At the Rotman School of Business within the University of Toronto a voluntary modular program is offered within the MBA program. The so-called "Self Development Lab" provides feedback-based learning at developing communicative, interactive and interpersonal skills.
"Just knowing your stuff and having a track record is probably not enough to rise to those senior level jobs," says Scott Rutherford, Adjunct Professor at Rotman. "It's who you are--and that's where we are trying to break new ground on this personality side of finance professionals."
Rutherford says the more senior one gets, the more one delegates work to direct reports, and the need for "soft skills" or skills of personality become even more important as influence and leadership become front and center. And while "soft skills" have always been around, he explains, what is changing is the degree to which we believe the skills are changeable. "We, alongside a few other disciplines, are saying growth and development can be accelerated."
Educational institutions, says Rutherford, are not set up to deviate from hard skills and technical training and thus this is why there are not more...