The hard way with soft skills

13 March 2023

At Perfact, we are always looking for ways to make the difference at our clients. Apart from knowledge and technology, we know from experience that people also play an equally large part in the process. Whereas numbers and technical data are often logical and constant, people are the exact opposite. Unpredictable and changeable; every person is different and cannot be captured in an Excel sheet or system. So how do you manage to change that variable factor anyway?

People don’t like to change. Even if they really want to, actually doing can still be a challenge. You nay ask yourself why we speak of ‘soft skills’, while working with people may well be the hardest thing there is. However, if the confusion (in whatever dimension) is great enough, it creates room for growth.  And growth can only take place when there is a will to change. Socrates once said, “self-knowledge is the beginning of all wisdom.”

Human Development

Every day, our human development consultants Karina and Jean have to deal with coachees, organisations, management and boards who get stuck at work or in their daily lives. This ranges from a starting manager who has yet to find his place in the team, to ‘old hands’ who, after years in the same job, begin to wonder: “is this it?”. But also private matters are certainly addressed, such as burnouts, relationship problems or certain behavior that is hindering both the coachee and his environment.

Although the cases vary enormously, Karina and Jean see one big similarity. That is that sooner or later everyone will have to confront themselves. And they also have to take responsibility for what needs to be changed. Unfortunately there is no so-called button that does the job for you; it is a difficult journey of discovery with peaks and low points, but a journey that is absolutely worth your while. And yes, you must take on this journey yourself, but there will always be a proverbial helping hand that can provide the necessary support along the way.


But why then are our behaviors so difficult to change? If you think about it, it’s quite lgical – after all, behavior is a complete sum of everything you have experienced, seen and heard since birth. Your own experiences, but also external influences makes who you are unique, but also more difficult to change; you don’t change 30, 40 or 50 years of behavior just like that.
That is why you are not done with one or two sessions. Karina and Jean practice transformational coaching – not a quick fix, but a sustainable long-term process that takes trial and error into account. Their goal is to eventually make themselves resundant as coaches and mentors. Changing behavior can be compared to getting your driver’s license; you can practice as much as you can beforehand, but it’s only when you actually start driving that you start learning.

So we do not offer a ‘ready-made’ solution, but a complete coaching process using methods such as MapsTell, ODC and DISC. These coaching techniques are combined with a comprehensive analysis of personality type and character structure. Customisation, therefore, with a focus on personal development and the ultimate results. Through their own work experience in various sectors and positions, including being managers, Karina and Jean know what it is like. This allows them to empathise, which is especially useful when they are dealing with management or directors who really want to optimise the culture or processes within their organisation.

Tough love

A thorough and appropriate method is nice and all, but the real work has to be done by the coachee himself. This means that coaching cannot always be done with a gentle hand. Clear confrontations with coachees provide the insight they need. In addition to the various methods, Karina and Jean themselves are also an important tool in their process. For example, the direct way of coaching of both, and the military background of Jean prove to be a perfect combination to serve both public and private clients well. Confrontational and where necessary provocative coaching, but of course with kindness and respect.

So the real “hard skills” might as well be our personal skills and attributes. And although they are often indispensable, especially in technical industries, they usually go hand in hand with the so-called soft skills. Because no matter how many good ideas you have, no matter how accurately you master all the processes – if you can’t cooperate, don’t know how to enthuse your teammates or are bad at planning, you are nowhere. Your behavior, your unique qualities are of indispensable value within a company. And that alone makes the difference!

More info?

Contact us

Let’s make the difference together. I’m happy to help!

Karina Peters-Jeurissen Senior Transformation Coach and Management Consultant


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