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Buzz Blog
April 08, 2015
Keywords:
Career Growth
Management Soft Skills
Soft Skills
Soft Skills List
Soft Skills Training

It might be your hard skills that get you the interview, but it’s the soft skills that bring you success in your career. Soft skills are your personal capabilities that determine how well you work with others, job performance, communication and all of the other things that make you different from every other expert in your field. While your technical expertise is very important, soft skills are much harder to teach. These can be a deciding factor in getting and keeping your dream job. In this post, we’ll outline nine soft skills that will make you successful in your career or in the classroom, and some tips to help you develop them further.

Communication is Key

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

Teamwork

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 or in the classroom.  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’re well rested
  • Surround yourself with creative people

Accept & Learn from ALL 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

Motivate & Keep a Positive Attitude

It’s important to remember that nobody wants to work with a “Debbie Downer”. You should always keep a positive attitude and try your best to motivate the people around you. If you’re excited about something, get others excited about it too. Some ways to improve this skill include:

  • Be optimistic
  • Be resilient
  • Make laughter a part of every day
  • Prioritizing will keep you on track
  • Don’t wait for happiness

Multi-task Effectively

Multi-tasking is an amazing asset that saves time and boosts productivity. Just like with most soft skills, the more you practice multi-tasking, the easier it will be to figure out how to complete your tasks in the most efficient way possible. Some ways to improve this skill include:

  • Group together related tasks
  • Define each task before starting it
  • Keep your to-do list in sight
  • Use downtime wisely
  • Plan ahead

Be Adaptable

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

  • Welcome ambiguity
  • Think creatively
  • Be open-minded and non-judgmental
  • Don’t overdo it
  • 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 ‘funny side’ in everything
  • Always remember it could always be worse
  • 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 nine soft skills combined with your education are the perfect recipe to success, and will make you a unique candidate in any classroom or working environment.