THA 133: Why Soft or Life Skills Training Matters for Business Success

The panel says that soft skills training helps build a stronger, flexible and harmonious organization. Leadership training is not just for the leader today. Everyone can benefit from being a better listener, which is the #1 soft skills or life skills training we all need to have.

In support of your work to build an enduring business culture one of the best tactics you can implement is soft skills or life skills training. Consider the message in this episode as an important component to building your enduring business culture.


Judi Haglin and husband Dana own Haglin Automotive Inc., a full-service auto repair shop in Boulder, CO, and they’ve been leaders in the Boulder auto repair industry since 1981.

Judi and Dana have a super working relationship and they pay attention to details, share a core value; ‘Everyone Speaks’ that is part of their strong business culture.

They received Motor Age’s Top Shop honor in 2015. Key to their success is they know their roles and together make a strong business owner. They say, “Fixing cars is secondary, we are primarily solving our customer’s problems”. Look for Judi’s previous episodes HERE.

Kyle Holt is the President of S/P2 ( S/P2 serves businesses and career tech schools in the automotive service, collision repair, heavy-duty/diesel, welding, construction, cosmetology, and culinary industries. S/P2 is used by over 175,000 students and employees every year across North America.

S/P2 provides industry-specific, online training in safety, environmental, ethics, human resources, and soft skills. S/P2 also works to help entry-level technicians enter and stay in the industry with S/P2 Careers – the largest resume database of entry-level technicians – and S/P2 Workplace Mentoring – a systematized mentoring system to train and track the progress of entry-level techs.

An entrepreneur with a strong background in e-learning and web-based systems, Kyle is passionate about providing businesses and career technical schools the ability to utilize technology to improve the lives of students and employees everywhere. Listen to Kyle’s previous episodes HERE.

Jeff Peevy, President of the Automotive Management Institute (AMI), a 34-year industry veteran who has spent the past 20 years involved with education and research.

Jeff discusses and drives home an important strategy on ‘Building A Learning Culture’ in your business. This episode can be distilled down to four words: Let’s Go Learn Something! Listen to Jeff’s previous episodes HERE.


Key Talking Points

  • AMi survey
    • Over 80% of employees still employed over five years when listening, communication and interpersonal skills are possessed by team members. They were rated above average or excellent in these soft skills.
  • Soft skills training also helps at home and in personal relationships and with retention
  • The boss may lack these skills which make him/her difficult to communicate with
  • 83% believe that soft skills training will help their business
  • We hire for skills and not for attitude and soft skills   
  • SP/2 attacks this issue from a CTE perspective (Career Tech Education) programs
  • Soft skills will most likely win the interview than tech knowledge
  • Are your people coach-able? Then can learn soft sills
    • Not hard to teach computer skills
  • Judi has a game night once a month. It is a safe place where anything can be discussed
  • Soft Skills starts with the owners and leadership and should include shop managers, service advisors and technicians of all levels
  • A good mentor should have great soft skills
  • Jeff Peevy says listening is the single most important   life skill to learn
  • Talking and listening is not communicating
  • Soft skills training is easier than technical training
  • Keep in mind soft skills don’t appear in high school or college curriculum’s
  • We are no longer fixing cars but satisfying customer needs
  • Your ‘great place to work’ is steeped in a great culture driven by soft skills training
  • Soft skills can be viewed as Life Skills or Survival Skills at both home or work
  • Soft skills training is not generational in need. It is universal
  • Judi says the millennial generation is demanding soft skill training
  • Jeff Peevy, in a survey without exception, is a leader had to some workers go, they would keep the millennial
    • They have grown up with the rate of change and technology
  • In our industry, we usually look through technical lenses, but we need to learn how to look through the ‘life skills’ lens.
  • Great story, from Judi, about an applicant who arrives without a pen. Give them one, a red pen. So when you review the application in the future the red ink signifies they came unprepared to complete an application
  • Instructors in CTE have challenges to help their students not only find their first employer but the right employer.
  • You learn professionalism and if is developed with soft (life) skills training



  • A special thanks to Judy Haglin, Kyle Holt, and Jeff Peevy for their contribution to the aftermarket.
  • Books Page HERE
  • Leave me an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one of them.

Facebook   Twitter   Linked In   Email

This episode is brought to you by Jasper Engines & Transmissions. When a car’s engine or transmission fails, it’s not the end of the road. A re-manufactured drive-train product from Jasper Engines & Transmissions will give your car a new lease on life. JASPER has over 2000 Associates, three manufacturing facilities, two distribution centers, and 45 branch offices across the country. They’re all working to produce, transport and deliver the perfect product. That’s what they do best… keep customers happy. Visit

About the author, Carm Capriotto, AAP

Carm is the founder and host of the Remarkable Results Radio Podcast and the pioneer of automotive aftermarket podcasts. Carm calls on his years of experience in the aftermarket to bring engaging stories from his guests.

Listen to raw, unfiltered, honest, and sincere stories that include insights, trends, best practices, and expertise. Each interview brings an opportunity to learn one new thing through the stories of personal achievement. Many podcast guests tell their story of transformation from working in their business to working on it.

As host of over 1,000 episodes, Carm uses his enthusiasm and passion for the aftermarket especially the service sector to take his listeners on a journey showcasing successful service professionals’ paths to Remarkable Results. He also enjoys interviews with aftermarket industry thought leaders who bring their industry perspectives to his listener.

Follow the podcast on your favorite podcast listening app and always listen to learn just one thing!