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Unit G

Objective 7.01
Recognize soft skills
in the workplace.

Soft Skills
A mix of necessary interpersonal
skills and business skills that a
successful person develops and

Interpersonal Skills Are Soft


Positive Attitude

Goal setting

Problem solving

Communication Skills Are

Soft Skills
Two types of

Importance of Interpersonal
Developing and maintaining positive
human relations requires the use of
soft skills.
Positive customer relations are the
result of courtesy, interest, helpfulness,
and tolerance. An employee is the face
of the business or company. The way in
which a customer is treated in a fashion
retail store determines whether that
customer will return. Repeat
customers enable a business to become
more successful.

Importance of Interpersonal

Employer/Employee relations
Happy employees=Happy customers=More
Companies strive to keep employees satisfied,
motivated, and loyal by offering competitive
wages, attractive benefits packages, and
other incentives.
Benefits: Added compensation other than
money that an employer gives his/her
Other incentives might include tuition
reimbursement, special bonuses, special
recognition, performance awards, and internal

Importance of Ethics
Guidelines for
human behavior;
the study of
moral choices
and values.

Terms Related to Ethics

Morals: The part of human behavior that
can be evaluated in terms of right or
Standards: Accepted levels of behavior to
which individual behavior is compared.
Virtues: Positive traits, such as loyalty,
respect, honesty, and compassion, found
within a person.
Utility principle: The idea that the right
action is best for everyone involved, not
just for one individual.
Consequences: The results of an action.

Ethical Behavior
Recognizing the difference between right and
wrong, then choosing what is right.
Ethical people can be trusted to make the right
decision, even when the decision does not benefit
Ethics deals with principles that apply to everyone,
but these principles become personal and individual
and vary depending on an individuals own belief
Sources of ethical beliefs:

Higher authority, culture, intuition, reason

Ethics in the Workplace

The development of strong work
ethic relies on self-discipline, selfcontrol, initiative, and a
productive work behavior.

Ethical Terms in the Workplace

Business ethics: Applying principles of right and wrong
to workplace situations.
Business ethics includes taking personal pride in
accomplishments on the job and for the work itself.
This is an area of growing concern in todays workplace.

Code of ethics: A systematic set of rules and procedures

used to guide the behavior of an individual, a business, or
a culture.
Employee duties: The obligation of an employee to fulfill
the job responsibilities and to give the employer a fair
days work for the pay earned.

Ethical Terms in the Workplace


Employee rights: The entitlement of an

employee to equal opportunity, fair pay, and
safe working conditions.
Positive climate: A work environment that
fosters positive productivity, quality work,
workplace values, commitment to excellence,
constructive criticism, encouragement for
growth, and continuing education.
Positive work ethics can be encouraged by
managers practicing good principles of

Examples of Unethical Behavior

Conflict of interest, such as an employer
pressuring an employee to do outside
business with another company owned by
the employers family
Employee conflicts that cause either or
both employees to behave in an unethical
Immoral and/or illegal activity

Possible consequences of unethical

Unethical behaviors may or may not also be
If news of unethical behavior reaches the
media and/or the outside public, then poor
public relations may result.
Unethical behavior can result in decreased
profits for the business.
Possible lawsuits can occur as a result of
unethical behavior.

Possible consequences of unethical

behavior (cont.)
If the law is broken the penalty may
include jail time, as in the case involving
Martha Stewart.
An employee who reports a business
associate or superior for illegal, immoral,
or unethical behavior may be identified
as a whistle blower.

The Value of Teamwork

Teamwork: The good working relationship among
employees resulting from combined support,
leadership, and cooperation.
Agreement: A specific commitment made by a person or a
group of people.
Consensus: A collective agreement reached by the
members of a group.

Employees are asked to work together as a team to

complete a task. The more effectively and
efficiently the team members work together, the
more likely they are to achieve the desired goal for
the business.

Effective Communication in the Workplace

Effective communication is the process of
transmitting clearly understood messages
between all involved parties.
The ability to communicate effectively is
extremely important to a persons success
in the workplace.
Communication of information is a
primary resource for every business.

Nonverbal Communication
The ability to convey messages without
using words.
Body language such as hand gestures,
facial expressions, eye contact, and other
body movements
Personal appearance

Verbal Communication
The ability to convey messages with the use
of words.

Verbal Communication--Reading
Critical in the fashion
industry for reading
fashion periodicals,
journals, and reports
that focus on marketing,
forecasting, and trends
Letters, memos, emails,
and requests must be
read and responses

Verbal Communication--Listening
For communication to take place the receiver
must listen to and understand the message
being sent in order to respond.
Active listening: Providing the speaker with
feedback (a nod, smile or response) that indicates
the message is being received and is understood.
Open-ended questioning: Asking questions that
require more than a yes or no response.
Allows more information to be retrieved from the
Shows genuine interest
Helps build stronger human relations by encouraging
credibility and trust

Verbal Communication--Speaking
How well one speaks may
prove to be a determining
factor in the degree of
his/her success in many
fashion careers.
Speaking skills are equally
important in one-on-one
conversations or in
presentations to a group.

Verbal CommunicationSpeaking (cont.)

One-on-one conversations with a customer might
take place face to face or over a telephone.
Word choice and tone of voice should convey
friendliness, sincerity, and interest in the customer.
Full attention should be paid to the customer.
When taking a telephone message, be certain to
record the date and time of the call, who it is for, who
is calling, the return telephone number, and the

Verbal CommunicationSpeaking (cont.)

Telephone orders must be recorded
completely and accurately. It is
recommended that the information be
repeated to the caller to verify that the details
are correct.
Remember to express appreciation to the
While voice mail is a fast and effective way to
communicate with someone who is not able to
answer the telephone, the absence of face-toface contact makes telephone manners and
verbal skills very important.

Verbal Communication--Speaking
Speaking to groups may occur in formal or informal situations.
One might be speaking with more than one customer in the retail
store, making a presentation of a new line to a buyer, or delivering a
workshop or speech to a group such as fashion educators or students.
Tailor the presentation for the specific audience.
Organize the presentation in a logical format.
Visual aids always enhance a presentation. Computer-aided
presentations are used frequently in business and industry.
Speak correctly, slowly, clearly, and distinctly.
Practice the presentation.

Verbal Communication--Writing
Written documentation is important and is often
required in the workplace.
Use of electronic media for written communication
is becoming commonplace.
Attention to spelling, grammar, and sentence
structure is critical.
If a document is handwritten, legibility is also
Examples: email, electronic calendaring, group
news mailboxes, on-line services, Internet
conferencing, business letters, memos, and reports

Barriers to Communication
Noise, distractions, or interruptions in
service that interfere with sending or
receiving the message
Language barriers
Information overload