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Dr. Tobin Porterfield and Bob Graham, co-founders of Serious Soft Skills LLC and co-hosts of the Serious Soft Skills Podcast, have released a new book highlighting the 55 soft skills employees and organizations can use to ignite growth and innovation.

The book, The 55 Soft Skills that Guide Employee and Organizational Success, is an outgrowth of the authors' extensive research into soft skills, those hard-to-teach skills that are better developed through experience and mentoring. Soft skills are developed through interacting with other people and include written and oral communication, emotional/social intelligence, good listening, being able to delegate effectively, leading change and teamwork.

"Companies can improve their results and boost employee satisfaction when they focus more on soft skills," Porterfield said. "This book is designed to improve people's understanding of those soft skills and their application. in the workplace."

The authors developed the list of 55 soft skills after reviewing hundreds of articles in academic journals.

"People may have heard about soft skills, but very few, based on our discussions, can list more than one or two of them," Graham said. "By cataloging each of them and explaining how they might be used in the workplace, we hope to expand the use of soft skills even further."

"Most businesses continue to focus on technical skills and expertise," Porterfield said, "but paying more attention to soft skills will enable employees and organizations put those technical skills to work to achieve greater innovation and growth."

Technical skills are the tangible aptitudes, competencies and expertise like preparing a spreadsheet, using a mathematical formula or basic grammar and spelling that tend to be the focus of all formal instruction.

The 55 soft skills book is the latest effort of Serious Soft Skills LLC, a Towson, Md.-based company Porterfield and Graham launched in June 2016. In addition to the book, they co-host a weekly podcast, Serious Soft Skills, designed to help employees, team leaders and employers unleash the power of soft skills to advance their careers and organizational growth. Each episode of 15-20 minutes explores a specific soft skill or soft skill situation, using examples, anecdotes, research and interviews various aspects of the 55 soft skills. The Serious Soft Skills Podcast is available on iTunes and Google Play.

Porterfield and Graham, who each teach at Baltimore-area universities, have been studying soft skills for the last five years. Both men work with students to develop soft skills, and they have each seen the value of good soft skills in their professional careers.


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