Soft skills and why you need them
what are soft skills?
It is common to see people mention some of their hard skills that are clearly defined and can be accurately measured. What about skills that cannot be clearly measured and are pretty much difficult to define? These are what we commonly refer to as soft skills. These are personal qualities, habits and social norms that are vital to achieving set goals and making one a better employee.
There are numerous soft skills and acquiring these soft skills is one thing, making proper use of these skills is another issue on its own. Failure to properly implement these skills can be compared to a man who struggles to get the key to a house full of food and at the end is unable to open the door to the house because he does not know how to use the key.
Do you mean these soft skills?
–Time management is an amazing skill that must never be taken for granted. It simply implies the ability to properly harness and utilize time for effective productivity in personal or corporate achievement of set goals and objectives. Time management is a crucial quality every employer usually looks out for and consider very valuable. The issue is how can one manage time wisely? Doing the right things at the wrong time and inability to prioritize your daily routines can hinder your desire to implement a successful time management technique. Time which can be assumed to be a precious resource can sometimes be wasted or abused. Once wasted or lost, it can never be recovered. It is easy to tell if someone is going to succeed in his/her chosen career if such an individual is well-organized and time- management conscious.
–Having a positive attitude will set you apart from the crowd. It is that inner quality that keeps you positive when negative circumstances and vibes are all around you. Positivity is a key ingredient to increased productivity at the workplace. The more negative an individual becomes, the lower his/her productivity. There is bound to be issues that may want to dampen ones moral at work, but keeping up a positive attitude at all times will help the individual scale through the hurdle of always been pushed to accomplish different tasks.
–Self-confidence is an indispensable element in the quest for success and achievement. You must believe in yourself and in your abilities. Your failure or success depends wholly on you alone. Tragically, most of us have believed other people’s verdict about us, and this has led to severe consequences. We must learn to overcome doubt and fear and strive towards developing our strength without emphasizing on our weakness. You must truly believe you can achieve your goals, otherwise, you will soon start doubting yourself and when you do, there is absolutely nothing anyone can do to help you. Always strive to be the best in whatever you do. Stop doubting your true potential. Do everything within your power to prove people wrong about your abilities. That is the true definition of self confidence. Always keep an open mind. Most importantly, believe in yourself and the fact that you are different and what you think matters more than what the whole world says. The association you keep can either dampen or stir up your level of self confidence. This is the reason why we must be careful with the choice of friends we keep.
Good communication is a prerequisite soft skill every ambitious employee must imbibe. A good and frequent communication opens the channels to develop relationship and trust, when communication is open, honest and not sugar coated. Most companies ae always on the look out for individuals who can practically demonstrate good communication skills, because it is a key factor in enhancing productivity in the workplace. It is a known fact that workers are more productive when they know how, when, what and who to communicate to in the workplace. Acquiring good communication skill takes time and effort. Having a mentor and going through some online training materials will prove helpful.
–Teamwork is so crucial to both the individual and also the company he works in. When it comes to the workplace, individuality must be discarded, while teamwork is always embraced. Having a skill that emphasis teamwork will therefore put you in good stead to be successful in career and in the workplace. A team involves individual who work together with singleness of purpose to achieve a desire result. While I was working in a Gas power plant two years ago, I was deployed to the production department. Our job basically was to monitor the performance of the plant via a computer monitor and check for abnormal plant condition. We were three in a shift and each of us had a role to play. We usually cover each other when needed and ensure the shift period is trouble free. After each shift closes for the day, another shift takes over after 8 hours and repeat the same process. The entire production department worked as a team and nobody isolated himself from the objective and goals of the entire department. That is what it means to imbibe the soft skill called teamwork.
–Good work ethics is so important, not just for the individual but also for a corporate entity. Every individual must have a good work ethic that involves one believing in the principle that hard work pays. Success comes via small efforts which are made even bigger by each member of the team belonging to the company accepting and practicing same work ethic. Coming late to work for example is a bad work ethic, which some individual take lightly. Those small things if not checked can derail the overall goal and objective of the company. Putting in extra time at work without thinking of overtime bonus is a good work ethic and should be encouraged.
–Flexibility is the ability to accept change in order to meet new needs or challenges. There should always be a contingency plan where new problems could be solved and further changes accommodated. That is why professional business plans are always flexible. An individual who wants to excel in career and in the workplace must be flexible. You can be transferred from one department or the other based on management policy. Don’t make the mistake of resisting such changes with the excuse of not be suitable for the new role you’ve been assigned. It is a sign that you are rigid and not able to adapt quickly to the rapid change taking place. No matter what happens, try to adapt as fast as possible to avoid creating room for questions about your suitability and potential.
–Solving problems instead of creating problems makes you an asset rather than a liability. It is a soft skill most organization look out for in individuals. That is why in most employment interviews, the interview panelist will ask you real life questions involving problems associated with the workplace and ask for a solution. They don’t want people who cant offer solutions to the ever growing list of problems that may occur in the workplace. What they want are individuals who have uncanny skills in thinking out of the box to solve complex problems that will end up helping the company save millions of Naira in cost. A soft skill that encapsulates problem solving is a huge plus for anyone that possesses it.
–Creative thinking can boost your net worth when properly annexed. Most companies today are in dire need of creative thinkers. That is why they go out of their way to employ group of individuals who regularly meet to brainstorm on new products and services that will position the company for optimum profitability. We must apply different strategies to yield extraordinary results. We must strive to do things better. Creative thinking is an unending process. In every institution and company, creative thinkers are in hot demand because of the value they bring to the table. Step out of your comfort zone and explore areas you never dreamed you could explore. A single dose of creativity can boost your company profit margin by more than 5% if properly channeled.