Posted August 19, 2021
6 Effective Tips on Improving Soft Skills
There is a perception of greater emphasis on hard skills in contracting and employment, such as data analysis, computer programming, financial designations, or project management skills. However, a candidate’s success in a role is also predicted by that individual’s soft skills.
Soft skills are less tangible qualities, unlike hard skills, and are equivalent to ‘social intelligence’ or ‘people skills’ or ‘interpersonal skills.’ Examples of soft skills include:
- Time Management
Soft skills are vital for one’s success in the workplace and are often hard to identify and work to improve. For this reason, the BeachHead Team has gathered six tips to improve one’s soft skills.
Tip 1: Seek Feedback
One of the first steps in improving one’s soft skills is identifying which soft skills require improving. The best and most effective way to achieve this is by asking a manager or coworker what soft skills could improve. Often external sources are the best judges of one’s soft skills. Through these sources, one can reflect and effectively implement a plan to enhance any soft skills which require work.
Tip 2: Effectively Communicate
All soft skills incorporate communication to a lesser or greater extent. For this reason, the first step to improve any soft skill is to learn how to communicate and demonstrate this skill to others. For example, suppose an individual is seeking to strengthen leadership skills. In that case, that individual needs to learn how to use the best form of communication, whether that be supervisors or coworkers.
Tip 3: Build Relationships
Much like communication, positive relationships are a pillar of any soft skill. An individual must build genuine connections with all kinds of people in order to be considered a valued team member. Genuine connections can be developed by building personal relationships through support and camaraderie in the workplace. Simple ways to build relationships in the workplace are to ask questions related to personal interests, perhaps starting with a fundamental question of ‘what did you do on the weekend?’ and then remember the details so that you can build conversations from there.
Tip 4: Get Out of the Comfort Zone and Learn
In any form of self-improvement, one must release themselves from their comfort zone. A comfort zone, specifically pertaining to the workplace, is where one feels confident in all areas to do their job with ease. By stepping outside of one’s comfort zone, an individual can enter a zone of learning. While there is a greater risk of failure, the reward is improving oneself. Regarding soft skills, an individual can learn through communicating in new ways or building connections with other team members.
Tip 5: Seek to Adapt and Work Through Conflict
Once out of one’s comfort zone, a part of the learning process is adapting to changes. Although adaption is a soft skill on its own, adaptability is also a vital aspect of many other soft skills because it allows individuals to improve their versatility and overcome adversity. Through this, an individual can also work through conflict positively, as conflict resolution is a foundational aspect of improving one’s soft skills. Conflict is inevitable within a workplace but listening and understanding another’s perspective will assist an individual in finding common ground and finding amicable solutions.
Tip 6: Self Reflection
Through actively seeking to improve one’s soft skills, an individual must employ self-reflection. By reflecting to see how intentional changes in one’s work are inflicted with positive or negative effects, one can make the necessary adjustments to continue to grow. Journal writing is an excellent way to self-reflect, set goals, and reflect on improvement in soft skills.
There you have it! The six tips needed to improve one’s soft skills in the workplace. Just remember that soft skills improvement takes time and hard work. Improvement is often a mental battle where barriers in comfort and fear must be hurdled to achieve one’s goals. Moreover, there is no end to improving one’s soft skills. Any person can continue to grow and improve as time goes on, and no soft skill is ever fully mastered.
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