“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”–Helen Keller
So you want to play well with others? Sure, of course, it is essential to be successful in all your human interactions. Today I am writing about the use of soft skills as they apply to work, but they are also relevant in all our relationships.
People skills, what are they? They are the way we interact with each other. Using soft skills when we communicate, help us to be effective.
Effective communication, I feel, is the most critical. All other soft skills are connected and dependent on your ability to communicate.
Being able to communicate effectively is vital. What message are you trying to convey? You want to be able to verbalize in such a way that everyone can understand. Included are both verbal and non-verbal skills.
The words you use, the ebb and flow of your voice and clear pronunciation all contribute to your ability to communicate. Are you talking at a noise level that everyone can hear you? Is the tone of your voice exciting? How you speak can be fascinating, mesmerizing, or just plain dull.
Just as important is your non-verbal communication. You may be saying something, but your body language is sending a different message.
Perhaps you are speaking in a soft tone, and the subject is being considerate of one another. People hear one message, but when they look at your facial expression and they way you are holding your body, they see something different. Are you clenching your fists and have a closed-off expression or angry face? People will notice.
When you speak, either one on one or in front of a group, you want to be relaxed and confident. You want them to be drawn in by what you are saying. Eye contact, facial expression, a relaxed smile, your personality, and the passion you have for what you are saying are all important. These are all soft skills.
Soft skills are necessary to interact effectively with people. In the workplace that includes the employees you work with, your boss, clients & customers, and vendors. It includes person to person, telephone, email, social media, and written communication.
Soft skills include the ability to listen. Included is being able to read the body language of the other person and asking clarifying questions. Being able to make eye contact and perhaps lean in toward the other person indicating your interest is also included.
Soft skills are sometimes intuitive if you are lucky. They are skills that you can assimilate over time. You can sit in a class or meeting and read a manual or book, but you will not be able to apply them the next day.
You have to practice and develop soft skills until they become natural. When that happens, then you will become effective using them.
Self-motivation is a soft skill. If you have a positive attitude and take the initiative without supervision, it shows you are committed to doing well, and you are reliable. Self motivation is a highly valuable soft skill to have.
Being a team player and being able to motivate others in your team is a soft skill. It indicates a clear vision on your part of the importance of working together and being successful.
The ability to problem solve. Not everyone can do this. It is dependent on your attitude. You have to want to solve the problem, and you have to be able to analyze it. It also requires the ability to work with others and be able to communicate your thinking effectively.
Another valuable soft skill is flexibility. It is easy to settle into a comfort zone, and being flexible is important because it shows you are open to new challenges. You are willing to learn new things. It shows a great attitude, and it is valuable to your employer.
Time management is an essential soft skill. The ability to understand your responsibilities each day and put them into a logical order so you can complete them is a skill. Not everyone has that ability. it is a skill that makes you more productive and more valuable as an employee.
Developing soft skills should be a goal for everyone, each individual and each business. If you want to be successful they are essential. Soft skills can improve your ability to negotiate and network, bring your customer service to the highest level, as well as the level of effectiveness of your communication.
Having excellent soft skills is the extra ingredient needed to find, attract, and keep customers. As an employee your soft skills will make you valuable and help you advance. As a company, it will help you become and maintain a respected and successful business.
As always, thank you for reading my blog. How are your soft skills?