8 Important Soft Skills For Career And Your Personal Growth
A hard skill like programming, marketing, and campaign management, SEO/SEM marketing, data mining, and mobile development may help you ace a job. However, soft skills will help you grow in a job. The term soft skills stand for personal traits and habits that shape your relationships at the workplace.
In 2017, a study by Harvard student David J. Deming concluded that jobs demanding soft skills or social skills have grown by 12% between the years 1980 to 2012 in the US alone. Another study by Deloitte Access Economics suggests that soft skill-intensive occupations will account for two-thirds of jobs by 2030. Recently, the Monster Future of Work: 2021 Outlook survey suggested that recruiters are keen to hire people with soft skills. However, they see a large gap in this area. Now you may think, why are soft skills important for any business organization? What are the soft skills important to excel in the career? Read this post to know the answers.
Importance of Soft Skills in Any Organization
Soft skills are important for any business organization for a variety of reasons.
- They help build human connections, which drive an organization.
- They help convince and retain customers, partners, suppliers, and other stakeholders within and outside the organization.
- These skills will help build strong and vibrant workplaces.
- They will help individuals in career progression and promotion.
- They are hard to automate and no business in the world can survive without them!
Having known the importance of soft skills in the organization, it is quite obvious to think about the type of soft skills to excel in an organization. Read the next section to know the answers.
Top 8 Soft Skills to Excel In Your Career
According to LinkedIn and Monster Jobs, the following are the top 8 soft skills that will help you excel in a career and build strong interpersonal relationships.
Verbal and written communication is the key to excel in the workplace. Communication skills boost your chances of building stronger relationships with your colleagues. They help minimize errors and maximize productivity at the workplace. If you can communicate how, what, when, why, and where effectively – there will be fewer worries, and more productive ideas coming your way.
However, hard you plan, there are unforeseen risks and challenges in every project. In such situations, your employers expect you to pivot, and find a suitable solution. According to Joel Garfinkle, the author of Getting Ahead: The Three Steps to Take Your Career to the Next, the workplaces are rapidly changing. Employers are on a constant lookout for people who can quickly pivot the change to salvage the situation and keep the work going.
The challenges are bound to arise every now and then within the organization. It entirely depends on how you would like to approach it: would you complain or would try to find a solution? If the answer is second, there are chances that you make the best impression on your manager or the top management. If you choose to complain, perhaps, you are losing on opportunities that may come your way. Knowing how to tackle a problem will make you the employer’s favorite. And remember, successful businesses are always lead by problem solvers!
There are all chances that you have heard lines of Julia Carney’s famous poem Little Things “ Little drops of water make a mighty ocean”. If you consider the workplace as an ocean, you can see that it is made of people with diverse skill sets and talents. The quality of work improves only when people use their skills and talents in collaboration to focus on a common goal. Knowing this, most employers always prefer team players who can contribute to healthy office culture.
Employers hire people who show exhibit creativity. Have you wondered why many businesses fail to make a mark after a certain time period? There can be several reasons, however, the lack of creativity can be one of the key reasons. One of the biggest examples being Nokia, which was the pioneer of mobile phones but failed to make an impact due to a lack of creative ideas. The businesses that fail to present creative ideas quickly fade into oblivion. As said before, these businesses are made of individuals who drive this creativity. So, you can understand how important this skill is? Creativity does not always mean presenting exceptionally brilliant ideas during team meetings, rather it can also be demonstrated through your approach towards certain problems, people, and conditions.
Conflicts are bound to arise in any workplace because it is made of different individuals. It all depends on how one navigates through these conflicts. Employers always prefer people who are good at conflict resolution. Being able to resolve disagreements constructively and amicably is a key leadership trait. The people who possess this trait are perceived as an asset to the organization and they help build and promote a healthy workplace.
A good negotiator makes a good leader – is a common conception. And yes, it is true to a large extent. A good negotiator is the one who understands the situations and makes the right decision. For instance, one of the team members may approach you for extending a deadline. Next, a client may be pushing you for quick delivery. The boss wants to cut down a marketing budget by 10%, which may affect your output. All these situations require different negotiation skills. Some people may choose a one-size approach to all situations. This approach may work in some instances but fail most times. This is because some of these negotiations need to be competitive, others are constructive or collaborative depending on the situation. So, the decision to be competitive, constructive, and collaborative, entirely lies with you and depends on the situation you are in.
Empathy and Emotional Intelligence
Empathy is a soft skill that cannot be taught, but it comes from within. However, you can cultivate it with time. Empathy forms the base of emotional intelligence. By practicing empathy, you can improve your awareness of people and their situations. This facilitates deep understanding and helps you build stronger relationships at the workplace. With the workplace becoming increasingly divisible, this trait will earn you a lot of respect and attention at your workplace.
How Can You Acquire Soft Skills?
Many of the soft skills listed in this post are inculcated in childhood, still, you can acquire them with time. You can practice the following habits and enrich them.
- Improve your communication skills, both written and spoken
- Be solutions-oriented rather than problem-driven
- Observe your colleagues and build an attitude that helps you interact with them effectively
- Observe their body language and try to pick the positive traits from them
- Practice patience and improve your listening skills
- Try to understand your colleagues and the situations they are in for effective navigation through work-related and personal problems
Every small effort made towards building, acquiring, or sharpening these skills will help you in a big way. Although you can also acquire these skills by observation and self-practicing, still, joining various soft skill courses online will help. Today, these courses are offered by different organizations and online learning platforms like Guruface. The tailor-made courses at Guruface help participants to strengthen their communication skills as well as build strong interpersonal skills. They are designed to bring out the best in learners. Both organizations and individuals can attend these courses to increase their chances of success.