What are soft skills?
“Soft skills” or “interpersonal skills” are personality traits that affect your performance at the workplace and your relationship with your colleagues. It is a combination of communication skills, social skills, emotional intelligence and every other personal attribute that can not be measured or taught. Hard skills, on the other hand, can be measured by determining the level of proficiency. Soft skills can not be learned through lectures. They can only be acquired by actively participating in social situations and taking on new challenges.
Why are Soft Skills important for managing business?
Although soft skills are essential for every profession, it is mandatory for handling a business.
Honing soft skills can enable you to increase your network, resolve conflicts, maintain stronger relationships with your colleagues and customers, thereby improving your confidence.
If you are a budding entrepreneur or a well established business owner, soft skills can help you find, attract, and retain clients.
On the flip side, an absence of soft skills can limit your career growth and can even cause your business to fail. By developing necessary soft skills such as leadership, communication skills, networking skills and assertiveness, you can run a successful business.
Here’s the list of most important soft skills that you should develop and add to your Résumé/CVs.
List of Top 5 soft skills:-
- Leadership:- It’s the most attractive and most desired soft skill for business management. Not everyone is a born leader, but if you like guiding and motivating people or communicating your ideas, you probably have leadership potential. You can polish this skill by taking on small leadership roles in the beginning and then making your way up the ladder to bigger roles.
- Assertiveness:- To perform well at your workplace, you need to be assertive and make your voice heard. Being passive all the time won’t yield you anything and can even affect you adversely. Aggressiveness can be equally disadvantageous. So make sure that you listen to others and make yourself heard as well.
- Communication effectiveness:- Having effective communication skills is always beneficial in the field of business. It can help you find clients/customers, build trust, connect with colleagues and make your presence felt.
- Teamwork:- For some people, working in teams can be very challenging as they prefer to do the work on their own. But “working in a team” is an important part of businesses as it’s a faster and easier way of achieving goals.
If you think that you lack this skill then start off with being more cooperative in group tasks. Try to listen to the ideas of every member of your team and also share yours. Lead and follow as and when required.
- Problem-solving:- Oftentimes, unexpected problems occur at the workplace. At such times, you should be ready to take the challenge positively. Avoiding problems or getting panicked in such situations may lead to loss of capital, prestige, trust and degradation of business. Therefore, you should have the ability to tackle problems systematically by thinking outside-the-box.
3 Simple Steps to acquire soft skills:-
Step:1 Recognize the areas in which you need to improve
How can you improve something without knowing what it is that you need to work on?
So, the first step is to recognize the areas in which you need to improve. Spend some time with yourself, introspecting and reflecting upon your personal traits. Evaluate your performance at the workplace through self assessment or through feedback from colleagues and friends.
Step:2 Create an action plan to overcome your weakness
After you’ve gained an awareness of your weaknesses, create a plan of action for improvement. Find out the situations which can help you develop that particular skill and then actively participate in those situations. Suppose, you want to improve your communication skills then your plan of action should include all the social situations where you can get the opportunity to communicate and observe others. You can even hire a coach/ mentor who can help you develop the particular soft skill. There are many online courses and communities like toastmasters where you can learn the techniques of inculcating soft skills.
Step 3: Step outside of your comfort zone and start learning by doing!
“Do one thing that scares you everyday”
Motivational speakers and personality trainers always encourage us to do those things which scares us the most. We don’t have some skills because we are fearful of doing them. This fear is deeply ingrained within us that makes us believe that we would never be able to develop that skill. This belief is called ‘fixed mindset’. We need to understand that we are capable of doing just anything by adopting ‘growth mindset’. Put your fears aside, step out of your comfort zone and expose yourself to challenging situations. Start interacting and communicating with people everyday. Gradually, your fear will wear away and you will become CONFIDENT – the most important skill to survive in business industries.
You can learn many soft skills including communication skills, leadership and management skills during your college time through internships.
We at Growth Central VC provide HR and other internships for college students. Check them out!
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By: Pragya Singh
Growth Central VC