Barrier Breakers Methodology for Soft Skills Development and Evaluation – or BBM – allows individuals and organisations to identify and remove the barriers blocking their potential, and to manage, develop and measure their soft skills.

When soft skills aren’t used to the max it’s because barriers are getting in the way.

These barriers limit access to our soft skills, and have a dramatic, negative impact on performance.

There are just 5 barriers that block all soft skills.

BBM defines these in Barrier Profiles.

The 5 Barrier Profiles (in brief)

Backward Focus

Backward FocusBreaking through the barrier of Backward Focus releases the soft skills that build leadership, including:

  • Independent judgement
  • Initiative
  • Adaptability
  • Reflection

7 reasons you don’t want Backward Focus in your organisation:

  1. It sticks to the status quo rather than having a vision
  2. It makes the system the sovereign rather than the servant
  3. It produces an inflexible culture that’s deeply resistant to change
  4. It puts limits on people’s potential
  5. It only works in a hierarchical structure
  6. It doesn’t explore new concepts or integrate them into working practices
  7. It maintains outdated assumptions and prejudices

Inward Focus

Inward FocusBreaking through the barrier of Inward Focus releases soft skills that build communication, including:

  • Teamwork
  • Empathising
  • Negotiating
  • Presenting

7 reasons you don’t want Inward Focus in your organisation:

  1. It corrupts communication channels
  2. It cuts off influence from outside the organisation
  3. It stifles innovation
  4. It shuts down collaboration and sharing
  5. It causes information and ideas to be withheld
  6. It produces a culture of self-interest
  7. It pressurises individuals with immediate, internal matters

Downward Focus

Downward FocusBreaking through the barrier of Downward Focus releases soft skills that build trust, including:

  • Confidence
  • Motivation
  • Concentration
  • Self-promotion

7 reasons you don’t want Downward Focus in your organisation:

  1. It produces hidden anxieties, leading to an undercurrent of uncertainty and fear
  2. It masks unhealthy behaviour
  3. It operates a blame culture
  4. It reduces input from quieter individuals
  5. It limits activity through risk avoidance and low failure tolerance
  6. It erodes confidence and reduces motivation
  7. It breeds oppressive behaviour, including bullying

Left Focus

Left FocusBreaking through the barrier of Left Focus releases skills that build creativity, such as:

  • Imagination
  • Problem solving
  • Intuition
  • Idea Generation

7 reasons you don’t want Left Focus in your organisation:

  1. It is driven by bureaucracy, rather than using it in a support role
  2. It bases decisions and evaluations entirely on tangible, quantifiable and short-term criteria
  3. It produces a rigid culture that is controlling and dehumanising
  4. It sees qualitative dimensions as non-essential to business
  5. It believes people are only motivated by financial incentives
  6. It relies on command and control, particularly in times of stress or change
  7. It restricts individuality

Right Focus

Right FocusBreaking through the barrier of right focus releases skills that build structure, including:

  • Decision Making
  • Time Management
  • Organising
  • Self-discipline

7 reasons you don’t want Right Focus in your organisation:

  1. It produces a chaotic atmosphere
  2. It generates many ideas that rarely come to fruition
  3. It lacks clarity, from ethos through to implementation
  4. It neither recognises nor respects others’ practices
  5. It can’t establish strong frameworks
  6. It wastes resources and frustrates people
  7. It hasn’t the necessary foundations for trust, risk-taking or loyalty