Have you ever wondered why you would lose a job you’re seemingly so good at? Or why your co-workers complain about you, despite your exceptional technical skills? Contrary to popular belief, being an expert in your field does not guarantee you regular employment. There is more to a job than just expertise, you must also fine-tune your soft skills.
Soft skills are fundamental if you want to sustain good working relationships. Sadly, they are commonly ignored skills. You have probably spent years comprehensively developing your technical skills in your field of expertise. But few people take the time to understand and develop their soft skills, despite the fact that they are arguably as important that their technical skills. If you’re already developing your soft skills, then you’re already on your way to success. If you haven’t begun yet, or you’re not completely sure what soft skills are, you’ll want to read on.
So, what exactly are soft skills? How will they help you in the job environment?
What Are Soft Skills?
There are two types of skills that a job seeker and worker should have – hard and soft skills. Hard skills refer to your expertise in your work field. The job market and employers are consistently searching for such skills. Consequently, individuals take a lot of time to develop them to boost their competitiveness.
Your hard skills will get you an interview and subsequently a job too. But what is required to keep that job? This is where soft skills come in. Soft skills are broader and arguably much more critical than hard skills. They are your personal attributes which determine how well you get along with people, your career prospective and overall job performance. Some of the principle soft skills include:
- Common sense
- Sense of humor
Such personal attributes are what you need to stay focused and motivated in your job. There are also other vital skills which should help you relate well with your colleagues. These are the skills you need if you want others to maintain a positive attitude towards you. They include:
Unlike hard skills, soft skills are not developed in colleges. You can only enhance yours through constant self-development.
Why Soft Skills Are Important
When you were a child, your parents probably reprimanded you if you treated your siblings or friends wrongfully. If you thought that was harsh, brace yourself for an even more stringent job market! Poor soft skills will get you fired and win you a couple of bad recommendation letters. Your hard skills are the concrete you need to build a successful career. Your soft skills on the other hand, are the man power required for the concrete to be turned into one solid building.
Your soft skills will not only help you in interacting with your colleagues, but also your clients. A client cannot trust your expertise regardless of how good you are, if you cannot effectively relate to him/her. Your colleagues and supervisors also need a sociable and reliable worker who can effectivelly work in a team. Team work is definitely not possible without good communication and leadership skills.
How To Build Soft Skills
Compared to hard skills, soft skills are relatively easy to develop. Start by focusing on and improving your communication and listening skills. Learn how and when to use, oral, written and nonverbal communication. This should be accompanied by good listening skills since you should also be able to perfectly understand instructions. A good course which can help you achieve this is The Secrets of Body Language.
Additionally, you should take initiative to improve your leadership, interaction and social skills. Some courses which can help you in this include the Healthy Thinking, Lifestyle Development, and Everyday Mind Mastery (FREE) courses.