Soft skills are necessary whether you have just graduated college or have been in the workforce for years and are trying to move ahead.
Why are Soft Skills Important?
People do business with people they like, people build relationships with people they like, likability is so important but what exactly does that mean? Below are the qualities that make us likable.
The easiest way to explain the difference between hard and soft skills is that hard skills are tangible skills that you learn to gain your degree or any job-specific skills. They are learned through training or practice.
Soft skills are the skills that are needed to effectively relate and solve problems with other such as communication, listening & empathizing skills. Soft skills are not industry or job specific, they will help with all aspects of life.
We made a list of 10 soft skills that can help to get that promotion, advance your career or relate better with others.
Communication & Listening
We need to be able to effectively communicate with inside and outside teams in presentations. Clearly being able to distill a complex idea into understandable language whether verbal or written will help you in countless ways.
Actively listening and getting feedback from others will help you to refine an idea. Being able to give and take feedback is necessary to make positive changes when necessary. Each of these skills is so important because they are all linked.
Each one builds on the other and ultimately helps in many aspects of relationships and communication.
Problem Solving & Flexibility
Most things do not go as planned and flexibility is necessary to pivot to find new solutions when problems arise. Often we have limitations and have to work within those confines which means that the most creative problem solvers will come out on top.
Always try to have a possible solution before bringing it up to someone such as a superior. Being flexible is beneficial in showing others that you can keep your cool in challenging situations.
Inspire & Motivate
A positive person that can motivate and inspire others to be their best is a trait that will get you noticed. We all know or have seen people that are really motivating.
Some are able to get others excited and move them in productive ways. Positive people are solution oriented and able to effectively collaborate with others to move projects forward. Visit the article Everyday Motivation in 5 easy steps.
Trust & Integrity
People need to earn trust from others and the best way to earn that is to have integrity. You have to mean what you say and keep your word. You need to communicate in a way that others feel heard which is why empathy is such an important skill.
These traits will make it much easier to be liked and are incredibly important to show that you can be a leader. You should want what is best for the entire team and give others the opportunity to grow. These are qualities that will show that you are capable of creating a team that trusts each other.
Respecting those you work with is another way to build trust. Talking with respect when disagreeing is a skill that will help coworkers and partners listen and hear you without being defensive. All of these skills should be practiced on a regular basis.
A strong work ethic is basically really caring about your work, wanting it to be consistently high quality. Not sloppy or half-assed. Having the character to do the best job you are able and taking responsibility for any problems that may arise.
The reason that many companies prize people that have studied in the humanities/ arts is that it helps people to be creative thinkers. If everyone looks at everything with the same perspective, there won’t be as many creative solutions.
The different backgrounds help people come at situations from many different angles and point of views. These differences help to make mundane problems more interesting and you never know where that may lead!
Key to Soft Skills
Self-Awareness is the key to learning these skills. If we can’t look at ourselves critically and see where we are strong and where we fall short, how will we ever be able to improve? Look at our actions and how people respond.
Could we have been more respectful? Do we really listen or talk over others? Do we complain and wait for others to offer solutions? Some traits are more natural than others but they all can be learned. We just need to really look at how we interact with others and refine our actions.
We are all a work in progress!
Check out this online class about Soft Skills!
“It is not the strongest or most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” – Charles Darwin
These 2 books, Principles by Ray Dalio and Emotional Intelligence are Amazons top picks to learn more about Soft Skills.