When it comes to the workforce, there’s previously been a lot of emphasis on...
When it comes to the workforce, there’s previously been a lot of emphasis on the skills you can offer directly related to your job and competency levels, these are what you can refer to as hard skills – things such as your ability to draw or design if you’re an artist, analyse data patterns if you’re a statistician etc. However, over the past couple of years, there’s been a greater level of importance and attention given to soft skills, which essentially help maintain or improve the work environment through relationships within the workplace.
In this article, we’ll take a look at a few key soft skills that you can learn to help you function better in the workforce and perhaps in your personal life as well.
Yes, this does seem quite obvious and some might say cliché however, communication, both written and verbal is the base of everything we do and is a must-have skill for everyone. You may be great at showing your hard skills at work, however, it’s the ability to present them and express them effectively that makes the ultimate difference. Beyond the work itself, communication with your co-workers or teammates allows you to create a relationship that, over time, will increase team morale. Clear and transparent communication reduces confusion and frustration and ensures that everyone is on the same page, working towards the same goals.
Ambition and drive
Most things in life are results-based and this is especially true in the workplace. Results are key drivers to progress, one thing to learn about results is that they’re mental as well as physical. From a mental point of view, one’s ability to constantly get results will demonstrate their resilience and mental fortitude because achieving results isn’t easy and this will communicate how determined one is about reaching their goal. However, that determination and drive is largely based on your ability to plan what you want to achieve and stay the course, creating small to big goals will help you maintain your focus. Results, no matter what the level, are usually indicators of someone who is driven and hardworking.
Teamwork Makes the Dream
No job is done in isolation, irrespective of how singular it may seem. Sports such as tennis, golf or boxing are reliant on an individual to go get the result, however behind that is a team of people that have put in their undying dedication and effort to achieve that result. In any work environment, you’ll be required to work with other people and more often than not, the synergy within that group will determine the level of output. You’ll never escape having to work with people, so you’re better off getting good at it than choosing to ignore it. Be a team player, be willing to help where you can. It’s important to see the big picture and understand how your role in the team contributes to the end goal.
Attitude and outlook
You know the saying “Your attitude, determines your altitude”? Well, there’s a reason why it’s a saying if you believe that you’re above reproach or generally have a negative outlook on how you do things, it’s highly likely that you’re going to fall flat on some of the things you want to achieve. Having a positive attitude can help you overcome obstacles that might have seemed unlikely and even rally your co-workers and teammates together.
Be personable but don’t take it personally
You’ll never be able to control what people do, think or feel however you can control your thoughts and feelings. Being polite and making sure people have pleasant experiences with and around you can play a key role in establishing your voice and prince around your team. Usually, you’ll hear people saying things like, “ they’re such a joy to be around”, that’s one of the marks of someone who is personable. Being polite, courteous and empathetic, will be never wrong – on any scale.
Remember that soft skills aren’t meant to be used as a tactic, these are skills that we can and should use in all aspects of our lives, so make sure you’re more aware of yourself and how you relate and interact with people. There’s no perfect way to ‘achieving’ soft skills, it will always be trial and error but the awareness of self and others is the best thing you can do to try to improve on these skills as much as possible.