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Soft Skills Make You a Winner at Work

A good college education helps you develop in-depth subject matter expertise, and technical skills you need to do your job efficiently. While these are skills that you will put on your résumé and can get you your first break, success comes from both technical and soft skills. In an organisation where you have to deal with many different personalities, soft skills become the key differentiator in being successful.

By 2020, complex problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, people management and emotional intelligence would be among the most important skills required in the workplace, according to The Future of Jobs, by the World Economic Forum Future of Jobs.

But the reality is that there are very few companies that give importance to soft skills such as taking initiative, communicating effectively and listening. Largely undervalued, these skills have the power to make one’s career progress fast in the right direction. These include timely client communication, offering support to teammates, empathy, delegation and keeping a consistent focus on how individual efforts can help a company succeed.

Here are some of the reasons why soft skills can be a catalyst to one’s development:

1. Career progression
An iCIMS Hiring Insights (2017) suggests that ‘ninety-four percent of recruiting professionals believe an employee with stronger soft skills has a better chance of being promoted to a leadership position than an employee with more years of experience but weaker soft skills.’ Therefore, it becomes vital to develop these. Soft skills positively affect one’s ability to move forward professionally.

2. Workplace connections are interpersonal
It always pays off to be civil and courteous. Since you are working in a team, qualities like active listening, constant communication with colleagues and collaborating with them ensure a productive and happy work environment.

3. Win them over with strong soft skills
Ours is an increasingly competitive world where consumers are spoilt for choice. Therefore, the differentiating aspect lies in a business’s customer service and how well they can communicate with their consumers at a human level. Being courteous, understanding and informative is a plus. Even if you are not consumer-facing or client-facing, this helps with other departments or teams as well.

4. It is impossible to automate soft skills
While it is true that technology is automating several jobs, it is not possible to do the same to soft skills. Therefore, the future workplace will value traditional skills like critical thinking, communication and teamwork more than ever.

5. Soft skills are highly critical in ensuring business success
Strong communication skills are imperative for a healthy company-client relationship. Possessing soft skills increases employee efficiencies that ultimately help bring the company together as a unit to achieve common goals. Some of the other benefits of soft skills include improved teamwork and leadership skills, enhanced employee satisfaction and the ability to attract new clients.

Now’s the time to work on your soft skills and put your best foot forward. Start by reading up tips and advice on the internet. You could also get yourself registered with online job portals and access the career advice columns that most of them have.

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