft skills are difficult as they involve behavioral modifications and require constant management feedback, involvement, encouragement, attention, etc..

"...Acquiring a soft skill imposes a management burden. In a world where time is at a premium and management wants effortless solutions to pressing problems, those superficial "soft skills"are a poor fit..."

Peter de Jager, 2010

"...The difference between good and poor managers has nothing to do with their ability to deal with inanimate objects, and everything to do with their ability to manage interactions between subtle and fickle human beings..."

Peter de Jager, 2010

. Not understanding that manipulation involves using a combination of soft skills, eg trust, sympathy, persuasion, empathy, etc and body language to deceive you. The most extreme manipulation is the "con". Con artists have certain qualities in common, like psychopathy (absence of empathy), narcissism and ruthlessness. We feel that we can spot liars and cheaters by their shifty eyes, averted gazers, touching their faces while speaking, etc. Unfortunately successful con artists are able to synchronise their body language with the lies that come out on their mouths so that we believe them. Furthermore, there can be moments of intense vulnerability for scams such as depression, isolation, loneliness, sickness, loss, busyness, etc

"...con artists love funerals and obituaries, divorces or scandals, company layoffs and general loneliness......appeal to our vanity..."
Maria Konnikova as quoted by Carlos Lazada 2016

Con artists come to the rescue with lovely, perfect, credible stories which are powerful tools of deception, ie as unsuspecting people get immersed in a story and let our guard down. Once we get emotional/financial ownership of the deception, we have a hard time letting go. If contrary evidence appears, we find ways to explain it away, minimise its impact, ie
"...Our personal attachment overshadows our objective knowledge......focus on the rationale that retroactively justifies our choice rather than actually base our choice in the moment on the most pertinent rationale..."
Maria Konnikova as quoted by Carlos Lazada 2016

Some of the ways to prevent this type of manipulation include
- maintain objectivity
- recognise your emotions
- set limits

 

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