What are soft skills and why are they so important in the workplace?

Think back on some of the people you’ve worked with. What makes one person really stand out whilst others just blur away? Chances are it’s because of their superior soft skills. What’s your soft skills rating and how can you improve them?

 

Soft Skills (noun): Attributes and personality traits that help employees interact with others and succeed in the workplace.

The internet, and bookshops all over the world, are full of helpful tips and guides about how to succeed in the workplace. But apart from readily defineable factors like ‘working hard’, ‘displaying passion’ and ‘turning up on time’, the secrets of success largely revolve around what are known as soft skills – personality or character traits that make you memorable and stamp you as a team player that people want to work with; and someone to look up to.

 

Some soft skills attributes you can develop

The beauty of soft skills is that with a little drive and me-mindfulness everyone can cultivate them, build on them and turn themselves into a workplace pro.

Here are just a few areas for you to focus on.

 

Make ‘attitude’ an integral part of your character

Too many of us begrudge work and do the bare minimum. Make yourself stand out by adopting a positive attitude to every aspect of work and your workplace. Learn more about what interests you work-wise and be curious about better ways to get things done. You’ll help make a better workplace for all and you’ll become a better person as well.

 

Make yourself an interesting person

You study at school but very few of us study at work. Read up on things relevant to your workplace – even set aside one night a week to ‘study’ and learn more about your profession or craft. It’s a fact of life that the more you know about a certain field or topic the more interesting it becomes. And the more interesting you become as well. Become the go-to person in your workplace for advice and guidance. They say ‘knowledge is power’ but knowledge can  also be appealing and attractive. Your colleagues will find your insights and suggestions not just helpful but also contagious and exciting.

 

Become known for your vitality and energy

What are your energy levels like? Are you known as an enthusiastic person who is always good value for colleagues seeking advice or direction? Do you excite others with your ideas and collaborative approach?  Personal energy is a great trait to have. Others feed off it and are drawn to it. You need to audit all aspects of your lifestyle to ensure you maintain a strong supply; especially at work. Consider your diet, sleeping patterns, alcohol consumption, overall wellness and lifestyle. You know the drill!

 

Make yourself a communicator

How well do you know your work colleagues? Take some time to build a closer relationship with each and every one of them. Their families, their football team and their favourite tv shows. You’ll find this familiarity can happily shade into friendship. Focus on being a friendly, outgoing person and take an interest in everyone and all things work. We are all a bit shy and introverted at times but appreciate it when people reach out.

Become that person. You can develop your communications skills by joining a debating club or a public speaking network. They can be great fun too! And that’s a great way to learn.

 

Always take the lead, and lead by example

Make yourself a workplace leader. People appreciate leadership and always look to someone they respect to help them with workplace or personal challenges. Collaborate with people yet also show them the way forward. Building a personal profile as a problem solver who finds innovative solutions to client or workplace challenges can be a powerful binding force that makes everyone else excited to work together.

Leaders also get noticed, get paid more and rise to the top more quickly.

 

Like to know more about upskilling your workforce? Or upgrading how they are managed or trained? CXC has been providing and supporting organisations with workforce management services for over 30 years. With offices and services extending to over 50 countries, CXC has the resources and scale to help you with workforce management anywhere in the world. Why not contact us today to find out more?

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