Soft Skills are a combination of behavioral and personal attributes that are difficult to quantify. Soft Skills cannot be taught in classrooms and are more crucial to your career growth than you think. Unlike hard-skills, they can’t be measured but, can be proved.
According to research, ideal professionals have effective soft skills. As per a study conducted in 2016, 90% of the top-level professionals rated soft skills as the most important skill in their employees.
Soft skills are key in building relationships and reputation. They are necessary for excelling in your career and make it easier for you to unlock more career related opportunities.
In this post, I will share with you the 8 most important soft skills that will help you in accelerating your career growth:
(1) Communication Skills
- Effective communication skills are important as they help you interact effectively with clients, customers, co-workers, etc. and build strong relationship with them.
- Having effective communication skills will create a positive image, boost performance, improve productivity as you can solve problems quickly, build reputation and the list goes on. If you are able to express your ideas clearly, if you can explain the solution to a problem, if you can describe the project, you will be assumed to be an expert in your work.
- If you think your communication skills are not up to the mark and if you are looking for ways to improve your communication skills, I would suggest you the following:
- Speak in English: Speak in English for 30-40 minutes with your friend or someone close.
- Practice: Be consistent and practice every day.
- Improve Vocabulary: Read anything that you love and practice 3-5 new words that you encounter.
- Both, spoken and written communication are important for your career and overall growth.
- An overlooked communication skill is active listening. Many times, I have observed people interrupting others and not letting them finish what they were saying. Let people finish and then speak.
- I have created a list of important skills which are crucial for your development and growth below. Click on them to know how can improve and become a better you:
(2) Problem Solving
- Another decisive soft skill is Problem Solving. Organizations need employees who think out of the box to tackle problems they face. The ability of knowing how to solve a problem can be of great advantage and increase chances of growth.
- Problem Solving is a step-wise process and is combination of various other skills as follows:
- Analyse: If you or your team have/has encountered a problem, take time to understand it. A problem might sound really challenging, but, will be a minor issue.
- Identify: After you have understood the problem, think about its possible causes as there may be one or more factors causing the problem. If you aren’t sure of the causes or are facing it for the first time, research about it and the possible causes.
- Create a plan: When you have all the possible causes, create a plan as to how you will solve it. Some problems will be solved in a single tweak here and there, whereas, others require more complex implementations.
- Execute: Once you have a proper plan set up, execute your ideas and see if that solves the problem. If not, you can change the plan and try other techniques. However, if you research thoroughly, understand the root of the problem, then you can set it right in the first attempt.
- Helping others to solve their problems, determines your ability and your growth, as well. The more problems you solve, the stronger your problem solving skills get.
(3) Team Work
- Team work is the ability to work with the team to achieve common goals. Team work is significant to organizations for achieving business growth and expansion.
- Great teams have strong relationship among the team members, they strive for growth and learn together. Individual members must respect, care and maintain the privacy of each other. Great teams improve by helping members, encouraging them to tackle problems on their own, understanding their roles and correcting and learning from mistakes.
- Great teams have seniors that the juniors can look up to and learn. Team members expect to learn from their seniors, get respected, feel cared for, etc.
- When you are or someone is working on a tight deadline, partnership with colleagues and their skills will help to complete tasks with efficiency. Ideal teams focus on the overall development rather than an individual’s development. Team work improves the culture and environment of the workplace.
- Dear readers, would you like a team that is like above or a team in which you are bullied, made fun of, have repelling seniors and which does not respect your privacy? Let me know your valuable comments.
(4) Leadership Skills
- Many organizations look for employees that can take the initiative and solve problems on their own and help their team in doing so. Leadership skills are crucial for many businesses.
- Good leaders help their team to become better, inspire them for growth and success, are passionate to learn and calmly handle problems.
- Many people don’t realise they are good leaders until an opportunity presents itself. If you have the passion to learn, you are motivated to help others become better, you can direct others to solve their problems, are cool and composed under pressure and inspire others for growth, you can become a good leader.
- To lead you need not be the manager or team lead. Even if you are an apprentice, you can help, guide, encourage and inspire others.
- Influential leaders have an ability to let people stick to their strengths and help them overcome their weaknesses. They take the responsibility of setbacks and credit their team for success. They back their team members and encourage them to improve their skills.
- Leadership is not limited to professional life. In your personal life, you can take charge of a meditation session, yoga class, etc.
- Responsibility is not discussed much but is an important soft skill to have. Take responsibility of mistakes rather than blaming others. Employees who take responsibility are more productive, more successful and more trustworthy.
- If you fail to complete a task on the given deadline, take responsibility of it and try to complete the task at the earliest rather than finding excuses.
- Hold yourself responsible if there are mistakes, errors, etc. Take the initiative to correct them and send the accurate file to the client, customers, colleagues, etc. If you have been assigned a task, it’s your responsibility to complete it before the deadline and with no mistakes.
- This trait makes you stand out from others who play the “blame game” and establishes trust in the seniors.
(6) Time Management
- Another major soft skill is time management. If you have been assigned a task, try to complete it before the deadline. Employees who have exceptional time management skills complete their tasks on time and are able to prioritize them.
- If you strive to complete all the tasks at once, you will end up getting stressed. Identify which tasks are important and complete them first.
- For instance, if you are expected to deliver a report tomorrow, it must be the most important task. Complete it before others and once it’s completed, you are free to work on the second most important task and so on.
- Strong time management skills highlight other key areas such as goal setting, focus and stress management.
(7) Work Ethic
- Work ethic are the principles you follow in your daily life. It includes aspects such as punctuality, dedication, discipline and taking responsibility.
- Strong work ethic helps in order to build trust of your seniors. You may be required to do work outside of your expertise and it will only show your willingness to complete work regardless of anything.
- The most important characteristics of string work ethics are as follows:
- Punctuality: Being on time denotes responsibility and dedication to get the work done. Aim to arrive 15-20 minutes before the start time as this will let you get your things ready and maybe have a cup of coffee. (I love coffee!) Punctuality is easy to achieve yet many don’t do it. This exhibits discipline and how much you value the job.
- Meeting Deadlines: A person with strong work ethics will aim to complete the work before deadline. No matter what the situation, their focus will be on getting the work done. Some even work a little extra to complete their work. Such people are labelled as “achievers” as they complete the work no matter what.
- Error-free Work: Another indicator of a strong work-ethic is submitting error-free work. If you love to complete a task accurately, even if it takes a few extra hours, you have a strong work ethic. These types of employees grow faster as their seniors know that this person will do every work without errors.
- The world is changing rapidly and so are the skills required at your job. You should be willing to learn newer technologies.
- You should react to the ever-changing world and learn new things that will help you solve problems in a better way.
- Employers are looking for employees who can adapt to changes and trends and are proactive in learning how to deal with them by learning, attending seminars, doing research, etc.
- If you are working in the computer field, learn new technologies, programming languages, web technologies, analytics tools, etc.
- Adaptability is also marked by your curiosity. The more curious you are the more you are ready to learn. Learn regularly! If you have learnt a new thing, pass it on to your colleagues. This encourages holistic development of the entire team rather than an individual.
This video by skillopedia will help you learn more about the soft skills. Do watch it! It’s really helpful!
- Soft Skills are a combination of behavioral and personal attributes that are difficult to quantify. Soft Skills cannot be taught in classrooms and are more crucial to your career growth than you think. Unlike hard-skills, they can’t be measured but, can be proved.
- Along with the hard skills, they are important for career growth.
- The following are 8 important soft skills that will help you accelerate your career growth:
- Communication Skills: Effective communication skills are important as they help you interact effectively with clients, customers, co-workers, etc. and build strong relationship with them.
- Problem Solving: Organizations need employees who think out of the box to tackle problems they face. The ability of knowing how to solve a problem can be of great advantage and increase chances of growth.
- Team Work: The ability to work together to achieve a common goal while respecting, taking care of and supporting each other.
- Leadership Skills: Organizations look for employees who can take initiative and solve problems on their own. Good leaders help their team to become better, inspire them for growth and success, are passionate to learn and calmly handle problems.
- Responsibility: If you have been assigned a task, take responsibility to complete it before the deadline and without mistakes. If you make mistakes, take responsibility of the mistakes, rather than blaming others.
- Time Management: Time management is the skill to prioritize tasks and complete them in order of urgency. Employees with strong time management skills are able to identify important tasks and complete them first.
- Work Ethic: Work ethic are the principles that you follow in your daily life. It includes aspects such as punctuality, dedication, discipline and taking responsibility.
- Adaptability: Employers are looking for employees who can adapt to changes and trends and are proactive in learning how to deal with them by learning, attending seminars, doing research, etc.