Many people believe that success depends solely on professional qualities. But practice often shows the opposite. We will understand in the article what these are soft skills in simple words. Also, the list of soft skills and how to develop soft skill competencies?
Meaning: What are the Soft Skills?
Soft skills are personal qualities and non-specialized skills that are not easy to identify or test. These include communication skills, interaction with a team, control of their own time expenditures, making presentations, leadership inclinations, and a desire for self-development. Technical competencies (knowledge of standards, technological nuances, methods of carrying out repair work) are called hard skills.
What will Accelerate the Development of Soft Skills?
Determining the choice of direction in self development, we consciously try to get what is necessary for the progressive movement along the chosen line.
What prevents us from developing soft skills:
- Unclear goals, vague plans, insufficient understanding of the direction in which to move and why to do it.
- Unwillingness to radically change something in work, personal life.
- Fear of taking on something new that has not yet been tested. Preference “to go on a knurled track”.
- Unwillingness to devote time to thinking about their own actions and the results achieved.
- Lack of interest in feedback.
Soft Skills Competencies
All of them should be subdivided into four main areas:
- Basic communication skills. They contribute to the development of relationships, the ability to conduct a conversation, and adequately act in tense situations.
- Self-management skills (self-control). They help to control their actions, state, rational use of time.
- Productive thinking. Ability to control thoughts, adjust correctly, navigate.
- Managerial. They are necessary for everyone who at a certain stage accepts a leadership position.
Each direction corresponds to a certain list of soft skills. So, communication includes:
- the ability to hear,
- persuade and argue,
- build and maintain business relationships,
- conduct social presentations.
Self-management implies the ability to: manage oneself, control stress, monitor one’s own growth, own time management, show initiative, be persistent, and approach business with enthusiasm.
Development should be turned into an ongoing process. Consistently gain experience, take on complex tasks, use tools that are different from ordinary ones. The main thing is not to stop.
Learn to correctly plan the stages of progress.
- Use different formats.
- Show curiosity, study what is happening around.
- It is very important to choose areas that will really be relevant in work and business.
- Getting into the habit of reading more is a great solution.
How to Develop Soft Skills?
Recommendations on how to develop soft skills will help everyone who wants to actively move forward.
1. Make Individual Plan
An individual plan can be drawn up for any suitable period. The main thing is to consciously take responsibility for your own development, and not shift it onto others.
When planning, there are three important foundations to highlight.
- The area in which to develop and goals. To do this, you need to analyze possible obstacles on the way, enlist feedback from reputable people.
- What exactly needs to be developed (skills/competencies).
- How will the growth be carried out (choose the right tools).
When the main part of the plan does not raise any more questions, you should move on to a phased design.
Find someone who can help with advice, constructive criticism, outside evaluation. And clearly record the criteria for evaluating the performance results.
Methods of Developing Soft Skills Competencies
The work does not imply immediate impressive results. It will take time to master a particular technique.
- Establishing feedback.
- Learning with the help of others and networking.
- Performing special tasks.
- Growth in the process.
One should resort to them in search of basic knowledge, which will subsequently be actively developed and applied in life.
- If you want to get new information, check with the organizers of the training in advance if it will tell you exactly about the things you are interested in.
- The likelihood of the opposite situation is not excluded. Attending an advanced master class, where there are already experienced people around you, who know much more than you, will be unproductive.
- Attending them, you need to set specific goals in terms of learning. Constantly ask yourself questions: “What do I want to know?”, “What do I want to do after?”
- It is a mistake to think that a skill will develop on its own during training. It is impossible to learn anything without making an effort.
- Practice vigorously, the coach cannot shape your skills for you.
2. Networking and Learning from Others
In the process of self-development, you always need to find people to look up to. Those from whom you can learn new, exciting and useful things. It is better to look for such mentors at special events, among speakers and training participants.
Before contacting them with questions, you should study their history of successful life, ask about their achievements. Soft competence in education is something that is now being heavily biased towards. The modern world dictates its own terms.
This is a story about how one day an elderly and very wise man bought a bird in the market. When he was about to make dinner out of her, she prayed like a goldfish and asked to let her go in exchange for three useful tips. The elder agreed. The first recommendation is not to be naive and do not trust meaningless conclusions. The second – adequately analyze your strength. Third, don’t worry about what you’ve done in the past.
The old man released the feathered one, and she, flying up the tree, began to taunt him. She said that he was a fool, that in the morning she swallowed a diamond, and if it were incredulous, he would be a rich man. Overwhelmed with emotions, the man climbed up to follow her, but broke loose and fell to the ground almost unconscious. And then he, through the noise in his head, heard her words:
“You’re really stupid. He seemed to listen to me, but he acted in his own way anyway. Think for yourself, why should I swallow a stone? And you understand that climbing a tree at your age is not safe. Hearing about wealth, you immediately forgot about nobility.
The conclusion suggests itself: many make a similar mistake. First they consult with literate people, and in the end they listen to overly optimistic people with a developed imagination.
4. Personal Development
In the process of individual development, it is imperative:
- read more literature on an established topic;
- try to master the skills of speed reading;
- analyze the experience gained in writing;
- consider similar situations that have been successful;
- refuse actions that can lead to unsatisfactory results;
- to use new ways, ideas;
- do not be lazy to look for the necessary information on online courses, webinars;
- record conclusions and thoughts that are to be applied in practice.
Don’t forget that any OS is subjective. The person who provides it gives information based on his own experience, an individual idea of the picture of the world. You can listen to advice or just thank and do your own thing.
5. Development in the Process of Performing New Tasks
Never stop, this is the only way to achieve solid progress:
- take action, take on more difficult tasks to learn how to cope with difficult tasks;
- pick up short projects;
- reflect, analyze the results obtained;
- do not be afraid of unusual unexpected situations.
A great tool to develop the habit of following the rules. Basically, you need to decide on what you want to achieve and purposefully focus on it over a period of time. In this case, it is very important:
- stay honest;
- take tasks if you have free time to solve them;
- in practice, you can compose the problem yourself, it is not necessary to involve someone else for this.
Self Coaching Tips for Development of Soft Skills
Every day people face a variety of problems that need to be addressed. Someone resorts to outside help, someone cope on their own. It is the coaches who will help to understand the current situation by asking targeted questions during communication.
To turn on the brain, you need to ask yourself:
- What is the problem?
- How significant is this question?
- What do I want?
List of Soft Skills: Key Examples
They can be very diverse. The ability to correctly assess them is much more important; this can be done using the usual scale (5 points). It is important not to overestimate or underestimate yourself, but to try to answer truthfully. For clarity, ideally developed ones will be considered.
1. Basic Communication
Its essence is to provide two-way communication. Successful manifestations:
- you are aware of the goals (yours and the interlocutor);
- be passionate about it;
- rely on common interests;
- control verbal manifestations, delve into non-verbal feedback;
- adjust your communication style, flexible easier to find a common language with people.
The point is the ability to build long-term relationships with partners and consumers:
- regardless of status and circumstances, you establish contact with the interlocutor;
- you can quickly organize a self-presentation;
- keep the conversation going;
- find areas of interest and opportunities for mutual functioning;
- always looking for opportunities to help solve problems.
3. Belief and Arguments
The bottom line is the ability to achieve goals while maintaining a relationship of trust with the other party:
- consider the opinion of the interlocutor and react correctly;
- achieve your goal, taking into account the goals of your opponents;
- stick to a strategy in an argument;
- use reference resources;
- identify the root of the problem and propose solutions;
- reduce contact to taking mutually beneficial measures;
- respect the opinions of others that differ from yours.
4. Conflict Management
Represents state control in conflict situations. Soft skills are skills that help us cope with various problems, including when disputes arise:
- you instantly recognize an impending thunderstorm and take measures to prevent it;
- in case of misunderstanding, you are looking for ways of reconciliation;
- do not begin to defend yourself, remain open;
- do not leave the conflict, but try to solve it;
- encourage discussion.
5. Scheduling and Time Management Skills
Ability to control time costs. Use it rationally. Ideal if you:
- are able to prioritize;
- strive to minimize work deadlines;
- always follow the set schedule;
- able to adapt their schedule according to emerging situations;
- you can delegate tasks to others and monitor their progress.
6. Working with Information and Making Decisions
The bottom line is the ability to timely resolve emerging issues based on the analysis of the information received. Great if you:
- collect the necessary data on difficulties, use a complex of sources;
- arrange data, present it in the form of diagrams and graphs;
- note the factors influencing the problem;
- sensibly assess the likely risks;
- analyze the consequences.
The main thing is to create an environment in which employees take into account, healthy competition is encouraged, common actions are aimed at achieving team goals. Ideal if:
- before the implementation of tasks, you discuss with colleagues aspects of joint activities;
- distribute roles between participants in the labor process;
- act as an organizer, follow the stages of the work being carried out;
- remind employees of common goals if competition arises;
- resolve differences;
- consider your impact on others as a leader and as an ordinary member of the team;
- pay increased attention to detail and communication with people.
8. Sales and Negotiation Efficiency
Ability to sell everything: goods, ideas, services, while focusing on the needs of both parties. It’s good if:
- know how to establish and maintain contacts with different people;
- identify customer needs;
- carry out a competent presentation of the product;
- if any objections arise, you respond appropriately;
- agree with a partner on further productive joint activities.
9. Public Speeches and Presentations
The ability to demonstrate their skills openly, to involve others, to keep their attention. Ideally, you should:
- use facial expressions;
- use gestures;
- demonstrate confidence;
- express thoughts clearly.
10. Design Thinking
Competent use of management tools in any activity. It’s good if you can:
- take into account the interests of all project participants;
- formulate requirements correctly;
- draw up a work plan;
- foresee possible risks;
- select a team that will effectively solve the assigned tasks;
- present the results of work to the customer and analyze the result.
How to Highlight Soft Skills?
Soft skills – this is what plays a leading role in employment. To show your best side, you need to indicate them.
- In summary. When deciding what to add, you need to consider the upcoming activities. What is to be done and what can contribute to greater efficiency.
- In the cover letter. Here you will need to indicate one of the most developed supra-professional skills, which will act as the main advantage.
Emphasis should be placed on the most important things to remember in the process of self development:
- Personal and professional growth is a big responsibility, first of all to oneself.
- A good mentor will help you succeed.
- All free time should be devoted to development.
You may also like to read: Career Growth: How to Make A Career and Grow Continuously?
Through the use of such a technique as personal coaching, I help people who turn to me to reveal their potential, to achieve balance in different areas of life. I explain to them how to develop soft skills in order to establish relationships in the family, to increase the efficiency of work. After all, a coach does not offer ready-made solutions to problems, he pushes people to find them.
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