Most common reasons employees are not promoted to leadership positions:

Inability to relate or create trust across groups
Lack of ability to lead a team toward a common goal
Confusing or inconsistent communication
Poor judgment
Narrow perspective
Study from a Fortune 100 company

We help graduate students and emerging professionals develop their soft skills so that they gain a competitive advantage when launching and accelerating their careers.

We all have encountered an Oliver or Carol in our lives.

Carol is smart and can do her job well independently, but her actions wreak havoc on others. She is abrasive, only uses IM or emails to communicate, makes commitments for others without getting input, avoids hard conversations, and eventually erupts in anger.

Oliver is the opposite – also hardworking but he seldom shares his ideas. People wonder if he is really committed to the job. He has a hard time saying “no” because he is so nice, but then he gets overwhelmed with work and misses deadlines.

Although different, both employees are people that an organization can’t afford to keep. The prospect of sending either to a client is frightening, and promoting one to a manger role would cause a revolt. This is where we can help if the person is willing to change.

No job offers, losing a job or being plateaued in an organization is rarely because a person lacks technical abilities. Instead, those events are usually because of an inability to:

Have hard conversations
Lead in an engaging way
Influence without authority
Collaborate across functions
Work on a team
Build a network
Communicate with confidence
Manage and negotiate deadlines
The examples above are just some of the so-called “soft skills” that recruiters are seeking and that we help our clients develop. Although widely used, “soft skills” is a misleading term because these talents are some of the most difficult skills to learn and refine.

Our efforts are successful because we focus on:

  • Accountability
  • Surfacing and addressing root issues (why they are afraid to change), not just the symptoms
  • Multi-source feedback
  • Skill development applied to current problems
  • Post-mortem debriefs on the execution of planned actions
  • Simple steps to get traction against constraints
  • Authenticity and clarifying purpose to build confidence and resiliency
  • A holistic approach to ensure our clients’ values align with all they do

We customize our approach to meet the client’s needs, and work in several capacities:

  • Coaching individuals
  • Designing and/or executing a customized program for transforming multiple individuals in a business, university or association

One example of a customized program is the innovative solution we developed and have led at the University of Missouri since 2014. Monsanto Company sponsors the year-long program that develops the soft skills of an elite set of doctoral and post doc candidates in the sciences. This intervention is extremely effective, and recruiters and executives notice a difference in the students that participate. PI’s and advisors were initially skeptical, but they are now raving fans. Read More about our program, “Preparing Tomorrow’s Leaders for Science,” and we are happy to share our expertise in a consulting capacity as well.


Check Out what clients are saying about our soft skill development.


Read About a real life example of how we coached an individual on her soft skills.

We would love to hear
about your situation.

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