10 must have soft skills in any industry
Soft skills are often the most underrated or unmentioned skills that people possess. Things such as teamwork, clear communication, listening, and more are skills we learn not only at work but throughout life. And whilst technical skills are important within particular roles, soft skills are important in literally every single job you could possibly think of.
Here are some of our top soft skills and how you may be able to work on them to enhance your chances of success at work! These are in no particular order, purposefully, as some skills may be more important to your job than others.
Many workplaces will involve discussions about what to do. These could simply be brainstorms or they could be more pressing issues that require a decision to me made or a disagreement to be resolved. Logical discussion is necessary to allow yourself to be part of the conversation without letting your emotions rule your input. By letting emotion rule, you may end up with more conflict, missing out on other ideas and potentially no real resolution. If there is a resolution that you disagree with on an emotional level, logic should help you see at least why that decision was made and let you get on with your work, rather than stewing over something that is annoying you.
Now, emotions aren’t bad, and they should be considered but they should not always be the foundation of decision making or serious discussions. A great way to keep logical is to count to 5 or 10 seconds in your mind if you feel eager to respond in anger or frustration. Methodically think about your position and arguments and why you think that way. If it all makes clear sense, go on and share your thoughts!
I’m sure you’ve heard it before, that communication is key. And it really is. Effective communication can help in business relationships tremendously. It can help create excellent morale if leadership transparently communicates to all staff so that everyone feels included and valued. It can help you individually, to learn more and to improve your skills and work ethic. If you ever find yourself unsure of a task, be open and ask a question. If you ever feel out of the loop and would like to be informed about something, ask the question respectfully. If you have some information that could be helpful or potentially detrimental to someone else, share that information thoughtfully. If you think someone is doing a great job, let them know. If someone is struggling or appears to have performance issues, ask them what’s going on.
Great communication is grounded by being honest and thoughtful. It will help you be successful through gaining trust and respect. Great communication skills are often admired and appreciated as they often reflect someone who has interest in others and is not just out for themselves.
At some point in your career you will likely have to work with others or within a team. It’s important not to have a ‘lone wolf’ mentality at work to avoid unnecessary conflict! There are times where you will need help or other people will need you. Often, there are better results when working together. Not only can more be done in less time, but teamwork also encourages fresh ideas and approaches. Teamwork isn’t always easy, especially for people who work at different paces or have different standard qualities of work, however, by working on other soft skills mentioned in this article you will discover the right harmony within your team.
Listening is a helpful skill that enhances our communication. By truly listening to others we are able to process other people’s needs and come up with the best solutions for them. We can also understand how people prefer to communicate and begin to explain things in terms they will fully comprehend. Listening carefully seems like an easy skill but it requires some mindfulness. Don’t listen to respond, just listen to what the person is saying and be present in the moment. If this means your response is a little delayed, that’s fine, because it will be a much more considered reply.
Self-motivation is super beneficial, especially in changing times when working remotely is becoming more prevalent. Or as teams become spread out across different states and even countries. As individuals we need to be self-starters who know exactly what it is that sparks action and motivation within ourselves. Otherwise you might fall behind on work which would cause stress and lower standards of work. The trick is to find out what works for you, whether that be a strict routine or a unique motivator.
Personal responsibility is the best thing for self-improvement and self-respect. Firstly, owning your responsibility is a helpful self-starter. Secondly, if any mistakes are made, you will be able to easily identify your errors and avoid them in future. You will also be able to own up and take responsibility for your actions which others will respect, and you will personally grow from. Self-reflection and letting go of perfectionism can help with taking personal responsibility.
Problem solving is something we will all need to do at some point! Problem solving takes some logical thinking and thinking outside of the box. It’s important to be innovative and to think about all the possible options. If you are struggling with problem solving it can help to take a break, a short walk, or having a conversation with a friend. It can also help to use teamwork and logical discussion to solve problems and avoid taking on all the difficulties yourself.
The skill to lead and take control when necessary is not something everyone thinks they are capable of. But you definitely are, it can just take some time and self-confidence to learn. Being a strong leader can help guide people in uncertain times, it can also help motivate and get the best work from people. Being a leader is an important role and one that is vital to the morale and culture of workplaces and teams. Leadership can come naturally to some, but it always takes time and experience to build a strong leader.
Self & other awareness
Would you consider yourself an observant person? Can you read a room? Do you know when spirits need to be lifted or if you aren’t allowing other people to speak? Are you aware when your requests are in a short time limit or if they are communicated clearly? Do you appreciate the hard work of others? Are you wondering why I’m asking a bunch of questions?
Self-awareness and awareness of others including their behaviors and emotions is all about asking questions and realizing our own capabilities and how we can impact ourselves and each other.
Compassion may not be the most obvious soft skill to have, but it can help in more ways than one. Most importantly, it will allow you to see things from other people’s perspectives which is great for conflict resolution, problem solving, leadership, communication, listening, teamwork and decision making. It also helps to have compassion for yourself, in times of personal error, or other difficult times that are out of your control, it’s important not to give yourself too much of a hard time and to allow yourself some space and time for improvement. Compassion is important to bring a human element to all business dealings and remember you are always dealing with real people who all have their own story.
- By Erica Genda
- 4 months ago
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