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Man mentoring a woman in an office

Resource Round-Up: Mentoring Soft Skills

Vital yet invisible, soft skills are key to providing excellent customer service. Training soft skills, however, is vastly different from training an employee how to stock shelves, mix paint, or recommend a home air purifier.

Any employee seeking to mentor a new hire or existing staff in soft skills needs to feel comfortable with those skills themselves. They should review the training materials and identify what aspects will be most useful to the specific skills they’re trying to teach. In addition, the skills should be grounded in the learner’s experiences and a quiet, distraction-free space should be provided for the activities.

Not only can soft skills help employees provide better customer service, they can also aid in employee retention and longevity. The Society for Human Resource management offers many resources for soft skills, in addition to the ones listed here.

NHPA Training Lessons

Serving Diverse Customers
Three scenarios wherein your employees make choices that will either make your customers feel welcome, or alienate them.

Customer Service Etiquette
Six ways employees can provide a good customer experience.


Books

“Bridging the Soft Skills Gap: How to Teach the Missing Basics to Today’s Young Talent” by Bruce Tulgan
Tulgan offers concrete solutions to help managers teach the missing basics of professionalism, critical thinking and followership.

“The Hard Truth About Soft Skills: Workplace Lessons Smart People With They’d Learned Sooner” by Peggy Klaus
Fortune 500 coach Peggy Klaus offers practical tools and techniques for mastering soft skills across the career spectrum.


Podcasts

Tell Me More
NHPA’s Renee Changnon speaks to Kim Peffley about employee soft skills and how they can be improved upon with resources available from NHPA in episode 39.

Editorially Speaking
Hardware Retailing’s managing editor Melanie Moul has a Q&A in episode 14 with Bruce Tulgan, author of “Bridging the Soft Skills Gap: How to Teach the Missing Basics to Today’s Young Talent.”


Websites

Soft Skills Important in a Digital Setting
SolarWinds’ Chrystal Taylor shares insights on some of the most important soft skills when working and interacting in a digital world.

25 Conflict Resolution Strategies for Customer Service
These tips can help diffuse tension-filled interactions, turning difficult customer service experiences into successful transactions.


Videos

Engaging the Customer
How to engage customers and start moving them towards a purchase (NHPA’s Trainer’s Notes).

First Impressions
How to make a good first impression on customers (NHPA’s Trainer’s Notes).

Difficult Customers
Tips for dealing with difficult customers (NHPA’s Trainer’s Notes)

About Hans Cummings

Hans Cummings
Born in Indiana and raised in Indiana, Germany and Virginia, Hans has worked for NRHA since 2001. He has a B.A. in English from Indiana University and is a published fantasy and science-fiction author. His hobbies include cooking, especially smoking meats, tabletop and video games and supporting space sciences and science education.

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