How to hone your soft skills without MBA?
Generally speaking, A2As are great technically but suffer when it comes to "soft skills." Conversely, MBA Associates (obviously) lack technical skills but generally do well when it comes to "soft skills." As an A2A promote, I am deliberately focused on improving my "soft skills" but have found it difficult to do so while being stuck behind a computer screen for 12-16 hours a day with minimal interactions outside of work.
I am not someone one would consider "awkward" or notably lacking in social/soft skills; however, my skills in this arena have atrophied significantly over the past 3 years due to WFH, lockdowns, behind a computer screen all day, etc.
I am wondering if anyone has any advice on how one could best acquire the soft skills typically developed through an MBA program, without actually doing one. Realizing it would be impossible to fully simulate an MBA without actually doing one.
My current approach to this is simply (1) engaging in as many social interactions outside of work as possible and (2) reading relevant books (How to Win Friends and Influence People, The Laws of Human Nature, etc.)
Would greatly appreciate anyone's take on this subject, as well as any recommended readings. For A2A promotes who are now VP, MD, etc., how did you work on honing your "softer" skills?