What are soft skills?

27 October 2017 | Education

Unlike hard skills, which can be proven and measured, soft skills are intangible and difficult to quantify. Some examples of soft skills include analytical thinking, verbal and written communication, and leadership.

Basically, you can be the best at what you do, but if your soft skills aren’t cutting it, you’re limiting your chances of career success.

Soft skills for your career

1. Communication

Why you need it: Both written and verbal communication skills are of utmost importance in the workplace because they set the tone for how people perceive you. They also improve your chances of building relationships with co-workers. Communication skills boost your performance because they help you to extract clear expectations from your manager so that you can deliver excellent work.

2. Teamwork

Why you need it: A company’s success is rarely dependent on one person doing something all by him/herself. Success is the result of many people working toward a common goal. When employees can synthesize their varied talents, everyone wins. (Bonus: Having friends at work can also boost your job satisfaction, a Gallup poll found.)

3. Adaptability

Why you need it: Things don’t always go as planned, and instead of digging in your heels, you need to be able to pivot and find alternate solutions. “Successful leaders are the ones who know how to be flexible when problems arise,” says Robinson.

4. Problem solving

Why you need it: When something goes wrong, you can either complain or take action. Tip: It’s the latter that will get you noticed. Knowing how to think on your feet can make you indispensable to an employer.

5. Conflict resolution

Why employers want it: Being able to constructively work through disagreements with people is a sure indicator of maturity—as well as leadership potential. Someone like this helps to promote a healthy, collaborative workplace.

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