Soft Skills Still Gets the Job Done
In this new administration, there is a high tendency for someone to think that soft skills are out of the window, and hard is the new norm to get results. There is nothing much farther from the truth, considering the recent tightness in the labor market, soft skills remain very relevant but have experienced a shortage in supply.
Therefore, before you misunderstand, we’ll look at what soft skills mean and why these skills are referred to as soft.
Soft skills are a combination of interpersonal people skills, social skills, communication skills, character traits, attitudes and emotional intelligence quotient (EQ) among others that enable people to navigate their environment effectively, work well with others, perform well, and achieve their goals with complementing hard skills. It is much simpler to put it as skills that allow you to communicate and relate with other people.
These qualities or rather skills listed cannot be exhausted, and the average school where we do to acquire reading, writing, and mathematical skills do not offer any curriculum that teaches these skills alongside. A fail is what you get in these school if you are bad at mathematical problems because you will get no recognition for any “positive or flexible attitude”, in short you will get a punishment, a reprimanding for attempting to try out a new approach to solving the mathematical problem, stay with the usual pattern is what is required.
It is a requirement of course that you get educated in the area of your career, having the technical knowledge and experience of what the job requires, nobody wants a doctor to operate on their child if all he knows is making them happy with sweets, the last person you want to fix your car is a person who smile sheepishly but has no mechanical knowledge or experience to do a proper check. Therefore, no matter what it is, so it is evident of course that one needs the technical know-how of the job. But even at this, knowing how to relate with colleagues (senior and junior), employees, bosses, and even clients/customers requires an exceptional level of emotional intelligence.
How do you manage a boss who is snappy or always abusive? Imagine you do not know how to handle a colleague who likes pushing all the blame and work to you or maybe you don’t know how to, and that is okay because these skills can be acquired at any age and one never finishes learning it. So let’s get down to how to develop these essential skills.
- 1. Learn to be Polite: Have you ever heard someone say “say the magic word”? Or “what do you say when someone does something or gives something to you”? Well, those are two magic words that we should never get tired of saying - please and thank you. I know this may sound awkward, but during an interview, it is polite to say thank you to the person who took out time to talk to you, when you are wrong, say sorry and apologize, a colleague at work does something for you? Acknowledge it and let them know you appreciate it. Sometimes people may not have gotten things done as you want them to, still, thank them for the effort made.
- 2. Self-Awareness: Every one of us becomes more understanding because we have a greater understanding of how better to communicate with other people. Our style of work differs one from another, while one person may prefer a calm and mild approach, favoring a friendly environment, while another is assertive, and a pusher when it comes to getting the job done. You are a thinker, and your boss is action-oriented, this is where self-awareness is key to working with different people because we understand quite well that they might be different from us.
- 3. Categorize Challenges: one thing that tends to throw people out of order is “unexpected twists.” You know those times when something you never thought could go wrong actually does, and the whole overwhelming feeling sets in. A useful skill to learn is how to categorize these problems, put it in a box, and you will find that there lies an existing solution to it. You have to understand that unplanned stuff will always happen and you don’t have to get emotional or sentimental about it.
- 4. Managing Stress: The key to managing the day-to-day activities is improving your stress management technique. The day-to-day stress is like the morning sun, they will always show up one way or another, even when it looks like you have rest, it is only for a while, and stress will always show up in the form of fear, worry, and anxiety. What can help you through this stress period are things like positive self-talk reinforcements, meditation, and deep breathe exercises. Figure out what calms and stick it with it.
Keep Learning: Jump at every opportunity to learn, constantly improve on your soft skills. Take online courses and classes and have more tools in you to tackle stuff. Understand that emotional skills are as important as your technical skills (if not more than).
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