Unfortunately, soft skills are not something every person is aware of. In fact, many people have never even heard the term, despite them being so important in today’s workplace.
In order to gain employment, and successfully maintain any job, you will always need a variety of skills, regardless of the industry you work in. Builders need to be able to lay foundations, chefs need to be able to cost menus, and doctors need to be medically qualified.
However, moving past these technical skills, when you’re selecting a builder or a chef, which one do you choose? Do you select the person who is friendly, informative and patient? Or do you choose the one who is rude, ignorant and blasé about your importance to them.
This is exactly why soft skills matter. Because no matter how qualified you are, or how fantastic at your job you are, you can only sustain and gain success by having excellent soft skills.
Your technical ability will more than likely get you a number of possible career doors to open, but people skills not only help you open those doors, but enable you to gain access to many other doors full of opportunity and potential for excellence.
Having an excellent attitude towards work, fantastic communication skills and a good level of emotional intelligence are vital soft skills that will help you gain career success.
What Are Soft Skills?
Soft skills are basically how you communicate with other people and behave around other people. Your manners, the language you use, your inflection, friendliness, the way you manage and lead people – all of these things are soft skills.
Why Do They Matter So Much?
Soft skills matter because they enable you to not only gain from opportunities presented to you, but they in turn present you with opportunities as well. Excellent soft skills mean you’re able to lead effectively, solve problems well, delegate with ease and motivate others around you.
How Do I Know If I Need To Work On My Soft Skills?
People with a high level of emotional intelligence often naturally have excellent soft skills and find activities like team building, leading, problem solving and conflict management easy. However, those with a low emotional intelligence or self-awareness may struggle with these tasks and therefore struggle to make their way up the career ladder.
You may need to work on your soft skills if:
- You don’t do well at networking or gaining customers and clients, and if you do gain a client you struggle to keep them on board.
- You often end up in small or large conflicts with colleagues or management, perhaps sometimes without even being aware of why.
- You struggle to handle customer service situations well when the customer is irate or angry.
- You have a high staff turnover in your business, and don’t tend to retain staff for long, despite the wage and working conditions being desirable.
- You have plenty of team leaders and managers, but no one within the company truly leading anyone else, meaning the company has a lack of soft skills overall.
With remote working and alternative working scenarios becoming commonplace in today’s world of work, soft skills are even more important than ever. You may have to perform conflict resolution or an interview over Skype, or lead a team via conference calls. Your communication levels are always going to be tested in one way or another, so interpersonal dynamic is not something that cannot be ignored. As well as this basic need for excellent interpersonal skills, if you want to gain a more senior position in your company, jump industries or simply retain your job, it is imperative you boost your soft skills.
I Need To Work On My Soft Skills, What Do I Do?
Make use of today’s technology and get researching, you will find tons of blogs and YouTube videos providing useful information in relation to emotional intelligence and soft skills. You will need to recognise both your strengths and your weaknesses to succeed. But as long as you are honest with yourself, you’ll be making career progress before you know it.