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Hard Truth about Soft Skills: WorkPlace Lessons Smart People Wish They'd Learned Sooner
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Hard Truth about Soft Skills: WorkPlace Lessons Smart People Wish They'd Learned Sooner

3.41  ·  Rating details ·  215 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
What's the hard truth? Soft skills get little respect but will make or break your career. Master your soft skills and really get ahead at work

Fortune 500 coach Peggy Klaus encounters individuals every day who excel at their jobs but aren't getting where they want to go. It's rarely a shortfall in technical expertise that limits their careers, but rather a shortcoming in th
ebook, 208 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 2008)
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Mar 23, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: various-skills
What a ridiculous book. But do you know what's also ridiculous? CORPORATE NONPROFIT CULTURE IN LATE CAPITALISM IN THE INDUSTRIALIZED WORLD. Hooooboy, it is embarrassing to be the exact audience for this sexist doozy, but I will come clean to Goodreads: I found this generally informative and helpful! Things like "small talk is a crucial part of making connections with others," "be careful how you say no," "your boss wants you to figure it out," and how to turn resume bullet points into interestin ...more
Coral Rose
Sep 11, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: work, 2009
Meh. It had some good things to say about self-branding and remembering to be your own cheerleading squad, but it was mostly just fluffy feel good about these concepts stories and not a lot of real meat. Every point could have been broadened, given more examples and some practical application. Not bad, just not stunning either. A lot of common sense. (Think before you date your boss. The way your peers see you will trickle up to your boss. Self-presentation isn't just for the day of your review. ...more
A few interesting tidbits & little stories but mostly obvious advice and lists that thankfully don't have any use for me.

Like this one for instance:

1. Think of yourself as a cereal brand (which made me want rice krispies but that's besides the point)
2. Keep your brags fresh
3. Put the right words in their mouths

and on and on but I'll give this 2.5- 3 stars for the amusing true stories of people who show no manners, table or otherwise, in their place of employment.
Jul 31, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was...average. Run of the mill business literature. Don't be a jerk. Listen to people. Treat everyone nicely. Yada, yada, yada. If you have read any books of this sort, you've heard it before. I had to grit my teeth through a couple of awkwardly worded sections (hey, guess what, the section on crying is addressed to women! And the section on being an insensitive bully is addressed to men! And women should be more like men! And men should remember to be nice to those fragile women!). He ...more
A bit too short, I thought, so I suppose that's a good endorsement of sorts; I could have read more. I enjoyed this and it gave me quite a bit to think about. Many of us might wish we could force our bosses to read it as well (along with the classic "the No Asshole Rule").

It makes me a little sad that I am probably going to take down my 'passive aggressive notes' calendar page with little kid's writing that says "Dear Owen, I"m guna punch you n your face. Love, Emma," but I've already taken out
Jul 16, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Good, if obvious, advice delivered through overly general cheerleading. The author is a motivational speaker, and it shows (and not in a good way). I think that for most people, the challenge is not that they don't realize things like communication and leadership skills are important, but that they have trouble building those skills and exercising them in the context of their own jobs. Some real-life examples with a little complexity (not the ones here, which are either invented or just really d ...more
Can't recommend this book. I found it sexist, and full of platitudes with little guidance.

Wish I had read other reviews first. Also wish I was better at quitting books rather than finishing everything no matter how poorly they start.
Can you "really like" a business book? I guess... I did enjoy it and read it kind of compulsively. I will recommend it to people.

The highlights: The subject matter! Peggy Klause talked a lot about mindfulness and taking control of your own destiny and branding and marketing yourself. She made a lot of common sense and I believe I should do pretty much everything she talked about in this book. Also, the book was very readable.

The lowlights: It was a little cheesy at times - like this weird radio
Val Williams
Sep 09, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was surprised that I liked this book as much as I did. The author provides some really good tips on dealing with office politics as well as managing your job versus managing your career. What makes this book earn its 4th star is that it addresses concerns of gender, age, and cultural differences. While it touches on each tip for only about one to three (small paperback) pages, it provides some good tips. Some tips like "your boss wants YOU to figure it out" are more useful for those new to the ...more
Ayesha Tariq
One the few self-help/ advice books that I managed to get through. Although the advice is mostly obvious, it is presented in a way that makes sense. Examples are concise and the author gets to the point quickly. The book is structured well and doesn't get too tiring to read. It's true this is not for people who need the extra help with problematic situations at work. It doesn't even offer a lot of career advice. But what it does offer is a broad perspective on general behaviour / actions at work ...more
Buku ini berisi kumpulan nasehat yang berkaitan dengan apa yang sebaiknya kita lakukan di tempat kerja. Beberapa nasehat yang ada memang bagus, tapi menimbulkan "ya ini sih semua orang juga tau kali". Ditambah lagi gaya penulisannya yang selalu berupa anekdot ("Pada suatu ketika, ada manajer bernama Joe, dia... [bla3x]") sehingga kesannya terlalu seperti dongeng dan kisah motivasi belaka. Meskipun demikian, kadang-kadang penulisnya memberikan contoh yang lebih konkrit sehingga buku ini masih ada ...more
Sadie Newell
Nov 03, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: life-development
I read this book after reading "Nice Girls Still Don't Get The Corner Office" which skewed my opinion of this book. Nice Girls... is a more updated, concise document that tells women the same thing: don't play with your hair, make sure you don't flirt with your boss and be a woman that doesn't take no for an answer. I found that this book didn't leave me inspired, and was a more difficult read. Soft skills or no, I don't recommend this book to anyone looking for advice in their professional life ...more
Muhammad Ali
Nov 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Easy to read / comprehend. Really practial stuff with some key learnings:
• Always consider yourself a work-in-progress.
• Office politics is inevitable
• Don't over do Branding and bragging. Do it with a soft touch to the soft skill of self-promotion.
• Avoid bad bragging: talking nonstop, interrupting, exaggerating, lying, stealing credit, name-dropping, etc.
• As a leader, control your temper, know how to rally the troops and be careful of what you say.

Jeremy Carman
Feb 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-improvement
Good book. A lot of useful advice.

Something she had to say really bothered me. She apearntly has heard this enough to have to put it into her book. It went something like this "Don't even think just because they work under you you don't have to apologize!"

To me that form of statement speks load about a managment persons character. Specifically they probably think they are better than their underlings. :-(
Aug 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a quick and worthwhile read for me on my journey to be a better listener and better developer and supporter of people around me, whether at work or home or with friends. It was also interesting to learn about impostor syndrome, though it was mentioned quite briefly. I'm going to look into that a bit more. (One book down, likely two or three more to add to the list. A reader's dilemma.)
Jul 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is offers a lot of insight in how to propel yourself in your current workplace and how to move forward of you're looking for a new job or a promotion in your current workplace. I have put some of these practices into use since reading the book a week ago and you really see the difference in how others respond to you. It is a great read for people who are becoming complacent in their current job and who are looking for a way to enhance themselves in their career field.
If you are a manager, skim chapters 1-7, and read chapter 8. Some good reminders are hidden throughout the book. Chapter 8 has some good examples that drive home some points - know when to lead, treat everyone equally, be aware of what you say - they hang on your every word, and never be afraid to eat some humble pie. This book is short and readable in an afternoon or a couple of week nights.
Shana Kneib
Feb 25, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone wanting to advance their career
Recommended to Shana by: Delta Sky magazine
I think staying atop current literature in the career section is important. This book was great in that it reminded me of some of the things you need to master outside of your technical knowledge in order to get ahead in the workplace. If you're trying to get ahead and want to know what it takes or how to improve your soft skills, I'd read this book.
Feb 26, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The ideas were good, but it reads like a corny motivational speech. There are reference that not everyone will understand and the explainations are too generalized. There are vauge references to studies but doesn't get any deeper. It is also clearly written for one personality type, which won't help about half of the working force out there
James Williams
Jun 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good book to provide one with the basic understanding of soft skills and how to make soft skills practical within any work environment. A great deal of common sense tactics were applied in this book, but we all comprehend the fact that common sense is not that common in most work milieus.

Dr. James Arthur Williams,
Author of From Thug to Scholar
Sep 26, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A super quick read. I probably would have appreciated this more when I was just starting out in business (grad gift alert!). As it is I feel like I've already learned most of this stuff--some of it, sadly, the Hard Way.
Amy Barclay
This writer seemed very biased to me. Her views were very conservative and I didn't really care for some of her snarky comments she made. Some material in here was useful, but I don't recommend this book.
Another of the business book series. A pretty good one, although not as specific to my issues as I might have liked. There was a good bit about pulling together your 30 second brief, which has led me to request her other book specifically on that topic to read soon.
Sep 09, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: grown-up-books
A short, amusing book about how to succeed in the workplace. Usually, short and amusing aren't words you would find in a review regarding something as typcially boring as workplace skills, but this one is truly helpful while being entertaining without being stupid-- impressive!
Jan 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very helpful for understanding and navigating office communication and politics, but a bit more idealistic than realistic.
Feb 19, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Quick read. Useful things never learned, others forgotten and reviewed.
Cheryl Mclaws
Jan 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I learned a lot and it really opened my eyes on things I'm doing (good and bad) and how to get where I want to go in my career. Thanks, Peggy!
Nothing really new but put together in a coherent and easily grasped format. Reminded one of all that goes into being a successful employess.
Dec 13, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Mentioned in lifehacker blog. Good book for anybody just graduated from college. Explains how to get along in this world.
Feb 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Simple and straight to the point. Using anecdotal stories, Peggy shares some of the common pitfalls and how to address them. May be a bit general for some but good introduction for most.
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