Career development needs extensive thought and planning to choose the right path and put in ample hard work to reach the goals. However, hard work is not enough if the right skills do not back it. So, whether you are starting your career and trying to slash some competition or a mid-level employee trying to grow in your field, you must be wondering about the right set of skills that can take you to the pinnacle of your success.
While there is no denying that you must have industry-specific skills to excel, there are also those skills that you gain through experience. They are called soft or transferable skills. These skills help you excel in any career or working environment regardless of industry. Soft skills help you develop connections and interact with other people at the workplace, ultimately helping you function better. These transferable skills have become a premium requirement in the workplace.
What Do Organizations Do To Improve Soft Skills In Their Employees?
Often organizations hire skilled trainers to teach these transferable skills to their employees. Trainers have proper educational credentials that show their ability to work with corporate employees and conduct simulation-based exercises to polish their essential skills. They have advanced degrees that prepare them for this high responsibility role of working as corporate trainers. Are you eager to know these skills? Here is a list for your consideration.
1. Communication Skills
Communication skills are not limited to talking only, but it means talking effectively to convey the idea and meaning. You must be able to verbalize and articulate your ideas and thoughts, grab the listener’s attention, and ensure they follow non-verbal cues too. As a result of effective communication, there is no misunderstanding between the speaker and the listener. Other components of effective communication include listening, reading, and writing. Excelling in all these modes of communication is essential for corporate employees wanting to avoid costly mistakes.
One of the underrated components of effective communication is effective listening ability. People often don’t listen to understand; they do so to react only. In most cases, mistakes happen when due attention is not paid to the speaker. Hence, employees need to hone their listening abilities. Effective listening ability also means comprehending the speakers’ emotions and the inconsistencies in their verbal and non-verbal communication.
2. Ability To Learn And Relearn
Alvin Toffler says that the uninformed of the 21st century are not those who are unable to read or write but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn. This is because the world is changing at such a pace that nothing is permanent anymore. Employees need to constantly discard old ideas and learn new ways of doing things to meet the pace.
New skills emerge as fast as the old ones vanishing, so there is never a vacuum or skill deficiency. Employees need to be prepared to adopt them. Your success depends less on what you know and more on adapting to the changing work environment, expanding your knowledge, and growing your skillset.
In the past, one employee was often pitched against the other to create pressure and achieve more productivity. Today, if such things happen, rivalry reduces employees’ productivity. In the hyper-connected world, employees work around teams and collaborate to achieve organizational goals. The projects have become more complex so, management cannot rely on individuals or those working only in silos to complete the work on time and with utmost accuracy. As a result of this, the importance of teamwork has amplified considerably.
Were you expecting empathy as part of the skills that help you succeed? Even if you did not, here it is contrary to your expectations. The ability to see things from the perspective of others, empathize with them, and consider their emotions is an integral part of carrying out meaningful interactions. Being authentic in your communication is vital to bringing about fruitful results. Empathy helps you a lot in developing cordial relationships with coworkers. For instance, even if you don’t agree with your coworker in the work setting, your empathetic behavior will help you see things from their perspective and show a leeway to them.
Employers cannot hold you responsible for anything wrong you do in the workplace. Therefore, they want you to be accountable for your actions. These can include as trivial things as showing up on time, not using workplace stationery for personal use, only issuing as many supplies as needed, avoiding wasting your time in useless activities, and understanding the importance of your efforts in meeting the goals of the organization. Instead of making your manager reprimand you for careless behavior, you must learn from your mistakes and avoid making them again.
Think about the time when you went beyond your immediate responsibilities and tried to solve the problems of others? If not, that’s what problem-solving ability means. It is not about solving your own issues or being limited to your workstation. Essentially it means to use knowledge and data to identify gaps and solve organizational or team problems. Being a good problem solver is imperative because employers and colleagues always approach you to take them out of hot waters. Employers always prefer those who get them out of taxing situations and offer solutions.
Whatever career path you choose, the above-mentioned soft skills are essential to excel. Your soft skills allow you to be a better team player and a trustworthy problem solver. Employees who score high on these skills are often preferred over others whenever it is time for appraisal and promotions.