After listening to Bruce speak, I think every HR department should listen to his talks and read his books. The most refreshing views on attracting, retaining, and motivating talented team members that I have heard in a long time.
Dough Haugh, President, Parkland USA
Sep 1, 2015

Bridging the Soft Skills Gap: Out This Month!

From Bruce


I am thrilled to announce that my newest book will be released September

The number one challenge with today’s young talent is a problem hiding in plain sight: The ever-widening “Soft Skills Gap.”

Today’s newest new young workforce has so much to offer – new technical
skills, new ideas, new perspective, new energy. Yet too many of them are held back —and driving the grown-ups crazy— because of their weak soft skills.

Soft skills may be harder to define and measure than hard skills, but
they are just as critical. People get hired because of their hard skills but people get fired because of their soft skills.

Managers ask: “Why should it be my problem to teach these soft skills? They should have learned these things from their parents or in school. How can I teach these soft skills when I don’t even remember how I learned them myself?”

Here’s the bad news: Setting a good example or simply telling young
workers they need to improve isn’t enough. Nor is scolding them or pointing out their failings in an annual review.

Here’s the good news: You can teach the missing basics to today’s young

Now, based on more than twenty years of research, I wrote this book to
provide concrete solutions to help managers teach the missing basics of professionalism, critical thinking, and followership.

These critical soft skills can make the difference between mediocre and
good; between good and great; between great and ‘one of a kind.’

The book comes packed with 92 step-by-step lesson plans designed to be
highly flexible and easy to use.

My great hope is that you will find the exercises in the book so helpful
that you will find yourself returning to your favorite ones over and over again. I think you will find, one exercise at a time, you can build up the most important soft skills of your new young talent.

If the soft skills gap among today’s newest new young talent is an issue
you are facing, please consider ordering the book. I would be honored and delighted and very grateful if you order it.

Thank you so much for considering it.

Stay strong!



Become a Teaching Style Manager

If you want to truly take your management to the next level, go
beyond regular performance coaching. Become a true champion of soft skills by becoming a teaching style leader. Make teaching/learning the soft skills basics an explicit part of your mission and goals for your team going forward.

Being a “teaching style manager” means:

  • Talk about what’s going right, wrong, and average every step of the way.
  • Remind everybody of broad performance standards regularly.
  • Turn best practices into standard operating procedures and teachthem to everybody.
  • Use plans and step-by-step checklists whenever possible.

To read the rest, click here!

Looking for some help to handle these problems, and more? Check out
the Tips and Tools on our website!


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August 26, 2015


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The Challenges of Managing Performance
August 24, 2015

Huffington Post

Why Do So Many Gen Zers Seem to Lack That Old-Fashioned “Followership?”
August 20, 2015

HRE Daily

Let’s Get the Career Conversation Started
August 19, 2015


What About Employees Who Sneak Out Early?
August 18, 2015


What About the Employee Who is Chronically Late?
August 13, 2015

Training Magazine Online

Management Challenge #15: When There is Conflict on Your Team
August 10, 2015


Solving the Problem of Problem-Solving on the Sales Floor
August 7, 2015


The Challenges of Teaching Self-Management
August 6, 2015



The 27 Challenges Managers Face is now available at


Unlocking the Power of Soft Skills

Gen Zers want managers who know who they are, know what they are doing, and are in a
position to help. They want managers who spend enough time with them to teach them the tricks and the shortcuts, warn them of pitfalls, and help them solve problems. They want managers who are strong enough to support them through bad days and counsel them through difficult judgment calls. They want to know you are keeping track of their successes and helping them get better and better every day. That’s what I call a “teaching style manager.”

We have developed and tested over the years —in our “career skills” and “managing your
boss” seminars with young people in the workplace— this strategy for teaching the missing basics:

  • Make them aware: Name it and describe what the skill means to the organization.
  • Make them care: Explore what the skill means to them.
  • Sell it: Explain the “self-building” value of the skill.

To read the rest click here!


Bridging the Soft Skills Gap is coming to a bookstore
near you September 15, 2015. Follow the links below to pre-order your copy today!

Amazon Logo

B&N Logo


Rainmaker Thinking’s video-based, automated, & continuous online training
program for managers and employees. If you haven’t tried Rainmaker Thinking .training please take a look by clicking here or call 203-772-2002 x101 for more information.


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