Everyone dreams of becoming successful in the workplace. But, most of the newbie entrepreneurs or employees quickly give up. They are not able to handle stress, setbacks, and strained relationships with their clients. It requires a strong command over soft skills. These include how you manage your work, your ability to solve problems without getting stressed, and how you interact with your colleagues.
But, this does not mean you cannot learn soft skills. In this article, we will discuss some skills you should know before you start your entrepreneurial journey or apply for a new job to overcome the problems you face.
Soft Skills: Definition and Importance
Soft skills are not the technical skills or the knowledge you have. They are your habits or personality traits and reflect your behavior in different situations.
Here is a list of the five most popular soft skills:
- Communication skills
- Work ethic
Soft skills are an essential part of the resume, and to communicate successfully with people at all stages in your life.
Let us discuss the five most important soft skills and learn to implement them in your life.
#1: Communication skills
Communication skills are required for career growth and are part of every interview process. You need skills to communicate your ideas to others, handle your team, colleagues, and staff without creating any conflict.
Here are a few communication skills that you must have:
Good listener: If you want to be a good communicator, you should develop a listening ability. Listen carefully to what other people want to say, and ask questions to clarify your doubts. You will understand better and will respond appropriately. Also, try to convey your message in a few words only and do not over talk.
Body language: Maintain proper eye contact (look into the eyes but do not stare), relaxed body (open arms), and friendly tone of voice during a conversation.
Friendly attitude: Both verbal and written communication should have a friendly tone. It will help you to engage in honest communication with your co-workers.
Be confident: Be confident in whatever you say. Conveying a message with confidence shows you believe what you are saying and make it easy for everyone to trust you.
Be empathetic and open-minded: Respect and listen to other people’s opinions. Follow a flexible approach during a conversation, and do not impose your thoughts straight away.
Feedback: Always give and accept constructive feedback. If you are doubtful of the feedback, ask appropriate questions to find answers to queries.
The medium of communication: Pick the right medium to communicate. For example, if you wish to talk to a busy person, leave him a message. Similarly, if you want to talk about salary or resignation issues, communicate in person.
#2: Problem Solving
It refers to solving complex and unexpected situations and challenges at the workplace or in business quickly and effectively. You may be an industry expert to fix an issue on the spot, possess good research abilities, and possess good team management skills to find a long-term and practical solution to a problem.
Research is an essential part of any problem-solving. It involves identifying and understanding the cause of the problem. If possible, brainstorm with your experienced team members or look for online resources to enhance your knowledge.
You must identify and provide an effective solution to the problem in as little time as possible.
Here are a few tips to enhance your problem-solving skills:
- Explore and volunteer for new projects related to your qualification. You can take up projects either at your workplace or for another organization.
- Practice how you will solve the problem that may arise in the future and whether your solution is appropriate or not.
- Observe the techniques used by your skilled and experienced problem solver colleagues.
Creativity is a broad field. It includes both soft and technical skills and helps you to find innovative ways of doing tasks. You may even develop new and exciting business ideas or strategies. Creativity is part of every role.
Open-mindedness, the ability to plan, observe, and learn from others, and curiosity to explore new skills, are a few of the related creativity skills.
Adaptability means how easily and quickly you adapt to changes. If you work in a tech field or start-up where changes occur frequently, then learn this skill. Changes can take place at any time, either during work or with clients you work.
Adapting to new situations and methods of working will give an edge over others.
#5: Work Ethic
Work ethic means completing tasks on time without compromising on the quality and following your duties. In this way, you establish a strong and positive relationship with your employer, client, and colleagues. Most of the time, people like to work with a motivated person and a good learner rather than a skilled person who lacks motivation.
Doing your work attentively with full determination and proper time management are a few work ethic skills to master.
How to Improve Your Soft Skills
Soft skills develop over sometime during life and hence are difficult to teach. But you can learn them with experience and practice.
Here are a few tips following which you can improve your soft skills:
- Select a skill you want to learn and practice it daily.
- Observe people who possess soft skills in your area of interest. Practice and implement what they do in your daily routine. For example, you can watch how communicators behave during meetings. They take down notes to organize their thoughts. It helps them to understand the topic better and ask and answer questions effectively.
- Set measurable and achievable goals. Monitor your performance by asking your trusted friends and colleagues for constructive criticism. You will be able to prioritize your strengths and weaknesses and work accordingly.
- You can improve your soft skills by enrolling in online classes and reading books. Both free and paid resources are available. You can try and select which suits you the best.
Soft or non-technical skills affect your performance in the workplace. If you are looking for a job, then employers will want to hire and retain you. So, highlight your soft skills whenever you apply for a job and also continue to develop them.
It is possible that you already possess these skills from your experience. You can also learn them by volunteering in various activities during your job or enroll in a skill development program.
Share in the comments below which soft skill works the best for you.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Preeti Shah
Preeti Shah (author) from Delhi on November 28, 2020:
Thank you Nidhi mam.
Nidhi Gautam from Mumbai on November 28, 2020: