You have a reputation for being the best in your field but it amounts to very little if you don’t work well with others. Some of the most important professional skills for workers and employers can’t be taught in a classroom or measured via analytics. These traits are often called soft skills and are imperative to the success of your job search.
One reason soft skills are so important is that they help facilitate a human connection. Recruiters anticipate that they will see the biggest gaps in communication, problem solving, critical thinking and dependability in potential candidates.
What Exactly Are Soft Skills?
Hard skills can be proven and measured but soft skills are difficult to quantify in the same way. Some relevant examples of soft skills include analytical thinking, verbal and written communication in addition to leadership expertise. You can be the best at what you do but if your soft skills are not up to par, you are limiting your chances of career success. Read on to learn which soft skills are critical to have and what steps you can take to acquire them if necessary.
Relevant Soft Skills
Written and verbal communication skills are important because they set the tone for how you will be seen professionally within the workplace. It can also improve your chances of building long term relationships with your colleagues. Communication skills can boost your overall performance because they enable you to extract clear expectations from your manager so that you can deliver excellent work on a consecutive basis. Workers are more productive when they know how to communicate with their peers. If you can clearly express who, what, when, where, why and how of a project, you will become in demand.
A company’s success is rarely dependent on one person doing everything by themselves (unless you are a freelancer or small business). Success is the result of many people working towards a common goal. When employees can combine varied talents, it can only help the company succeed. Employers rely on valuable team players in order to help build a friendly office culture which helps retain employees and in turn attracts top talent. Being able to collaborate well with your co-workers in turn strengthens the quality of your work deliverables.
Soft skills can help you manage reality on a day to day basis. Successful leaders know how and when to be flexible. Sometimes you need to be able to pivot and find different solutions to various issues that arise. Employers need workers who can adapt to shifts and help to keep the company current.
- Problem Solving
When something goes wrong, you can either complain or take action. Nothing is a given and companies rely on problem solvers when it comes to navigating unexpected challenges.
- Critical Observation
Data analytics don’t mean much if you don’t know how to interpret it. How can you determine relevant patterns? Companies need critical thinkers who bring a fresh perspective and offer intuitive solutions in order to help the company get ahead by improving internal processes. To become a critical observer, you need to analyze information and put it to use. One tactic is to try to identify relevant patterns of behavior. Does your supervisor read the weekly sales reports? What was their reaction to bad news during the staff meeting? By observing how people respond to the constant flow of information you can better understand the critical aspects of improving business operations.
- Conflict Resolution
Any time there is more than one employee in a business, there is going to be conflict. Being able to resolve issues will help you maintain relationships more effectively. Constructively working through disagreements with people is a sure indicator of professionalism as well as leadership potential. Someone like this helps to promote a healthy and collaborative work environment.
Bringing confidence and a clear vision to the table can help influence your co-workers and get them on board with your ideas. Displaying leadership skills help you gain visibility within an organization which can lead to more opportunities for promotions. Bosses and managers are looking for employees with leadership potential because those workers will one day be taking over the reins and building on the company’s legacy.