The following is an article “Nurturing Your Soft Skills: A Must in Business” by Marc Primo.
As how business evolves through time, so do employers’ preferences in choosing new hires to work for them. LinkedIn, through its Annual Global Trends report, attests to this and how soft skills are what most companies look for today in a candidate. In other words, even the most traditional vocations we know like clerical and technical ones require a certain amount of creativity, positivity, time management and other such skills to get the job done.
Though soft skills play a vital role in how a candidate lands a job, this doesn’t mean that hard skills are off the market and remain to be the meat of one’s résumé. Soft skills only took the business spotlight when technological advances called for human elements that artificial intelligences can’t produce or perform. Entrepreneurs need to humanize certain aspects of their business to remain relevant, appealing and relatable to their target markets and that’s where soft skills come in handy.
Companies need abled bodies who not only showcase the expertise they’ve laid out on paper, but can also think outside of the box, possess good communication skills, and is a team player. How do you nurture your own soft skills? It’s actually easier than you think.
Polish how you communicate. One of the top priorities for employers in terms of looking for soft skills in job candidates is hiring someone who can effectively communicate verbally as this can build strong relationships. Loyal customers, good collaboration, and the effective management of expectations are born out of having good communication skills. Improve the way you speak by taking the lead in work presentations, joining public speaking communities, and even just by engaging your colleagues in conversations.
Lend an ear. Good listeners who are able to absorb information thoroughly and actively participates in every interaction is a major plus for employers. Being attentive and able to comprehend complex subject matters leave little room for misunderstanding in the workplace. Practice your listening skills by making eye contact, being conscious of your body language, and appropriately responsive. If necessary, clarify by repeating what you’ve heard from those you talk to so they can confirm if you understood things correctly while giving them due regard by genuinely listening.
Pick up a pen. Another aspect of communication which employers look for in jobs is one’s writing skills. The ability to draft quick emails, memos, and business letters improve your chances to rise above the corporate ladder as it shows how you are always thinking on your feet. A few things that you need to do to make your writing impressive is by strictly proof-reading what you write (at least twice), check your grammar, and request for feedback from other people. This way, you can develop your own style of writing and even widen your vocabulary in the process.
Appreciate your EQ. Many reports have already proven that most of those who make it to the top of the corporate ladder have a high emotional quotient (EQ) and are able to inspire others and boost morale. This makes EQ one of the top soft skills that employers look for in job candidates and comes close to intelligence and technical skills in terms of business significance. However, this is one that’s quite hard to develop as some qualities can be innate per individual. What you’d want to do is try to minimize pessimistic emotions, learn to manage stress and pressure well, and develop the patience when interacting with difficult people. ‘80s American singer Bobby McFerrin sums it up well when he sang “Don’t worry, be happy”. Just be cool about everything and know that there’s always an opportunity to rebound from every fall.