Ten Soft Skills You Need
The meaning of Soft Skills can sometimes be difficult to describe. It can be that unique attribute or characteristic that facilitates great communication. It can be the special way that you show confidence in a challenging situation. These and other events can become more easily managed with this great workshop.
With our Ten Soft Skills You Need workshop your participants will begin to see how important it is to develop a core set of soft skills. By managing and looking at the way people interact and seeing things in a new light, your participants will improve on almost every aspect of their career.
Ten Soft Skills You Need Course Outline:
|Module One: Getting Started
Module Two: What are Soft Skills?
Module Three: Soft Skill 1: Communication
Module Four: Soft Skill 2: Teamwork
Module Five: Soft Skill 3: Problem Solving
Module Six: Soft Skill 4: Time Management
|Module Seven: Soft Skill 5 and 6: Attitude and Work Ethic
Module Eight: Soft Skill 7: Adaptability/Flexibility
Module Nine: Soft Skill 8: Self-Confidence
Module Ten: Soft Skill 9: Ability to Learn From Criticism
Module Eleven: Soft Skill 10: Networking
Module Twelve: Wrapping Up
|Skill to do comes of doing. Ralph Waldo Emerson|
Having the technical skills and knowledge to successfully execute your job duties is only one part of being the best you can be in the workplace. In addition to these “hard” skills, we also need “soft” skills. Soft skills are those skills which allow us to effectively work with others. No matter what your position, organization, or industry, you work with people! Taking the time to build effective soft skills can contribute to a more efficient, more harmonious, and more productive workplace, as well as to your own overall job happiness and satisfaction.
Research has consistently demonstrated that when clear goals are associated with learning, it occurs more easily and rapidly. With that in mind, let’s review our goals for today.
At the end of this workshop, participants should be able to:
- Discuss how soft skills are important to success in the workplace
- Understand the 10 key soft skills everyone should have
- Use soft skills to relate more effectively to others in the workplace
- Understand how to use soft skills to communicate, problem-solve, and resolve conflict
- Apply soft skills to specific situations
|I think we all have empathy. We may not have the courage to display it. Maya Angelou|
What are soft skills, anyway? Simply put, soft skills are the personal attributes that allows us to effectively relate to others. These skills enhance our personal interactions and lead to greater job performance and satisfaction. Unlike hard skills, which are the technical and knowledge skill set we bring to our work, soft skills are interpersonal and can be applied in a broad array of situations. Soft skills encompass both personality traits, such as optimism, and abilities which can be practiced, such as empathy. Like all skills, soft skills can be learned.
Soft skills are personal attributes that allow us to effectively relate to others. Applying these skills helps us build stronger work relationships, work more productively, and maximize our career prospects. Often we place the focus of our career development efforts on hard skills – technology skills, knowledge, and other skills that specifically relate to our ability to get work-related tasks done. This means we neglect to develop our soft skills. However, soft skills are directly transferrable to any job, organization, or industry. As a result, they are an investment worth making.
Soft skills include:
- Showing Empathy
- Giving and receiving feedback
Empathy is perhaps the most important soft skill we can develop for better interpersonal interactions. Empathy is the ability to identify with another person’s experience. While we often think of empathy in terms only of identifying with someone’s pain or negative experience, we can apply empathy in a variety of situations. Developing empathy allows us to imagine ourselves in another person’s shoes, to respond to others, and even to vicariously experience others’ feelings of emotions. When we demonstrate empathy, we create connections with others, which can help to build teamwork or otherwise create shared goals. Empathy also helps to forge stronger interpersonal connections between team members and colleagues, which is as important as shared goals or complementary skills when it comes to accomplishing work.
Empathy is one component of what is known as Emotional Intelligence, or EI. Emotional Intelligence is the ability to recognize and manage our feelings so that they are expressed appropriately. Exercising emotional intelligence helps to create harmonious, productive relationships. There are four key components to Emotional Intelligence:
- Self-awareness: The ability to recognize our own feelings and motivations
- Self-management: The ability to appropriate express (or not express) feelings
- Social awareness: Our ability to recognize the feelings and needs of others, and the norms of a given situation
- Relationship management: Our ability to relate effectively to others
Taken together, these skills make up our Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQI). The EQI is a measure of your ability to exercise soft skills such as empathy.
The word “professionalism” often conjures up images of a cold, distant, brusque person in a nondescript navy blue suit. In fact, many people have the sense that to be “professional” is exactly the opposite of demonstrating empathy and emotional intelligence! However, professionalism is a key soft skill, and it doesn’t require you to be inauthentic, distant, or detached. Professionalism is simply the ability to conduct yourself with responsibility, integrity, accountability, and excellence. Acting with professionalism also means seeking to communicate effectively with others and finding a way to be productive. Professionalism involves what may seem to be small acts, such:
- Always reporting to work on time and returning promptly from breaks
- Dressing appropriately
- Being clean and neat
- Speaking clearly and politely to colleagues, customers, and clients
- Striving to meet high standards for one’s own work
Because soft skills are talked about as traits of a person’s personality, it may seem as though you have to born with them. While some soft skills come more easily to one person than they might to another, soft skills are not inborn. Like all skills, they can be learned. Because we all have our own preferences and ways of moving through the world, some soft skills may be more difficult to learn than others. But if we think back, there are also aspects of our hard skill set that were difficult at first, though they now seem to come quite naturally to us. We develop soft skills in the same way we develop hard skills – we practice! Spending time with people who seem to be able to effortlessly demonstrate a soft skill that you find challenging is one way to build your soft skill set. Another way is to seek opportunities to practice in which the risk of failure is low, until you feel confident in your ability. You don’t have to be born a networker or an empathetic person – you can learn and build these skills throughout your career.
Dee was just not a “people person.” She preferred to work by herself, and her position at her company allowed her to do that most of the time. She valued her productivity and her ability to meet deadlines and exceed expectations, and anything that got in the way of that was an annoyance. When she had to interact with coworkers throughout the day, she preferred to keep the interactions as brief as possible so she could get back to work. Her coworker Angela mentioned that people often found Dee unapproachable. “I’m just not wired to be social,” Dee told her. “I don’t relate well to others when I feel like they’re wasting my time. I’ve always been a loner – it just comes naturally to me.” Angela explained that she also preferred to focus on her tasks and work independently, but she had learned to relate to her coworkers so that she could have a more harmonious work experience.
Angela encouraged Dee to try changing her approach to coworkers, to try to see them not as interruptions but as fellow humans who were worth paying attention to. Dee decided to try this, though it was hard for her. The next time a coworker interrupted her while she worked, Dee tried to really listen to what he needed rather than rushing him out of her office. She realized that her coworkers often didn’t come to her until things were in crisis because they found her distant. She then realized that cultivating better relationships was a way to prevent crises in the workday.
1. Which of the following are true of soft skills?
a) They are aspects of a person’s personality
b) They are actions as well as characteristics
c) They can promote better workplace efficiency
d) All of these
2. The technical and knowledge skills we bring to our jobs are known as which of the following?
a) Soft skills
b) Hard skills
d) None of these
3. The ability to identify with another’s feelings is known as which of the following?
d) Role playing
4. Which of the following are components of emotional intelligence?
c) All of these
d) Relationship management
5. The ability to recognize our feelings and express them appropriately is known as which of the following?
a) Psychological intelligence
b) Emotional intelligence
c) Emotional regulation
d) Emotion management
6. Professionalism does NOT require which of the following?
a) Acting with integrity
b) Seeking to always be productive
c) Communicating clearly with others
d) Maintaining a wide emotional distance from colleagues
7. Which of the following is NOT true of soft skills?
a) They are inborn
b) They can enhance productivity
c) They can enhance work satisfaction
d) All of these
8. Which of the following is the best way to develop soft skills?
a) Research them
b) Watch other people apply them
c) None of these
9. What best describes Dee?
a) A Loner
10. What did demonstrating empathy help increase?
c) All of these
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