Unapologetically BOLD: I'm not sorry for....
Being Soft with Rishita Jones
October 28, 2020
Are you soft? You know the soft as with soft skills that actually includes things like assertiveness, mindfulness, and how to have a tough conversation. The soft skill that seems is too...well that...soft to be at work. The skills some people could be described as a pushover. Well if you are intrigued to learn more, listen in as Rishita talks about how being soft is a superpower needed in the world now more than ever.
Are you soft?  

You know the soft as with soft skills that actually includes things like assertiveness, mindfulness, and how to have a tough conversation. 

The soft skill that seems is too...well that...soft to be at work. The skills some people could be described as a pushover. 

Well if you are intrigued to learn more, listen in as Rishita talks about how being soft is a superpower needed in the world now more than ever.

PS Our favorite bot still hasn't mastered the accents, be kind to it and enjoy!

[00:00:01] spk_0: welcome to unapologetically bold. I'm not sorry for If you are a person that is tired of apologizing for being you, you know the human part of you that sometimes feels like it has to be different at home versus work versus play, Theo. Human side that just wants to be hot, humble, open and transparent about your wants, desires and uniqueness. If you answered yes, this podcast is for you. Join me, Emily L Rod, as I dive into conversations with Amazing Guest about what you're not sorry for And creative and loving ways. Let's get started. I am so excited to have Rasheeda on with me today. You are just one of the most amazing people. And I always say you don't wanna have people that are exactly like minded. You wanna have a more light hearted And me and you I feel like we are on the same like heart playing here on our what we talk about our passions and our goals. So it is such a blessing, I believe, for the audience to hear you speak today, but also is a blessing for me as well. So thank you so much.

[00:01:08] spk_1: Thank you. And release my pleasure to be here. Absolutely. I agree with you. From the first moment that we connected, it was sort of an instant, hard to have connection on. Duh. I have one thing to say. Actually. You bring out the best in me. Uh, no essence. That's what happens in life, right? You know, you people bring out something in each other, and it turns out that actually, I'm a reflection of you and your reflection of me and that That's beautiful.

[00:01:33] spk_0: Yes. And I love how you said that too. So before I get started into it, I do want to ask people to please continue to, like, subscribe and share, as our goal is to give you some positivity, but not like the rainbows and butterflies, positivity, actual skills and real world experience on things that you can take back to your home work and play. Because that's the the beauty of this is it is about being unapologetically bold for you to be a human because you're human and all of them. But sometimes we feel like we have to be different in different scenarios. So with that, Yeah, she's a what are you not sorry for

[00:02:17] spk_1: Uh huh. I'm not sorry for a lot of things, but most of them I'm not sorry for being soft.

[00:02:23] spk_0: I love that. So explain that to me. What soft means to you whenever you at first hearing that.

[00:02:31] spk_1: So where this is coming from actually is really? You know, in the workplace, we have typically two types of skills, hard skills and soft skills. Andi, I work from home for NHL. So my background is in HR on bond. Basically the focus, You know, the hatred has had until now has really been on some of the technical side of things. Really? You know, making people making sure that people are competent and capable Thio achieve certain objectives and outcomes and really forgetting the the human side of it. So the softer skills, so to speak on. Actually, for me, the softer skills are the harder things and is actually what we should be focusing on to create a more human, um, environment and experience in the workplace. So my focus in HR is actually to bring love, humanity and softness into everything that we dio. So, no, I am not sorry for being so.

[00:03:24] spk_0: And the thing that I found is that in this bringing humanity to the workforce and seeing people's humans instead of workhorses that sometimes and also aspect of our the human doings they're not they're human beings. And so the focus on that tell me how soft skills have helped in the work that you do. And the irony is that I found is that whenever you do the soft skills that actually pays off in the long run and has a higher r r o I whenever you look at it, so talk about that for me.

[00:04:02] spk_1: Absolutely. I think one of the things is that we we've you know, we're at least hey trust come from typically from if you look back. I mean, I've been in jail since 2000 and two without wishing to give my age away on when I started the work, you know, our work was really Thio more of a protectionist. So it's about ensuring compliance. Thio, you know, two processes and policies was about protecting, you know, legal. You know, the legal side of things about really being, you know, protecting of the business and treating. And employees were just there to serve the means to profit And shareholder, you know, value on dwhite happens is that of course, we really forgot the human side of things on. We started focusing too much on sort of the machinery and productivity and all the sort of the output of things. And then we start seeing then you know, the fact that we then we're standardizing. So it's great to have standards, standardization, which takes away humanity and takes away individual differences in respect is just not right, you know? So then we see, of course, this this huge rise in mental illness and people basically not being able to stay in jobs, you know, in lack of sort of in disengagement. Andi and statistics show that your you know, your manager is more responsible for your mental health and well being than your actual doctor, you know? So so for me, it all started with actually when I was introduced to agile a natural way of working about five years ago. I deal a lot with projects in nature. I think a lot of everything that we do is project has a beginning and delivery and has stakeholders. So I did. This agile project went quite technical in focus. But actually, everything about this the principles were all about people people, you know, over processes interactions, you know, sort of, you know, contracts. It was all about connecting with one another, because everything that we do has a person behind it most. Most of the things that we do has a person associated to it. So if we're not able to connect to their level to understand where they are, you know, then we're not going to be able to sort of move things along in the right way. And we have typically also very much in organizations. We have the sort of we tend Thio manage and focus only on weaknesses. And that is one of the things that I'm really trying to change. Start moving towards performance and strengths based management. Mhm.

[00:06:16] spk_0: And that is something that's very unique to is that you are. And I bet you're not dismissing weaknesses, but that strength or something that people need to highlight. And how have you found whenever people realize what their strengths are? One first question is, when do people typically find their strengths? Because it seems like it's later in life like it's in their thirties aren't sometimes forties for that?

[00:06:47] spk_1: Well, I guess you know, I think you know strengths. You know, it's also is how you see strengths, but also, you know, when you were in a state of flow, you know, that's when you're sort of when things are flowing when you're feeling good, you know, think about sort of our own experiences. You know, when we're enjoying something, you know, then we're playing to our strengths. And when we're doing that, were being most productive. Eso I think it's it's a kind of going from there, but there's also the other side of it. Some people say, Well, you know, But I work in a job where actually you know, it's it's not really about you know, me doing what I love. But I also say, actually, this is about learning to love what you do. So find something that allows you to love what you do, you know. So there's also an element that we also have toe quite actively and consciously bring that element into it. Aziz. Well, you know, on, you know, organizations are basically, you know, enjoy strengths based management. They enjoy more profit, better sales. High levels of customer engagement on this is in partly due to the fact that employees feel positive about their performance. They ableto work to their strengths. They feel more engaged and therefore more passionate about what they dio. Mhm. So this is not to say that you know you. We ignore weaknesses. We're not saying that, you know, it's it's Of course it's, you know, it's good to improve weaknesses and they're still critical to employee development. But instead of insisting that everyone is basically an all around great team player in everything that they do, we're better off assigning projects. Two teams where you know the responsibilities are basically mapped out according to everyone's strength. So we're really moving away here then. Now you see, the idea is moving in from this individual,

[00:08:22] spk_0: Uh, you

[00:08:23] spk_1: know, performance management to actually teams moving from teams to, you know, moving away from individuals to teams. Basically,

[00:08:29] spk_0: uh, and it makes me think if you've got an email from a so you know what my signature says. But it says the kiss of death is to be the genius with 10,000 helpers, instead, be the genius with 10,000 geniuses. And the focus is is that everybody has something to give and it's about individually learning your people, which takes another step. It takes those soft skills. So what are some of your highest or like your top recommendations for new leaders about soft skills? Which ones or you're like, Oh, this is my go to We all just need to start out with this one. I

[00:09:04] spk_1: think the one you know, the one which eso if if we go back to people, right, what drives and motivates people? Because if if we sort of answer the what is the end that we have in mind? Right? Eso what drives and motivates people is actually fact due to the fact that they could make an impact, they want to make an impact, you know, they want to grow, and they want to feel like they belong. So purpose on all these things they're actually underpinned by one thing is actually empathy. So you know, when you understand, when you put yourself in the shoes of the people that you know that you are, you know, interacting with, then you, then you're really creating an inclusion and inclusive environment and When you create inclusion, you create belonging when a group belonging. If you create, you know, happiness on that that leads to that. What we want essentially is that discretionary effort. And that is basically what distinguishes between, you know, high performance on do you know at an average performance? Eso So it's a win win. I think the starting point really is empathy, and this is where we really need to see. This is very, very much tied to emotional intelligence. Unfortunately, I haven't seen so much emotional intelligence training being given that the focus that he needs in organizations and this is particularly important now. Um, since covert and this remote working, we're really seeing the lack of empathy. They really come up in our organizations and the engagement levels on mental health there will be.

[00:10:30] spk_0: And that's the thing. I feel like this one thing about Kobe it is, it's it's ugly in the in its own right, but it's also beautiful on the other end and that it is bringing humanity to the forefront. And there was a Gallup did a research, and basically it was saying, like the newest jobs coming out soon, and one of them or majority of them were about well being or purpose driven are things that are about humanity. And this is something that was really helped me in my shift because you know, my backgrounds in engineering. And so as an engineer like you design things that people come to you and they're like, Hey, this is This is designed wrong, you know? And as an engineer, I need to know what I'm making and how it's meant to be designed. But we don't do that with humans, and we put them in an engineered environment, and it's like, Hey, you do something wrong is your fault. What can we look and see how we've engineered it if you're putting people that are not to their strengths and you're throwing things or you're promoting people because they're good at hard skills, but then soft skills fall off, it kind of it hurts in the end. So talk to people about that on why you're not sorry for those soft skills. And do you put more importance on soft or hard? Or how is that a balance? What is that for you?

[00:11:55] spk_1: I think you know everything in life is really about balance, right? You can't have too much of one thing, because every time I have too much of one thing, there's too little of something else on. But it's all you know when we have this sort of one thinks one size fits all approach development. Um, then suddenly start sort of taking other people's, you know, individuality than differences. And this is where basically, you start seeing the lack of equity coming into the workplace. Um, so soft skills, really, you know, is really about ensuring that we're beginning and to see people in treating people with the respect that they deserved, really meeting people where they are. You know, it's about really understanding that, you know, we're all different, but we all have the same dreams, hopes, ambitions. But we're also dealing with certain things in our lives, and this is actually what you say. This is what Kobe has highlighted. That you know of the focusing organizations has been a lot about equality, you know, which is about sameness, you know, so basically treating everybody the same and give everyone access to the same opportunities. But actually equity is about fairness, because we have to understand that. You know, two team members may be coming into the same, you know, situation or environment with a very different set of circumstances. So if we're able to bring the soft skills into play into our organizations into our management and leadership, then we're really able to provide the right kinds of support to our people. You know, we could start filling in the gaps and everyone starts in the in the same place on we have a better opportunities to succeed.

[00:13:33] spk_0: What, in your experience in the past, has this been like the biggest? When was your eye opening moment that this matters? I

[00:13:46] spk_1: think for me was when I had my daughter s. This is about five years ago. Six now, 6 to 6. So this is about six years ago when I had my child and I kind of realized how the workplace was not really designed to cater for the minority. So, you know, basically, you know, what are the majority groups, you know, in the majority population or representation in the workplace? And it's catering for them or the strongest or the loudest. And I felt that those that it s sort of sort of the employees journey of the minority wasn't taken into account. And I really felt sort of the biggest shock when I went back in tow work, because in the Netherlands, maternity leave is only three months. Um, on you know, you you are still all over the place and I know it's not, you know, it's still good compared to other countries. I'm not saying that, but from a personal perspective, you know, it was it was all over the place. Very, you know, little support, little understanding, little sort of meeting me, You know, where I waas. So I really felt the unfairness of that. And that's where I realized. Actually, I want to change the way that we do things, you know, I work in nature. I need to do a better job. You know, I need to inspire a better job of this.

[00:15:03] spk_0: And I know that a lot of H. R gets a flak for them being more policing and in that policy structure in the new future. HR, what are some key principles? Do you think that they have that they need for leading humanity to the next? Because it's like you just said you're working, Mom. You know, life happens. We're human, all of them. And you want us to box it up? What would you say is like some of the big things that you're like? Oh, if we could just have this or I'm working, I think we're doing some other now. It's

[00:15:40] spk_1: interesting. I mean, I've just sort of written chapter of a book that's coming out, which is about John Major and this really talking about sort of the future of work in the future of nature. Where he drives working is going towards on Do you know what you see? That is is this a renewed urgency here for HR? You know, leaders to reinvent the future of each other, letting go of legacy models on working in order to actually first and foremost, we need to establish trust and cooperation within organizations. And really important here is to create a sort of continuous learning mindset which will enable, you know, innovation, agility, flexibility. Eso what this What this sees is actually is placing hey char in a central role in the business, not as just a partner or in the peripheral on the outside. It's really that the people coach centrally in the business as a people cultural consultant. So and then I come home principles I think we need to consider here, you know, Hey, try is going to be sort of from a coaching perspective, people coaching perspective, going to a data, four principles, coaching the whole person. And this is really about bringing in your personal and your professional together. We are one people, you know where one person at home or at work. So we need to start, sort of, you know, accepting this and when we're talking about development or objective setting goals we need to be doing is going to be looking at both. We then need to keep it really, really human to human understanding, individual differences, understanding what drives you, what motivates you. But what also the hardships that you're facing? What is your personal situation at home? You know, how can I sort of, you know, create more equity, You know, towards you they would. Then it's about listening and listening authentically. Really? You know, not just listening. Um, for the sake of is it was really, you know, being curious, asking the right questions and listening deeply. And then we have to partner with managers here because we need to ensure that there is alignment when it comes to, you know, coaching and police and developing them. So we have to become very close to them to ensure that we will coming at it from the same perspective. So ultimately, you know, for each other, future revolves around developing a cultural reflection, empowerment and engagement. You know, for individuals, teams that organization stop.

[00:17:46] spk_0: I love that. And what do you see? How this in essence? Because what we talked about earlier is that we know that now that our our work has more impact than our primary care doctor. So what impact do you think this will have on homes? Um, whenever people come home from it all.

[00:18:13] spk_1: What? Sorry. Can you can explain? What impact of what? Sorry.

[00:18:17] spk_0: The impact to the house. To the household, To the family, the family dynamics. What do you think it will impact on that whenever HR filing gets to this future? What? You have talked about things.

[00:18:30] spk_1: It's a boomerang, right? It's ah. You know, we seem to sort of forget that you know, the energy that we you know, the energy that we have around the sort of stays with us is, you know, whatever way feel we attract. And then we put out there again. So when we finally start seeing people, you know from a people perspective, from an individual perspective and start catering to them and to their needs what? You start seeing these people who are finally, you know, more of these were in a state of flow feeling happier. And they take that back home with them on because, actually, you know, organizations and managers have a lot to answer the help. A lot of responsibility for how people show up at home. You know, as a mother was a father, how much patients we have, how much time we give them. You know, I was reading a book by Roger Facility of conscious, you know, capitalism. And he actually talked about how organizations have taken it, stripped people away from their roles from home. You know, this whole consultancy model of people have to work away from home five days or the whole week a two time taking that away, you know, taking them away from their families. And actually, he says the organizations should be thinking about stakeholders that family members that also stakeholders and they should be part of the whole equation that workers well, it included in the into this process. So I think, you know, we're starting definitely going to see the boomerang effect, because if you if you're happy at work and you're doing while you're engaged, you're healthy, you know it was gonna happen at home and then that's gonna come back to work the next day. And then the cycle just continues.

[00:19:58] spk_0: Yes, because that's what I've seen, too. Is that a lot of things that I teach? I need them personally, but to it's my kids have taught me so much and how it's been. I can apply it to work environments on how to have fun, how to play and how to be innovative and creative. And I feel it sometimes that's been taken out of work because we just are hard and we just want Thio, get it done and be productive and just shoot be a machine on my step times and that's not everybody. And I do want to preface that that is not all companies come a lot of companies were really working hard to get to take this step forward. Um, in hr but also in the step forward of how are they impacting their the their stakeholders? In essence, not just like you said, not just the people, but also their families. So, Thio end on this, What would you say to somebody that keeps apologizing for using soft skills and work?

[00:21:05] spk_1: Stop apologizing for using soft skills of work because you are basically giving somebody else a voice. You're giving somebody, you know, you're seeing someone you're feeling and hearing someone you're making someone feel mattered. And at the end of the day, that's all we want, right? We want Teoh. Want to be seen hurt? I don't wanna be respected as individuals of who we are. So give that person the voice and hear them out. Give them a chance.

[00:21:33] spk_0: E. I love it. Thank you so much for joining me today. This was such an amazing talk, and I think it's very important just to note that yes, we're talking about soft skills. We're not saying that we don't need hard skills were saying they are needed. But what we're saying is that soft matters and it needs to come to the forefront just as we need I Q. We need e que on. We need to come together with this all. So thank you again and thank you for everybody that joined us. I hope you have an amazing and blessed today. Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode of unapologetically bold. I'm not sorry for If this touch shoot anyway, please like and subscribe and share with your friends as we continue the message of being unapologetically bold, Bobby and hot humans who are humble, open and transparent. See you next time.