THE BLOG

Success Means Putting Others First

02/11/2015 10:34 pm ET | Updated Apr 13, 2015

I am obsessed with soft skills, or rather the lack of soft skills. After writing an earlier blog about soft skills for teachers, I started looking around at others who had great soft skills, but what I noticed were the people who had almost none at all! By soft skills, I mean people skills, or the essential skills needed to be successful in the world or work or at home or just in the public in general.

But last week, I found the true definition...There it was! I had it! I got it! I figured it out! If we have the people skills needed to be successful in this world, it is imperative that we think of others before ourselves. Hey, isn't that biblical? Didn't Jesus teach us to treat others as we want to be treated? Yes, of course it is biblical! Soft skills were even important to the greatest Teacher ever and it's our job to carry on that Scripture by practicing our soft skills every day.

My AHA! moment came as my husband and I stayed at one of those hotels where breakfast is served buffet style down in a small dining area in the lobby. When we arrived about 7 a.m., there was a high school track team of maybe 30 or more students, and they had taken over the whole area. We were not able to find a seat even though most of the young students were only texting on their cell phones and had finished eating. Some made eye contact with us, watched us get everything for our breakfast, but never offered us their seat in the main dining area. Not even an adult (parents and coaches were there) ever made one move to say, "Sit here, we are finished eating." It really made an impression on me -- and it helped me see that it is truly about how we treat others.

I am really a positive person, so I have decided that instead of looking at the lack of soft skills, I will be looking for people who have mastered these critical soft skills (or the art of putting others before themselves). Will you join me?