“Soft skills have more to do with who we are than what we know.” -Marcel M. Robles
Soft skills are the intangible attributes that help individuals effectively interact and communicate with others. While technical skills are essential for many careers, it’s often the soft skills that can make the difference between a good employee and an exceptional one. Employers are increasingly looking for employees who possess a well-rounded skill set that includes both technical and soft skills. Soft skills can have a significant impact on your career, and there are many reasons why it’s important to develop them.
Communication is a critical soft skill that can benefit you in all aspects of life. Being able to communicate effectively will strengthen relationships with colleagues, clients, and customers. Expressing your thoughts and ideas effectively will increase efficiency and build teams that can be productive and collaborative.
Developing strong soft skills, such as empathy and emotional intelligence, can help you to become a better leader. With these skills, you’ll be able to understand your team’s needs, build strong relationships with them, and create a positive work environment. Leadership is not just about managing tasks, it’s also about inspiring and motivating people.
Active listening skills are an essential aspect of many careers, and soft skills can help you to excel in customer service and working across teams. Being able to listen mindfully, you can better understand your customers’, managers, co-workers’ or stakeholders’ needs.
Listening, communication, and empathy will all help you overcome challenges, which will give you perseverance and determination that keep you motivated in your career. Developing these skills that you may likely already have is still important as we grow and evolve throughout our professional and personal lives.
Here are some tips to help you get started:
Practice Active Listening – Listen carefully to what others have to say, and respond appropriately. Active listening involves paying attention to both verbal and nonverbal cues.
Seek Feedback – Ask your colleagues, supervisors, or mentors for feedback on your soft skills. This can help you identify areas for improvement and build upon your strengths.
Learn to Manage Stress – Stress can negatively impact your soft skills, so it’s important to learn how to approach it with patience and practice self care. Find what works for you when dealing with stress by being aware and leaning in to what you are feeling. You can try breathing techniques or find the chance for some movement, but you have to discover what feels authentic and effective for you.
Take Courses or Attend Workshops – There are many courses and workshops available that can help you develop your soft skills. Consider taking a course in communication, leadership, or time management to improve your skills. Really learning anything and being in a classroom setting can help you practice your soft skills. Try something fun that you will enjoy and not necessarily be thinking about your career the whole time.
“You cannot continuously improve interdependent systems and processes until you progressively perfect interdependent, interpersonal relationships.” -Stephen Cove
Use these questions to think about your own unique soft skills…
𝑊ℎ𝑖𝑐ℎ 𝑠𝑘𝑖𝑙𝑙𝑠 𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑒 𝑛𝑎𝑡𝑢𝑟𝑎𝑙𝑙𝑦 𝑡𝑜 𝑦𝑜𝑢? Do you love talking to people or are you amazing at organizing, or both? Do you love finding the solution to a problem or making that sale?
𝑊ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑑𝑜 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑎𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑦𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑙𝑖𝑓𝑒 𝑑𝑜 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑝𝑟𝑖𝑜𝑟𝑖𝑡𝑖𝑧𝑒? Do you want to focus on making money, working remote, having more energy, feeling passionate about your role?
𝑊ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑒 𝑑𝑜 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑓𝑒𝑒𝑙 𝑠𝑡𝑟𝑜𝑛𝑔 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑐𝑎𝑝𝑎𝑏𝑙𝑒? What do you have the most experience in? What are just good at without thinking too much about it?
Here are some examples of soft skills that will benefit you, your career, and your relationships…