Soft skills aren’t like hard skills such as knowing how to program with Python. Soft skills are difficult to quantify. Analytical thinking, good communication, and leadership are examples of soft skills. It’s relatively easy to teach people hard skills, but soft skills are trickier and require changes in behavior. But you can develop your soft skills and give your career a boost. You can be great at what you do, but if your soft skills are weak, then you limit your chances of career advancement.
Key soft skills
Written and verbal communication skills are extremely important in the workplace; people judge you by what you say or write, and how you say or write it. A great idea can be dismissed if it isn’t communicated clearly. Speaking skills help you communicate more clearly, and they can improve relationships with co-workers. Communication skills improve performance because they help you to convey clear expectations from other staff so that you can do better work. This is especially true if you are working with a language that is not your native tongue; it’s very easy to miscommunicate, and that can lead to problems or people not wanting to work with you.
Your success is rarely dependent solely on you; we work with other people and we need them to do well, too. Typically, success is the result of staff working toward a common objective. To do this, we need to be able to work well with others (good communication helps with this). Working well with others means being open to new ideas, criticism and dealing with different personal styles. We need to be able to handle disagreement without getting angry, and we need to recognize what each team member can do best.
The business world is full of disruptions: technical change, political change, economic change and change of personnel. Some people hate disruption and fight against it; people with good soft skills deal with disruption and adapt quickly. Things don’t always go as you planned, but don’t waste time fighting the problem. Determine how you can adapt to the novel situation and move forward. This requires an open-mind and a willingness to change; you can learn to do this with practice.
This goes hand in hand with adaptability. When disruptions occur, you need to figure out what is happening and look for a way to solve the problem. Good teamwork and communication foster good problem solving. A member of your team may have an insight that you don’t, leading to a solution that you would not have thought of.
Other key aspects of problem solving are don’t complain, think, ask questions and take action. Anyone with a mouth can gripe about the current situation, but it takes thought and boldness to think of a solution. The problem solvers are the ones who lead.
Being observant and questioning
You need to be aware of what is going on in your field and within your office. You need to be able to actually look at data and think, not just glance over the data and forget about it until the next meeting. You should always be asking yourself or others questions about processes and data to improve your understanding. Better understanding can lead to insight and innovation.
If you have a group of people together, there will always be some level of conflict. Learning how to handle conflict in a productive manner is a key soft skill. Dismissing conflicts or making them worse by getting annoyed won’t help you, your staff or your firm. Also, you may be asked to handle conflict between two members of your team; you need to learn to listen, observe and make rational judgements, not judgements based on personal dislikes. Learning to listen effectively can be learned.
Taking charge of a situation or team is an important soft skill. Many people have the knowledge and skill, but they don’t know how to lead. Being confident and having a clear goal can help you to influence your co-workers and get them to accept your ideas. Leadership skills will lead to promotions, greater opportunity and a better salary. Learning to be a good leader isn’t the same as telling everyone what to do all of the time; it’s about learning to work with a team well and harnessing the skills of a group. A good leader also takes responsibility for problems and finds solutions rather than look for ways to complain.
Acknowledge those that helped you. Admit when you don’t know how to do something and accept praise with grace. Don’t put down those who failed, but encourage them and suggest ways they can improve. If you can be this way, people will like working with you and admire your quiet confidence. Keep in mind that being humble doesn’t mean that you are a doormat for anyone. You can stand up for yourself and your team when they are being unjustly criticized and still be a humble person.
GlobalExam’s Business English online platform
As mentioned above, communication is a key soft skill. Communication fosters better teamwork, enables better conflict resolution and it is something most good leaders possess. Improving your grasp of English and getting a better understanding of the culture of the English speaking business world will develop your soft skills. We understand this at GlobalExam, so we have created a platform to acquire the essential professional skills in English. The platform will help you progress in English.
As learning a language online is not an easy task, we’ve come up with some tips to stay motivated when learning English online !
What is GlobalExam’s Business English?
It is a learning platform that offers training and courses for 3 different levels: beginner, intermediate and expert. You can take a level test before starting your program to determine the best level for you to start at. You can train for 15 minutes a day and/or decide to follow our professional English courses over 6 months for better progress.
What does Business English offer you?
Business English provides you with choices. There are courses that are adapted to each objective and different pathways to follow, according to your needs because we value flexibility at GlobalExam.
- Boost my Skills includes meetings, telephone, project management, emails and writings, reception and events, business trips, recruitment, intercultural, sales and negotiation, vocabulary, and grammar.
- Boost my Career includes situations and materials for marketing, customer service, communication, HR, sales, purchasing, tourism, banking, and logistics. and management. Choose the career that suits you and practice!
- Boost my Level includes all the skills that you need whether you are a complete beginner or an expert.
Additionally, our Business English platform provides the following:
- Scripted content that is coached
- 25 scripted paths for better immersion
- 500 situations from everyday working life
- Video coaching by our friendly and patient teachers
- Detailed corrections for each question
- Certification of each course after completion
- Help in creating a professional English resume
All of the above is part of our well-designed, easy to navigate website that has been built with you and your needs in mind. Sign up now to try our free version!