Have you heard the term ‘soft skills’? It’s life skills that make you an effective and positive employee and are most in-demand and sought after.
So just what are these elusive little gems? They include leadership, self-awareness, emotional intelligence, learning ability and communication skills. Ahhhh you say? That doesn’t seem too hard!
The tricky part is how do you make sure you can show them off when the time is right. Here are some ideas.
1. Listening Can Be Your Secret Weapon
Listening can be the best way to build trust and strong relationships with the people you work with. (and at home!) When someone starts telling you something don’t let your mind wander onto what’s for dinner or how differently you would have handled their situation. Make it about them and ask questions, but listen more than you talk.
2. Take Accountability & Do What You Say You’re Going to Do
We all know what it feels like to stuff up at work and how hard it is to own up to it. Much easier to make excuses, blame someone else or just plain ignore it right? How about agreeing to something and then not following through with it? Been there and done that right.
Well being accountable, while it can be scary, is a great way to build trust and a reputation for having strength and integrity. Follow up and those tasks and learn from those mistakes. You’ll be glad you did.
3. Be Creative & Resourceful With What You’ve Got
When life (or work) throws you lemons … well we all know how that one goes, and the meaning behind it.
Use your creativity and resourcefulness to turn disadvantages into advantages, by focusing on what you have and what you can build with it. A skill like that is a stand out in any work environment.
4. Know What You’re Feeling
Don’t let your emotions control your actions at work. If you’re having a bad day it’s best to take a nice deep breath and work out where it’s coming from, before you let lose and let the boss have it. Maybe you’re sad and not really angry, or being afraid can make you seem over excited. Acting on pure emotion can be a disastrous way to make decisions, for obvious reasons.
Talk to a friend or colleague and get a second opinion. Take 5 minutes to breathe and relax then ask yourself, what’s most important.
Empathy for others is a natural state for some people, while others sometimes have to work on it. To build empathy a great way is to explore things that allow you to grow and connect with other people from different walks of life. Taking these experiences back into your work can help you to better understand and empathise with your work mates, as well as feel more comfortable in your own skin.
Have you tried volunteering or travel, or how about furthering your education or attending some cool local cultural events? Go as far and as wide as you can … you just might end up having more in common with people than you ever thought.