Develop and Improve Soft Skills

Category: Training and Education | Date: | Total Views: 7673

Soft skills are interpersonal skills. These are much harder to describe  and evaluate. While hard skills are job-specific, most employers are looking for similar soft skills in their job candidates. Soft skills include communication skills, listening skills and empathy, among others.

 It might be your hard skills that will get you to the interview, but it is the soft skill that will bring success in your career. Soft skills can be a deciding factor in getting and protecting your dream job. These skills not only affect your career, they can also impact your ability to successfully navigate through life. The best part is that soft skills develop through experience, and you have the ability to nurture them, given just a little structure, focus and repetition.

The best way to improve your soft skills is to practice, here are some of the methods to develop and improve your soft skills:

Communication is a vital
Interpersonal communication is the backbone of all soft skills. Whether it’s through emails, phone calls, or in person, you need to be a clear communicator. Some ways to improve this skill include:

Make eye contact and acknowledge everyone’s presence in the room
Be aware of your body language
Practice both formal and conversational speaking
Develop your writing skills and always proofread before hitting the “send” button

One of the things you’ll always hear employers looking for is a team player. Teamwork is a very important skill because not only does it show that you work well with others, but when a team works well together the result is always better. Some ways to improve this skill include:

Split up work evenly
Keep an open mind
Never make assumptions and always praise when possible
Make everyone feel important

Sharpen Your Creativity
Never check your creativity at the door. Creativity is always an asset in the workplace.  It can lead to many exciting and innovating activities, which are essential when working with a team. Some ways to improve this skill include:

Switch up your work environment
Make brainstorms a regular occurrence
Make sure you are well rested
Surround yourself with creative people

Accept & Learn from Criticism
This tends to be challenging for some, as it can be difficult to accept criticism. You should keep in mind that the person giving you their feedback has the best intentions and will help improve your work. Some ways to improve this skill include:

Listen carefully
Hold off on sharing your initial thoughts until you had time to reflect
Turn a negative into a positive
Learn from the person sharing their feedback
Be appreciative of their time, feedback and thinking

Be Adaptable
Adaptability is very important in the workplace and people who practice it regularly tend to be more understanding, reasonable, diplomatic and a strong leader. Being adaptable will also increase your ability to communicate with others and build strong associations, which is something every leader should possess to be successful. Some ways to improve this skill include:

Work ambiguity
Think creatively
Be open minded and non-judgemental
Be self-aware
Be flexible

Learn to Listen
The importance of public speaking is always spoken about, but it’s important to remember that listening is just as imperative. Genuinely listening to someone else helps improve relationships, solve problems, ensure understanding and much more. Some ways to improve this skill include:

Invest yourself fully in each interaction
Look at it from their point of view
Let them finish before you ask a question
Make eye contact

Have a Sense of Humor
While this may seem less important compared to the other critical soft skills listed, it is by far one of the most important skills. Laughing not only reduces stress, but it is essential when working with other colleagues and being overall successful in life. Some ways to improve this skill include:

Stay Positive
Find the “fun side” in everything
Make time for daily laughter
Learn some simple, business-appropriate jokes. Now that you know some ways to improve your soft skills, make sure you work on them every day. These soft skills are way to success, and will make you a unique candidate in any working environment.

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