Soft skills are behavioral characteristics that make us better individuals in terms of how others perceive us and how we relate to everyone around us. It is a component of emotional intelligence or EI, which refers to one’s ability to understand, control, assess, and manage emotions.
Soft skills have become indispensable in any organization because it helps determine the ability of each person to perform his functions, and his performance can create a big impact in the organization. If this person is doing well, he will contribute positively to the overall performance. However, if he is not performing well, then he could negatively affect the organization’s performance.
There is misconception that people are born with soft skills. Precisely why these are referred to as “skills”; you learn them over time- they do not come naturally.
The five Aspects of Soft Skills
As a measure of one’s ability to perform both at a personal and professional level, soft skills need to be honed and developed. When doing so, you should address the 5 aspects in order to achieve significant progress.
1. Communication Skills
An effective communicator creates many opportunities for himself, in terms of career growth. When you are able to understand and converse with your colleagues and your superiors, your job will become a lot easier. Confusion and conflicts can be avoided, and doing your tasks can be more rewarding.
2. Problem-Solving Skills
Everyday, we are given several things to do. Decisions have to be made, and actions need to be taken. Problem-solving skills require cognitive processes such as introspection and analysis. Such skills prove to be indispensable in the workplace because we are consistently faced with several issues that need solutions, from something as simple as who gets to use the new computer to one that is more complicated, such as making a choice between two highly qualified individuals for a promotion.
3. Leadership Skills
Leadership skill is one component of interpersonal skills. It is something every team leader, supervisor, or manager must have to be effective in their role. If you have a high level of leadership skills, you could change your people significantly, making them more motivated and more committed to do their job.
4. Work Ethics
This would refer to the moral and professional ethics of a person. It comprises several components such as attendance, punctuality, productivity, appearance, respect, integrity, and character.
This is the capacity of a person to promote collaboration, cooperation, and synergy in a team. It is about building relationships based on trust and respect, and encouraging every member to work towards a common goal.
Using Soft Skills to Your Advantage
A very important thing you need to remember is that soft skills are essential to your success. Truly, there are many recipes for success but take note that the ingredients are always the same. Soft skills are something you can utilize, no matter what career path you choose, and they are what will help you reach your goals.
If you know which soft skills you possess, use them to their fullest capacity. If you have good leadership skills, rise up to the occasion. If you know better ways to resolve a certain problem, speak up and let everyone know your ideas and suggestions. Do not be afraid to let your managers and peers know what you can do, because if you keep it to yourself, then you are wasting away valuable resources, which could be the key to your professional triumph.
Learning the Soft Skills
If, however, you do not have any of the aforementioned skills, then you need to do something about it now. How can you acquire these skills? You can use several methods. First, you can learn them on your own. You can read about them from various online and offline resources. You can find a lot of self-help books and articles such as this one, which will aid you in honing these skills.
Second, you can seek help from life coaches and people who, in their own way, have become experts in the various aspects of soft skills, such as a trainer. Third, you can join workshops and training programs specifically designed to help individuals learn and develop soft skills. For the second and third options, you may need to pay a certain amount for their professional service unless this is going to be sponsored by the company you work. Essentially, though you must remember that regardless of which option you choose, you need to put to practice what you have learned. Unless you practice consistently, these cannot be considered your skills.