Soft skills are a combination of relationship, leadership, and people skills. They refer to how well you can get along with your colleagues, as well as your collaborating and communication abilities. They also include your characteristics like optimism, hard work, motivation, and the can-do attitude that you bring to work. The lack of these skills can cause problems and hurt the workplace atmosphere. Hard skills may help you get a job, but soft skills will assist you in getting ahead and getting along. With this information in mind, use these seven essential soft skills to help you in advancing your career.
Working as part of a team in a department, division, brainstorming meeting, and on various cross-function projects is vital for your career advancement. Teamwork helps you build your resume, contribute positively to your organization, and build rapport, which deepens the working relationship you have with clients, employees, and your superiors. Teamwork makes it easy to build connections, network, and find new opportunities that will help grow your organization. Being part of a team means you listen actively, clearly communicating your ideas to the team, and using a professional but friendly tone.
2. Emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize, manage, understand, and reason with emotions. Employers may not openly admit it, but this is one of the most sought-after soft skills at the workplace. Today, more people are focusing on company culture and teamwork, positioning emotional intelligence at the heart of high performing teams and organizations. You must tame your emotions and never allow yourself to get out of control, and be ready to take an honest look at yourself to understand your strengths and weaknesses.
Creativity is commonly associated with painters, music composers, and novelists, but not all creative thinkers are artists. In business, creativity means the ability to come up with something new. Every employer seeks an employee who can come up with new ideas and bring new perspectives to the workplace. Perceiving patterns that are not obvious can help you save the company money by carrying out tasks, solving problems, and meeting challenges that would have otherwise been a headache for your employer.
When a course or plan is not working, your ability to quickly see the problem, solve it, and change course will come in handy for your organization. The world is always changing, and the businesses will experience a shift in their market that requires you to change and adapt to new styles. If you are too rigid, you may end up costing your employer money the company would have saved. As long as there are uncontrollable factors in the business environment, including laws and economic factors, it’s necessary to remain flexible and adaptable, always looking at the best course of action for your organization.
No list would be complete without this vital soft skill. The ability to communicate clearly and effectively with colleagues, superiors, and customers is essential no matter the industry you are working in. Learn to listen actively and ask the appropriate question to better understand what others are saying, know their needs, and the proper way to respond. Maintain eye contact, have a firm handshake, and positive body language to encourage others to speak openly with you. Say enough in a friendly but professional tone and remain empathetic, confident, respectful, and open-minded. Also, learn to give clear, constructive feedback and accept positive criticism and feedback from others.
6. Stress management
It’s generally accepted that a small amount of stress is good for you because it helps you stay motivated and adds a sense of urgency to what you are doing. With the fast-paced world we live in today, it’s natural to have too much stress, which, if not appropriately managed, can affect your health and work. Being able to manage your stress levels ensures you remain rational, socially sensitive, approachable, controlled, and calm. This creates an environment that’s easy to work in, whether you are working on a project by yourself or with a team. Whenever you find yourself stressed, look for relaxation methods such as yoga to blow some steam and keep you relaxed.
Soft skills are not as easily learned as hard skills, but you can learn every soft skill item on this list. Dave Magnani at M&A Executive Search suggests that nurturing your soft skills will open doors to new jobs, promotions, and helps you to succeed once you achieve your career goals.