career plan chart

Career: Do You Have Soft Skills?


by

8 November,2011

As you look to improve your career, you need to consider your soft skills. Some of these types of skills aren’t glaringly obvious. They aren’t technical, and they can’t be easily quantified. However, soft skills are important to develop as you advance your career. These are skills that can add value to an organization, and show that you are a team player — and maybe even a capable team leader.

Oral and Written Communication

Your ability to communicate is one of the most important soft skills you can develop. Being able to speak and write effectively can help you clarify your ideas, as well as move others to action. Learn how to share your ideas through speech and the written word, and your level of value improves. Learn proper grammar and elocution, and you will be easily understood, persuasive, authoritative and inspirational.

Problem Solving

Look for different ways to solve problems. Developing skill as a problem solver can turn you into the “go to” person for the company when something needs to be done. Try to cultivate the ability to approach a problem from multiple angles, and look for alternatives that might not be obvious at the first pass. Being able to identify problems and work toward practical solutions is a valuable skill.

Positive Attitude

A poor attitude can destroy workplace morale — and hinder your career. If you want to be an effective leader, you need to encourage a positive outlook in your life, and do your best to transfer that to those around you. This doesn’t mean that you have to be over-exuberant, or come up with cheesy motivators. It’s more about having a “can do” approach to life and work, and helping those around you see that progress is achievable.

Creativity

You will be able to better solve problems if you take the time to develop your creativity. Creative pursuits can teach you to think differently about a number of problems and solutions. On top of that, creative pursuits can add fulfillment to your life, and allow you to enjoy yourself more. This can, in turn, add to your positivity. Look for creative outlets, and bring that creativity with you to work, and you will tackle problems more effectively, and inspire your co-workers.

Respond to Constructive Feedback

We can all improve. One of the ways that you can improve, and show that you are an asset at your job, is to respond to constructive feedback. When someone shows you how to improve, take that information and apply it. As you make improvements, others will notice. You will be known as someone who can accept suggestions, and who is willing to take direction to improve.

Along with this, you can also graciously accept praise. When others praise your work, thank them, and then continue in your efforts along the same lines. Make sure that you further develop strengths, and work hard to turn your weaknesses into strengths.

As long as you are progressing in your work, and developing soft skills, you will be noticed for your efforts, and you will be a more effective leader.