10 soft skills that can help you get ahead

Credit to Author: Murali Murthy| Date: Wed, 21 Aug 2019 21:38:41 +0000

Beyond great credentials, soft skills give you the edge

Soft skills are essential at all times in one’s life. On the career front, beyond solid credentials like a degree, work experience, and professional references, it’s your soft skills that ultimately help you get your foot in the door at your dream job and get ahead in your career.

Here are 10 effective strategies to improve your communication, collaboration and other soft skills to make you indispensable.

1.  Good Communication

Both written and verbal communication skills are of utmost importance. They set the tone for how people perceive you and help you build great relationships with co-workers.  Good communicators articulate their ideas well and win over the approval of other people.

How to improve:

  • Always speak with confidence
  • Write clear and compelling emails
  • Articulate with clarity to co-workers and clients
  • Pitch an idea to your boss, create a persuasive presentation

2. Problem Solving

A problem solver helps to promote a healthy, collaborative workplace. Good problem solvers are able to analyze challenges and work toward solutions, either alone or in a group. That’s why companies rely on problem solvers to navigate unexpected challenges.

How to improve:

  • Discuss a problem calmly and objectively with a team
  • Examine how a problem affects different constituents
  • Come up with possible solutions and evaluate each idea
  • Make a plan to carry out the solution

3. Proactive Attitude

Change is a constant in any given workplace. Consequently, employers need workers who can adapt to industry shifts and keep the company current. Individuals who demonstrate a strong proactive streak are able to strategize, organize and deliver results.

How to improve:

  • Push yourself to be an early adopter of change
  • Stay focused on deadlines and ahead of trends
  • Balance simultaneous projects and shifting priorities
  • Develop a project plan that includes goals, resources, and a timeline

4. Teamwork

A company’s success is rarely dependent on one person doing something all by himself/herself. Success is the result of many people working as a team towards a common goal. When employees can synthesize their varied talents, everyone wins.

How to improve:

  • Be a team player who helps to build a friendly office culture
  • Collaborate well with your co-workers and strengthen the quality of their work
  • Generate goodwill by lending a hand when you see a co-worker in need
  • Offer to share ideas and train new people

5. Digital Awareness

Digital proficiency is the ability to navigate 21st century technology to accomplish a task.  When you have digital and social media awareness, you know how to use the right technology for the job, so you can work as effectively and efficiently as possible.

How to improve:

  • Empower your projects with a rich social media strategy
  • Identify social media platforms that can help you do your job better
  • Create engaging two-way conversations with online audiences
  • Use these channels to maximize productivity at your workplace

6. Creativity

Creative people enjoy exploring possibilities. They can think outside the box to generate original ideas and solutions. Creativity always enables you to learn new things on the job.

How to improve:

  • Brainstorm groundbreaking ideas and solutions, either alone or in a group
  • Ask questions to uncover new ideas
  • Keep an open mind as you evaluate possible solutions
  • Solve problems that at first glance might seem unsolvable

7. Agility

When you’re agile, you’re able to adapt to a changing work environment. Mental agility allows you to go with the flow, embrace complexity and stay curious. Interpersonal agility helps you stay open-minded with others, which brings out the best in everyone.

How to improve:

  • Adapt to new or unfamiliar work situations
  • Meet deadlines and other expectations, even when conditions aren’t ideal
  • Make quick decisions with confidence
  • Focus on a project, even when outside factors threaten to distract you

8. Positive Outlook

When you have confidence on the job, you believe in your ability to tackle tasks and goals that you may not immediately know how to do. You can count on yourself to find the help and resources you need to proceed.

How to improve:

  • Maintain a positive outlook when challenges arise
  • Communicate clearly and assertively with co-workers and supervisors
  • Celebrate your achievements and communicate them to upper management
  • Serve in a leadership role

9. Self and Social Awareness

As productive and competent as they may be, industry professionals are human beings with feelings. Monitoring your emotions and being aware of how others are feeling are invaluable skills to have in the workplace.

How to improve:

  • Self-reflect and learn from past mistakes
  • See things from someone else’s point of view
  • Collaborate effectively with a team
  • Build strong, trusting relationships with co-workers, clients, and supervisors

10. Drive

People with drive are able to keep themselves motivated to reach a goal. And even when obstacles arise, they keep on going toward the finish line.

How to improve:

  • Make progress on projects in the face of adversity
  • Work toward a promotion
  • Bounce back after setbacks and failures
  • Persevere even when the going gets tough