If you want to be the best in your field, there are certain skills that you need to develop and master. People usually focus on improving their hard skills and don’t give much consideration to the soft skills required for success.
Hard skills are teachable and measurable abilities, such as reading and writing or your proficiency at specific computer programs. Some jobs are more technical than others, however becoming expert and successful in your field will require you to have highly developed and job-related hard skills.The soft skills required for success are less tangible, these attributes are to do with your personal qualities and character. Soft skills include your emotional intelligence, resilience and leadership skills. We’ve compiled five of the top soft skills needed for success in any industry. These are the attributes that we know employers value.
1. Resilience and Adaptability
Many of us have been understandably challenged and concerned by world events over the past couple of years. The pandemic has directly changed the working conditions for people everywhere.
We often can’t control situations, but we can control our responses to them.
As the inspiring holocaust survivor, author, neurologist, psychiatrist and philosopher, Victor Frankl said, “when we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
If you’re an employee who is adaptable and resilient through times of significant change as well as smaller upheavals, you are a valuable asset.
This one may seem obvious but it’s surprising how many people need to work on some (or all) components of their communication skills. Whether it’s your ability to speak clearly and concisely, or your listening skills, you should always strive to improve and be the best communicator you can. This includes consideration of non-verbal communication skills such as body language. Think about how you present yourself to others.
3. Work ethic
Excelling in this skill doesn’t mean you have to be the person clocking the most hours every week. It’s as much to do with time management and working smarter, not necessarily longer hours. An employee with a good work ethic is someone that employers can trust to get the job done within the time required.
Employers want to hire people who are skilled at managing other employees. Even if you don’t have any direct reports in your role, this skill still applies to you. Leadership skills extend to taking ownership of a situation and being able to work autonomously. For example, if your boss is away and unreachable for a couple of days and an urgent matter comes up, those with leadership skills will be better able to handle the situation on their own.
Last but not least is empathy. Previously considered by many to be a soft skill that was not essential to business success, this has now recognised as critical. The ability to recognise the emotions of others and share their perspective not only makes us better people but better at our jobs too.
Empathy skills are important in all workers but most important in leaders, as this recent Forbes article Empathy Is The Most Important Leadership Skill According To Research illustrates.