Sharpening Your Soft Skills

by | Feb 13, 2023 | Business

Many of us went to school or took courses to develop a particular skillset. While competence in specific trades is helpful for certain jobs, soft skills are beneficial no matter what path you end up taking in life. We’re here to highlight the value of soft skills and how to improve yours, today!  

So, what’s the difference? 

Hard skills refer to job-related knowledge and abilities. Soft skills are personal qualities that help people thrive. Hard skills will benefit you in performing a particular task, but soft skills will help you in all areas of business. The good news is, we don’t need to enroll in any courses or attend extra schooling to develop our soft skills. There are opportunities to improve your soft skills every day!  

Which soft skills should you strengthen? 

We all want to increase the ability to reach our goals and attain success, right? Developing your soft skills is a wonderful way to ensure you achieve the dreams you’ve envisioned for yourself. To assist you on your path, we’ve narrowed down four especially important soft skills and how to strengthen them.  

An open planner is lying on the floor next to black men’s dress shoes, a black briefcase, and a black watch. 

Organization  

Having a clean and organized space will likely increase your productivity. Pay attention to what’s around you. How can you reduce both physical and digital clutter? 

  • Write out clear to-do lists versus having random sticky notes around your desk area.  
  • Keep your email inbox categorized and prioritized.  
  • Use digital or notebook-style calendars to keep your upcoming events in one place.  
  • Throw away duplicate information or outdated material. 

Leadership  

Develop effective leadership skills by surrounding yourself with inspiring individuals and acting as a mentor to others. Strong leaders leave an impact.  

  • Read professional development books to continuously learn new leadership tactics.  
  • Assess how your talents can benefit others.
  • Always be receptive and appreciative of feedback.  
  • Learn to delegate tasks effectively.  
  • Focus on managing conflicts as they arise.  
A woman wears a black and white patterned top working on a smartphone while sitting at a table with a stack of books, cup of coffee, and some pinecones nearby.

Communication  

Communication is critical in building relationships and navigating your way to success. Being a good communicator means being an effective listener and speaker. 

  • Practice speaking in public whenever you’re given the opportunity.  
  • Speak slowly, clearly, and without using filler words.
  • Actively listen to others by always making good eye contact and asking open-ended follow up questions.
  • Spellcheck all email and text communications, no matter how informal.  
  • Listen to learn, not to respond.  

Team player  

Working well with others is a critical part of life. We started learning the importance of sharing as toddlers, and the necessity of teamwork never goes away.  

These are just four of the many soft skills you might find useful in your personal and professional life. You’ll also benefit from being able to adapt easily, prioritizing a growth mindset, and establishing a solid work ethic. The overall objective is to recognize that you’re in charge of continually improving, and you get to decide how far you go. So, dream big and continue growing until you get there—wherever that is!   

Has all this “soft skill” talk left you feeling tired? Take a quick brain break, so that you come back feeling energized and ready to continue tackling your goals.