6 Soft Skills That Will Help You Succeed In The Workplace (And How To Learn Them)

6 Soft Skills That Will Help You Succeed In The Workplace (And How To Learn Them)

Hard skills are easy to measure. They’re easy to track. And although they might not be easy to improve, they are simple.

Soft skills, on the other hand, are far harder to measure—let alone learn. But skills like empathy and critical thinking are just as important to your success.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the six most important soft skills for your career and how you can learn them on the job.

1 Being Coachable

You know the saying “It takes a village”? Successful professionals don’t climb the ladder by ignoring everyone who gives them constructive feedback. On the contrary, they internalize the good advice they’re given and thoughtfully incorporate it. The operative word is “good”: you can and should disregard bad advice when you get it.

Being coachable throughout your career, rather than just at the beginning, means you’ll never stop advancing and improving.

How to Achieve This

If you take constructive feedback personally, you’ll have a hard time being coached. Remind yourself the other person is trying to help you professionally and that their words aren’t an attack on your skills, personality, or worth. (Sounds obvious, but it’s easy to forget in the moment.)

Always assume positive intent. In other words, give your team member or manager the benefit of the doubt. Believing they’re coming from a good place will make you more receptive to their recommendations.

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2 Empathy

Relating to someone else does wonders for your work relationships. Not only can you come up with win-win solutions but you’re also more patient, tactful, and persuasive. As an added benefit, your relationships will naturally get stronger.

How to Achieve This

Scientific studies have proven that by literally imagining yourself in the other person’s shoes. Try this exercise next time you’re struggling to see things from another’s point of view.

3 Effective Communication

Between talking to clients, coworkers, and customers, the majority of the workday is spent communicating. To avoid misunderstandings and error, you need to be able to write, speak, and present clearly and effectively.

How to Achieve This

If you’re not a natural public speaker, consider joining an organization like Toastmasters or taking a course on public speaking. To improve your writing skills, consider an intro writing class at the local college or online.

It may also be a good idea to periodically ask your coworkers for feedback, i.e. “Did I explain that in enough depth? What did you take away from that?” can help you book time for feedback with coworkers or a mentor without the back and forth. It’s easy for everyone, and you make sure you have time saved in your calendar to improve your communication skills.

We believe in empowering everyone to communicate clearly, effectively, and confidently. We’re just getting started.

— Bloggr (@Bloggr)

4 Critical Thinking

Critical thinking helps you analyze potential choices and take the best route. It also gives you a “spidey sense” of when something is not right so you can probe further, whether you’re in a meeting with potential partners or talking to a different department.

How to Achieve This

Ask a lot of questions, even if you think you know the answer. You’ll often be surprised at what the other person says. If their answer conflicts with your own, it’s a good sign to delve more deeply. You should also question basic assumptions. Look out for statements that start with As we know, It’s obvious that, and We can assume. Pause and say, “Actually, do we know that?” or “What’s the evidence for that assumption?”

5 Creativity

is a huge asset in any professional role, especially for problem solving.

Most industries and businesses change constantly. To keep up, you must be able to adapt your approach and find unexpected solutions. Creativity will help you and your company stay ahead of the curve.

How to Achieve This

Break free from the We’ve always done it this way mindset. Be open to new ideas, whether they come from you or someone else. Organize brainstorming sessions with your team where you can suggest anything you think of. Then narrow down your ideas to the most impactful, possible, and relevant. Experiment as much as possible, then analyze the results to see if you should double down on that initiative or iterate.

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— Fast Company (@FastCompany)

6 Problem-Solving Attitude

Your attitude is, in most areas of your life, the most important factor in determining success. It’s important to stay positive and believe you can overcome obstacles. This mindset will keep you motivated during the tougher periods at work.

How to Achieve This

Big problems are intimidating and will sap your motivation. Break them down into small, manageable tasks, which are simpler to tackle.

Plus, each one you finish will boost your motivation.

Work on developing these soft skills, and you’ll be successful no matter what you’re doing.

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