Employers these days place a lot of value on candidates that possess soft skills. These include communication, empathy, and team-player abilities. Out of the two candidates with identical resumes, employers will usually choose the one who shows stronger soft skills. These skills are also known as interpersonal skills and can significantly improve your chances of getting the job you want. A good career, from the interview to your retirement, depends on being prepared. You can acquire soft skills by any means. You can do it by observing charismatic people on your Charter cable, or by attending personality development classes.
How you acquire interpersonal skills, and how functional those skills are will always vary from person to person. Some people are naturally charismatic, others take more time to find their comfort zone. In any case, how successful you are at acquiring them depends on you and the route you choose. But once have acquired them, here’s how specific skills can improve your career prospects:
Being a Dependable Worker
Employers rely on workers showing up on time, putting in their best effort, and also going the extra mile for business or team success. However, even the most talented worker isn’t a desirable presence in the workplace if they have poor dependability. Most employers would much rather choose to rely on workers that have demonstrated dependability. From being punctual to approaching their role and responsibilities in all seriousness to even showing up on days off when there’s all-hands-on-deck demand. All of these indicate a dependable worker. And believe it or not, modern workplaces and managers are constantly on the lookout for such indicators. Dependable employees will earn a solid reputation in the workplace, paving the way to future success.
Actively Listening and Engaging
So what is it? It is the ability to listen to what a person is saying, absorbing it, extracting key information, and being able to engage with the speaker. While many of you may not think this is even a skill, active listeners are a valuable addition to any workforce. They can absorb complex instructions, make accurate inferences, understand the need, and can then take what action seems most appropriate. Active listeners can excel in roles where they have to pay attention. Not just to what is being said, but also to the tone, and any other information available from the speaker. Customer service, negotiation, HR, and training are just a few areas where active listening can prove very valuable.
Empathizing With Colleagues
Empathy is something that is just as valuable in your professional life as it is in your personal one. People with the ability to empathize can try to understand your perspective and may often adjust their own if they feel it is appropriate. Empathy allows workers to be flexible and understanding. That often reduces friction between workers and teams. Empathic workers also boost workplace morale by offering professional support to colleagues. These workers are able to deal better with frustrations, setbacks, and conflicts.
Taking Leadership Initiatives
Businesses are all about continuity. And with such a rapidly shifting landscape as we see today, businesses often have succession planning in place. You can be the founder of a business that lasts the next 100 years, but given human limitations, you may not be alive to see it get there. And that is just the best-case scenario. Decades-old businesses can plunge suddenly if they become irrelevant or fail to keep up with changing market behavior. Therefore, businesses have plans that aim to place a younger generation of employees into key leadership roles.
Of course, businesses will often have leadership development programs to ensure that workers are ready for the role. But many workers often have leadership skills that can fast-track their route to bigger roles. Taking initiative is also a quality that puts you in a favorable position for future leadership programs.
There is no cookie-cutter way to build soft skills. Some people are great at communicating. Others are better at managing conflict. Certain others have the power to instill confidence and direction among peers. Some people may have always had these skills. Others may have gained them as a response to their circumstances and experiences. Many may have even worked hard on filling gaps in their skills that were holding them or limiting their chances for growth.