11 great Soft Skills to Accelerate Your Career
What are Soft Skills?
Soft skills are also known as interpersonal skills or personality traits. It helps you perform duties and teaches you how to work well with others. You could be born with certain soft skills, such as being a natural born leader. But they can also be perfected through training and mentorship.
Hard skills gets you hired. Soft skills gets you promoted
Hard skills are easy to measure. They’re easy to track. And although they might not be easy to improve, they are simple.
Soft skills, on the other hand, are far harder to measure—let alone learn. But skills like empathy and critical thinking are just as important to your success.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the 11 most important soft skills for your career and how you can learn them on the job.
11 Great Soft Skills to Accelerate Your Career
- Listen without interrupting
- Speak with a positive tone
- Pay attention to your body language
- Identify what other people care about
- Create stories that resonate with them
- Communicate those stories with brevity and emotion
- Listen carefully
- Understand what the other side wants
- Know your worth
- Then propose solution that benefit both sides
4. Relationship building
- Help others unconditionally
- Look for common interests
- Always add value before asking for something in return
- Take a genuine interest in other people
- Look at things from their perspective
- Acknowledge their feelings
- Never judge and always be supportive
- Be generous with your time and attention
6. Positive Attitude
- Never gossip
- Never complain
- Criticize sparingly
- Always speak well of others
- Avoid claiming all the credits
- Celebrate other people’s win.
- Praise teammates publicly and praise them generously
8. Conflict Resolution
- Avoid arguments and accusations
- Focus on solutions over problems
- Apologize unconditionally when it’s your fault
9. Emotional Intelligence
- Never act impulsively
- Take a step back when you are upset
- Understand what you are feeling
- Understand the consequences of your actions
- Then proceed accordingly
10. Time Management
- Learn to prioritize
- Learn to delegate
- Learn to say no
11. Work Ethic
- Always show up and deliver on time
- Take responsibility for your work
- Always keep your commitments
- Never deflect blame on to others
Break free from the We’ve always done it this way mindset. Be open to new ideas, whether they come from you or someone else. Organize brainstorming sessions with your team where you can suggest anything you think of. Then narrow down your ideas to the most impactful, possible, and relevant. Experiment as much as possible, then analyze the results to see if you should double down on that initiative or iterate.
Ask a lot of questions, even if you think you know the answer.
You’ll often be surprised at what the other person says. If their answer conflicts with your own, it’s a good sign to delve more deeply. You should also question basic assumptions. Look out for statements that start with As we know, It’s obvious that, and We can assume. Pause and say, “Actually, do we know that?” or “What’s the evidence for that assumption?”
If you take constructive feedback personally, you’ll have a hard time being coached. Remind yourself the other person is trying to help you professionally and that their words aren’t an attack on your skills, personality, or worth. (Sounds obvious, but it’s easy to forget in the moment.)
Always assume positive intent. In other words, give your team member or manager the benefit of the doubt. Believing they’re coming from a good place will make you more receptive to their recommendations.
Big problems are intimidating and will sap your motivation. Break them down into small, manageable tasks, which are simpler to tackle.
Plus, each one you finish will boost your motivation.
Work on developing these soft skills, and you’ll be successful no matter what you’re doing.