We learn our soft skills from the environments we grow up in and experience – family, culture, friends, school, etc.. Inappropriate or insufficient soft skills – ranging from not understanding culturally appropriate communication to not being able to express words and/or ideas clearly – can limit our chances of getting a promotion and even keeping our job. While immigrants may have difficulty adapting to new cultural expectations, both immigrants and native-born Canadians need to adapt to behavioural expectations in a workplace.
Mohammad was in the running for a promotion but never got it. Why? According to his manager, Mohammad was considered rude by several of his colleagues. There were complaints about him being overly critical, raising his voice regularly and often making jokes at meetings during serious conversations.
What does Mohammad say? “I’m clear and expressive by nature. And the meetings are so dull, I have to lighten them up a bit sometimes.”
What does HR say? “The level of rudeness in this company is on the rise.”