Why Soft Skills are Essential for Success at Work

Success at work woman accepting award

Why Soft Skills are Essential for Success at Work

The pandemic has caused significant disruption in our lives. Many of us have more time on our hands now. Times like these are an excellent opportunity to upskill and stay relevant in your career skill set.

 

Soft skills have an enduring impact. If you want to create lasting change, up-leveling your soft skills can only positively benefit your personal and career life. 

 

I know for sure the more you invest in enhancing your soft skills, you will feel more positive, build better relationships, create more possibilities, and ultimately your most prominent dreams will come to fruition, and you will have a successful, rewarding life.

 

I loved the recent article in Forbes, contributed by Mark C. Perna, regarding the top soft skills you need to be most successful while working remotely. Like the article said, “soft skills can make or break you.” I couldn’t agree more, and I love every conversation regarding the importance of developing soft skills and emotional intelligence and how they contribute to individual and team success.

 

The Importance of Soft Skills in the Business World

 

I’ll admit, it’s a pet peeve of mine that we even refer to these critical skills as soft. The perception of “soft” can suggest weakness, mildness, or lacking robust strength. 

 

This isn’t the case as these “must have” soft skills in business; a strong work ethic, a positive attitude, empathy, the ability to solve problems, being a team player, self-awareness, insight, confidence, poise, and of course, perhaps most of all, the ability to lead, listen and communicate.  

 

LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner says the most significant skills gap in the United States is not coding; it’s soft skills. “Employers want written communication, oral communication, team building and leadership skills.”

 

Here’s the good news! Every one of these skills can be learned or improved. Your role or level of responsibility does not matter. To develop and improve any skill first requires awareness, followed by the desire to improve, and then repetition until it’s a habit. Improving your social skills will advance the quality of your work and your ability to influence others, and it will also positively impact your feelings of well-being.

 

Want to get started? Here are a few things you can do right away to improve your soft skills 

  1. Review what you do well and play to your strengths.
  2. Identify where you want to learn and grow in that space.
  3. Journal or make a list of what you would like to achieve and why it’s important to you. Remember, we are only as good as what we write down.
  4. Talk to your mentor, or respected confidant, share your goals, and ask for advice on what soft skills you can improve.
  5. Determine how you learn best. Learning is a skill. Is reading, listening, or doing the best way for you to learn?
  6. Commit to immersing yourself for 30 minutes a day in the skill you’re working to improve. Reading, listening, courses or journaling are all good ways to improve your soft skills.

 

Your professional and personal skill sets are essential to achieving your goals! All of us need assistance from others more than once in our life to support us so we can be our best. If you are not quite sure where to start, I’d love to connect with you to help you achieve your personal and professional goals. Reach out to find out how we can work together via my contact page today!

 

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Mary Williams

Mary is a business etiquette and protocol expert for executives and rising stars who want to unleash their best self and achieve their goals. A veteran of the C-Suite, Mary is a passionate advocate for utilizing the best skills in business etiquette and protocol to ensure meaningful actions for success in business and life. After more than a dozen years in her role as chief of staff, Mary launched her own dream business, Mary Williams, Your First Impression Authority. As a graduate of The American School of Protocol and a certified Business Coach, in addition to working at the highest levels of national and international organizations, Mary understands both the demands and the complexities of maneuvering effectively through business and life.   She is a regular presenter at university business schools, nonprofit organizations, trade association conferences, as well as corporate events. Her mission is to share all she has learned along the way, and in doing so provide effective business coaching to ultimately help people reach their true potential, utilizing distinct techniques and simple steps that guarantee success.

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