We are living in a dynamic society and workplace. This dynamism demands more from us. And unfortunately, schools, universities, and employers don’t equip us with the skills we need to prosper today. I am particularly, pointing out to the soft skills in the workplace.
Does Your Hard Work Not Yield the Needed Results?
Have you been gaining a lot of information and working harder and longer without seeing any real benefit.
Many in the West say that during the last ten years they have really worked hard. They had to buy property, a new car, borrow money and go on expensive holidays.
And now they say that they no more can work any harder. Furthermore, banks no more lend them money, there are no more jobs, they are too old or don’t have enough experience. Neither can they leave the country to work and live elsewhere.
India is also not spared from similar experiences. Eventually, there should be something that gives us the advantage to be truly effective both in the workplace and in society.
What is the Answer to the Problem?
The answer lies in soft skills. This is otherwise called people skills. Or it denotes the character traits that make you more dynamic and competent in the present world.
You have to develop important soft skills to work well, reach your potential, be financially secure and give the highest of your productivity to society.
Read on to know the soft skills you have to develop in the workplace and in society.
7 Soft Skills to Develop for Productivity in the Workplace
The seven soft skills that you have to develop in long term are,
- Critical Thinking
- Emotional intelligence
- Good Team Playing
- Time Management
- Communication Skills
- Leadership Skills
Adaptability is your ability to change (or be changed) to fit altered circumstances. You must have adapted right from childhood. Like to school environment, new places, to work, relationships, to learning and developing.
Why is adaptability important?
It is important because,
- Advances in technology mean that we got to keep learning and evolving. Otherwise, we will be left behind.
- Remote work teams and telecommuting are fast becoming everyday
- Multiple generations at the workplace mean that we need to learn to work along with people of different attitudes.
- You need to embrace innovation
- To cope with changing lifestyle. For example, you may need the support of your parents for a long time in life.
10 Ways to Exercise Adaptability
Some of the adaptability skills include,
- Having an open mind
- Your ability to concentrate, discipline and motivate yourself to complete a task or project
- Travel more with your family or loved ones
- Willingness to learn
- To come out of the comfort zone
- Have cognitive flexibility, emotional flexibility and dispositional flexibility
- Have a ‘can do’ positive attitude to change
- Gain creative problem solving methods
- Have a survivor attitude
Critical Thinking, crucial among soft skills in the workplace
Critical thinking has to do with questioning assumptions, evaluating a situtation from different angles, solving problems creatively and using a reflective, considered approach.
10 Ways to Exercise Critical Thinking
- Question the assumptions wherever they come from
- Adopt different perspectives by finding out how others might view a problem
- Replace all guesswork and gaps with facts and data
- Learn to deal with ambiguity
- Explore new ways of being creative and innovative
- Make thinking and reflection the foremost necessity in any decision-making process
- Don’t settle for surface impressions or just the face value
- Read, write, blog, have in-depth conversations, debates and learn something new every day
- Test the reliability of your own judgments
- Communicate clearly, don’t fabricate and don’t fake knowledge
You have to develop soft skills pertaining to emotional intelligence. You have to develop the skills like,
- Being open-minded
- Articulate feelings
- Being Empathetic
- Lead by example
- Being an active listener
- Be a personally motivated person
- Be helpful
- Have a good work-life balance
- Be transparent and honest
Be Good Team Players
Collaborate. You cannot work all alone to complete a project. You should be able to collaborate with your team members and achieve targets on time. Some of the characteristics you should develop are,
- Understand the team’s goals
- Help and encourage teammates
- Be honest to yourself, your team members and leaders
- Fulfill your commitments
- Deliver good news and bad news when appropriate
- Don’t backbite
- Set boundaries
- They bring issues on the table and deal with it.
- Value your team’s contributions
Time Management, crucial among soft skills in the workplace
Time management is highly essential among soft skills in the workplace. some of the time management skills are,
- Staying focused
- Decision making
- Coping skills
- Organization and filing
If you want to be a good communicator you should have the following skills,
- Being a good listener
- Able to relate with others
- You simplify the complex
- Knowing when to speak up
- Make yourself available
- Practice confidence
- Being specific
- They focus on their interactions
- Ask questions
- Being able to recognize non-verbal cues
- Public speaking
Every hiring manager will also look for leadership skills in you, depending on the position you are applying for. Prominent leadership skills taught in career coaching and soft skills training are,
- Honesty and integrity
- Committed and passionate
- Being a good communicator
- Decision-making capabilities
- Delegation and empowerment
- Creativity and Innovation
Among giving importance to technical skills you also should give priority to soft skills that will help you get a job and remain successful in your career.
The soft skills cannot be obtained overnight. They have to be developed gradually for success not only in the workplace but in society as a whole.