Category Archives : Soft Skills Training


How to Manage Tech Teams: Four Unique Rules for Success

In 2015, The New York Times published a damaging exposé on the culture of tech-giant Amazon. The Times reported that among many abuses, employees were encouraged to “Tear apart one another’s ideas in meetings, toil long and late, …and [hold] standards that the company boasts are ‘unreasonably high.’” This unsavory report left many grateful they [...]

VitalSmarts Blog

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How to Connect with an Aging Parent

Dear David, My husband struggles with how to engage in conversation with his mother. Mom doesn’t get out much and spends a lot of time with what we consider negative news. When we are together, she shares her opinions as facts. Often sweeping generalizations,”Kids today don’t learn anything in school,” or, “No one . . [...]


A 3-Step Plan for Turning Weaknesses into Strengths

Yan Wang, the former CFO of VitalSmarts, didn’t survive Mao’s China by taking outlandish risks such as questioning those in positions of authority. As our CFO, she did impeccable work with the highest ethical standards. But challenging the status quo was deeply unsettling to her — especially if it meant critiquing the actions of one [...]

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You’re Not A Good Enough Actor

In the early 1980s, I slowly transitioned from teaching MBA classes to designing corporate training programs. Surprisingly, with this change in focus, my design partners and I soon found ourselves in, of all places, Hollywood—not the glamorous version that produces dazzling movies, but the not-so-glamorous version that produces industrial videos. Here’s what took us to [...]

Be a good Actor