What Are Soft Skills
What does a customer service representative, a psychologist, and a construction manager have in common? Although they are from different professional backgrounds, they all rely on critical soft skills to complete their everyday work duties. Skills such as communication, time management, and critical thinking are all an essential part of their jobs. But what are soft skills?
Soft skills often include your personality and your attitude in a work setting. They are a type of skill that allows you to work effectively with others in the workplace. These are skills you get to learn and develop over time through different life experiences such as school or work; you do not need a certification or document to earn these skills.
The best benefit of soft skills is that they are transferrable skills, meaning you can apply these skills to almost any job or other parts of your life. Here are some examples of soft skills:
Different Types Of Soft Skills
- Communication: presentation, effective listening, storytelling, writing, collaboration
- Problem solving: observation, imagination, questioning, troubleshooting
- Leadership: conflict resolution, decision making, mentoring, empathy
- Time management: organization, stress management, planning and scheduling.
Besides technical knowledge, employees need to know how to handle different situations that arise in the workplace – like suddenly receiving a handful of different assignments or conflict between team members. A combination of both hard and soft skills is essential to have in any workplace.
How To Improve Your Soft Skills
Identify Your Soft Skills
You probably have plenty of experience with soft skills you are probably not even aware of! Everyday activities such as having conversations, planning your schedule, and making different decisions involve using soft skills – communication, time management and decision making.
Different jobs in different industries demand a wide variety of different skillsets. But, certain soft skills can be applied to almost every single industry. There are a lot of soft skills that you can choose from but, focusing on 1 or 2 important soft skills that you use daily can potentially help you be more efficient and productive at work. Figure out which soft skills are beneficial to you in your current work scenario.
Learn About Your Soft Skills
Once you’ve identified the soft skills that would be most beneficial to you, the next step is to learn more about them. From books to online learning modules, there are many resources available to you about mastering soft skills. Online platforms such as YouTube or LinkedIn Learning can provide easy and interactive ways for you to learn more about your skills.
Practice Your Soft Skills
It’s one thing to learn and read about soft skills but applying what you learned to everyday scenarios is how you really improve on them. If you have been learning about how to create a planner to improve your organizational skills, buying the items needed (like a notepad, sticky notes, pens, and highlighters) and creating a daily planner can help you become a better organizer. Or, if you have been trying to become a better communicator, you can practice body language, listening effectively and other things in your next conversation with your peers.
Soft skills are an essential part of the workforce today. Mastering your own soft skills can help you become a better manager, supervisor, or employee in any industry.