Soft skills are the skills you possess that go beyond your technical, measurable abilities. Soft skills focus more on your social, leadership, communication and problem-solving skills, among others. While hard skills are composed of the training and knowledge you’ve grown during the course of your career, soft skills are how you work with others and on your own. Although soft skill are more personality-based, you can still improve them.
Managers hire individuals for their teams based on their experience and how they present themselves during the interview process. They may strive to build a well-rounded team of people who will help their department and the entire company succeed. Both hard and soft skills are important to consider when making hiring determinations and deciding who earns leadership roles and promotions. In this article, we share what soft skill are and how you can improve yours so you can stand out.
Team Inspiring Life provides you with 5 steps to develop soft skill.
5 steps to develop soft skills
1. Emphasize teamwork
When you engage in good teamwork, you show your employer that you are great at collaborating with others. Teamwork could occur in a group setting for a presentation or one-on-one with another coworker to complete a shared task. During a shared task or daily responsibility, allow each member of the group to contribute their share and celebrate the different skills and personalities of the group. When you emphasize teamwork, you open yourself up to learning opportunities from your coworkers while improving your own skills.
2. Build positive relationships.
A lot of the soft skills you use in the workplace rely on the relationship you have with other employees and managers. You can build positive relationships with your coworkers by engaging in a genuine conversation about their weekend plans, family, hobbies and interests. Try to find ways to connect with them over a shared experience. If you work in a department with multiple people, consider asking everyone if they would be interested in going out for a group lunch on Friday.
Stepping away from the office is a nice way to be able to connect with them on a personal level. This may assist you professionally because you’ll know their personality a bit more and have the ability to understand how it factors into their work ethic.
3. Get ready to learn
As you go through your process of improving any soft skill, you may encounter setbacks, but you’ll likely encounter many successes too. In either case, what’s important is that you learn from them.
For example, if you are in charge of a project and are working on your leadership and collaboration soft skills, consider taking time after the project is complete (or even in phases during it) to gather feedback on your leadership and how the project could improve next time. The people you work with are best able to evaluate how the project went and offer their feedback based on prior experiences.
4. Observe others.
One of the strongest ways you can improve your soft skills is by observing others around you. This can mean paying attention to managers, coworkers and employees from other departments. Observe the way they complete a task, including how they interact with others and their individual process, which may involve many soft skills. It’s important to be open to learning from others, as everyone comes to the workplace with their own set of hard and soft skills.
5. Work through conflict.
It’s not uncommon for there to be conflict in the workplace, but how you work through it is what matters. When conflict arises, think of alternate ways to resolve it so you can continue your relationship with co-workers, learn from each other and continue to be productive as teammates. All members of the organization benefit from a collaborative work environment, and you can display your abilities as a team player and capabilities as a leader.