Soft, but hard necessary. The skills that can boost your career

Soft, but hard necessary. The skills that can boost your career

One famous billionaire didn’t think it was shameful to chat with his employees, pat them on the shoulder and thank them for their hard work. One of his famous quotes: “What is desirable and right cannot be unattainable. It requires only a little more teamwork”.

That billionaire was Henry Ford. This is the man who first created the assembly line, organized the mass production of cars and turned them from a luxury to a means of transportation. But he didn’t go down in history only as a great entrepreneur.

He was a talented manager who respected his employees and knew how to work as a team. He knew that it was teamwork that allowed companies to innovate, make bold decisions, and get ahead. Now it would be said of Ford that he had well-developed soft skills or agile skills.

Soft, but hard necessary. The skills that can boost your career

What are these skills?

They include: the ability to establish contact with people, to persuade and gently get your way, to motivate yourself and your subordinates, to adapt easily to new conditions, to think creatively and to make non-standard decisions.

And if you intend to build a successful career or a prosperous business, make sure that you also develop the following soft skills:

  • Communication;
  • Negotiating;
  • Customer service and support;
  • Networking;
  • Presentation skills;
  • Conflict and problem solving;
  • Teamwork;
  • Time Management;
  • Stress management.

What’s all this for?

You may be wondering: Are professional skills alone not enough to be successful? Not anymore. In the era of total scarcity, there were also queues for mediocre goods. And finding a job wasn’t much of a problem either.

Now competition is everywhere: in the market for physical goods, in services, in the labor market, etc. Therefore, people with strong soft skills, who know how, come out on top:

  1. Build relationships with colleagues, suppliers, and other professional contacts;
  2. Use own time productively;
  3. Manage people and processes easily and without conflict;
  4. Find, attract and retain customers;
  5. Deliver results that will be enjoyed by all (colleagues, subordinates, superiors, clients, etc).

Soft, but hard necessary. The skills that can boost your career

Do you need to develop soft skills? Test yourself

Having soft skills is not a case where you “either have them or don’t have them”. For example, someone in your team is great at communicating with people, but does not work well in a team, constantly “pulling the blanket over himself”. Others are virtuoso at negotiating, but are always late because they have no time management skills.

Here are some common scenarios that show that you need to develop soft skills:

  • You are often late for meetings and don’t have time for a lot of things;
  • Your network of professional contacts does not develop in any way or is replenished by 1-2 people every six months;
  • Your subordinates do not dare to tell you openly about problems and mistakes;
  • You manage to arrange meetings with potential clients, but they seldom end in deals;
  • You find it difficult to refuse people who are important to you;
  • You work with full commitment and feel that you are burning out.

If you recognize yourself in at least one of these points, then it’s time to think about developing soft skills.

Soft, but hard necessary. The skills that can boost your career

How to develop soft skills in 3 steps?

The main condition for mastering soft skills is to realize and accept the areas in which you need to improve. No one knows your strengths and weaknesses better than you do. So to start with, take another look at the list of soft skills at the beginning of the article and note which of them you would like to develop in yourself.

What you can do next:

  1. Remember that the foundation of any soft skill is optimism. Anxiety and low self-esteem will bring your efforts to naught. So develop a positive outlook on the world, start every task with enthusiasm and confidence;
  2. Find a mentor. It can even be a “virtual assistant” or a historical character you don’t know personally. What person fascinates you and why? Read his biography, watch interviews with him and try to model his behavior;
  3. Study books on developing soft and agile skills. There is a lot of literature to help you master soft skills.

We recommend that you start with these books:

After reading these books you will learn:

  1. Manage your time competently and get everything done;
  2. Resolve team conflicts quickly;
  3. Develop emotional intelligence, listen to and hear others;
  4. Negotiate with difficult interlocutors;
  5. Make decisions under uncertainty;
  6. Manage remote teams and assign tasks.

It will be enough for your productivity to increase, for your bosses to pay attention to you and for your career to take off.


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