The IUP Journal of Soft Skills
Soft-Skills Training Interventions: Avoiding a 'Fight, Flight or Freeze' Response!

Article Details
Pub. Date : December, 2021
Product Name : The IUP Journal of Soft Skills
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJSS01221
Author Name : Michael Walton*
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Management
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 10



This paper introduces a number of frameworks which explore some of the deeply embedded, underlying psychological motives which can underpin a person's overt behavior. More awareness of such matters will enable the soft skills specialist to intervene with more insight, sensitivity and care. Particular attention is given to insights from the field of evolutionary psychology and how innate subconscious motivational drives influence overt behavior in the workplace. The importance of the drive for power and influence runs as a significant underlying theme connecting the material covered. A fuller awareness of such dynamics can facilitate greatly the effectiveness of soft skills training and development interventions. Whilst the material covered is directed towards soft-skills interventions, it has relevance for all those in positions of organizational seniority.


This paper introduces four frameworks which highlight some of the psychological motives which underpin overt human behavior. More awareness and a fuller understanding of what drives a person's behavior will enable the soft-skills specialist to intervene with more insight and in a more mutually beneficial manner.

The terms 'soft skills trainer', 'specialist advisor', and 'trainer' are used to describe the person who has the responsibility for enhancing the interpersonal skills of a colleague who is referred to as 'the client' in this paper. It may well be that the soft skills trainer or specialist advisor is the 'client's' line manager, a departmental leader, HRM specialist or another suitably experienced member within the organization. 'Client' is not used in any 'clinical' sense in this paper.

Supporting the development of a colleague's interpersonal skills is fraught with difficulty because few people like to be told that their behavior needs to change, or that