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Learning to Build Soft Skills On and Off the Battlefield

The US Army has a saying, “train as you fight.”

I learned this saying while training a group of US Army Veterans in Killeen, TX. The group was taking an eight week intensive Gateway training in order to secure work in the civilian world as Electrical Apprentices. My role at Skillpoint is to provide Professional Development training, which includes topics known as “soft skills” like professional communication, customer service, and conflict management.

During the training, a debate arose among a number of the men and women at the relevancy of learning these “common sense” skills. I explained that all skills need updating and practice. Success in nearly all career fields depends on the success of human interaction. Louis, a trainee with 20+ years of technical and leadership experience, helped by translating to his peers: “Train as you fight.”

“We’re taught to train as if it were the battle,” said Louis. Making the distinction between a life or death situation and professional success, he said “in times of stress and difficulty, you fall back on your training.”

At Skillpoint Alliance, our training is hands-on and through project-based learning our participants are able to practice scenarios that will build a store of relevant advantages. This adds value to employees, and in turn adds more value to the organization.