That’s because the most in-demand skills that employers crave are the elusive “soft skills”
People often associate good communicators with excellent public speaking. But the best communicators do something that most others fail at. They listen.
The easiest way to build trust with someone is by showing interest in him or her. You can accomplish this by listening more than you talk. Good listeners don’t think about what they’re going to say next when the other person is speaking. Good listeners ask follow-up questions. Good listeners make it all about the person they’re with—not about them.
When in doubt, provide guiding cues like “Tell me more about that.” The most valuable thing that you can give someone is your attention.
When something goes wrong and you’re responsible for it, don’t make excuses, ignore it, or blame someone else. Instead, take full accountability and responsibility for the role that you played in it. Even better, learn from it.
Further, when working on a project, it’s easy to hit send on a message or email and assume your job is done. It’s even easier to agree to something in a meeting and then not follow through on it. However, being accountable also means making no assumptions, it means holding others accountable and following-up to confirm tasks have been completed, and it means keeping the agreements that you make.
When in doubt, this skill’s all about doing what you say you’re going to do. This is the core of integrity and it builds trust.
Being creative often means finding ways to solve problems with limited resources. Chefs are a great example of how to do this. If a chef wants to make a dish that requires 10 ingredients, but he only has seven of them on hand, what will he do? Is he going to leave his customers hungry?
No, a great chef will go into problem-solving mode . He’ll find a way to get creative with the seven ingredients that he has to make a delicious dish. The greatest innovations tend to arrive under constraints. The companies with the largest budgets or head counts don’t always finish first. Use your disadvantages to your advantage. Focus on the ingredients that you have, not the ones you don’t, and then embrace the freedom that this creates
When we’re having a good or bad day, it’s easy to act on pure emotion. But this can be a deeply problematic way of making decisions (for reasons you can probably figure out).
The truth is, sometimes when you’re afraid, you’re actually very excited. Sometimes when you’re sad, you’re really angry. Sometimes when you’re angry, you’re actually quite sad. When you’re feeling any type of emotion that may cause you to behave in a questionable manner, one that you may possibly regret a few hours later, press pause and ask yourself: “What am I really feeling?”
Talk to a friend. Get a second opinion on that angry email you have drafted to your boss before you press send. Take the time to pause, re-center, and ask yourself what’s most important.
It’s easy to be part of the crowd and do what everyone else does, particularly within a large organization. However, it’s valuable to find time outside of the office to explore new experiences that allow you to grow and build empathy for other
Great outlets for this include volunteering , taking continuing education courses, travel, working on side projects, attending conferences or cultural events, and more. When we do this, we learn how to connect with others outside of our industry and build an understanding of those who may have different viewpoints, backgrounds and who see things from a different perspective. This also teaches us how much we may have in common with others.
When we take these outside experiences back inside the office, it can create a greater empathy and understanding of our colleagues, which ultimately allows us to feel more comfortable in our own skin.
And this is really what soft skills are about. After all, it’s not just about landing a cushy job or impressing an employer. Bringing these traits to a job can help make the work you do more efficient, effective, and—dare I say it—even enjoyable. They may seem simple and you may already be practicing some of them, but push yourself to do more, go deeper, push yourself even further. Because in the long run, they’re what’s going to get you ahead.
Think About What Excites and Energizes You
Keep in Mind What You're Good At
Find a career that fits your motivational focus
Use the G+P+V Formula
The perfect career for you would most likely fit the G+P+V formula, which stands for Gifts + Passions + Values. Consider your strengths and passions, as we've noted above, and your values—what's nonnegotiable about the way you work?
Finally,See Your Career as a Set of Stepping Stones, Not a Linear Path.