Soft Skills Development
With about 7 years of experience with customer care, and working a lot longer in different business environments, I would like to share some tips and tricks..
Soft skills have become one of the basic traits that employers are looking for in a candidate, customer oriented job or not.
You basically have to understand what having good soft skills means in order to be able to recognize it as something you already have or you just need to develop. Keep in mind for starters, it is a skill. So that means you can learn it. I would explain it in my own words as a set of tools you use in a professional or any other manner and you reach out to them depending on the situation. So imagine a toolbox, and you get a specific tool to fix a problem.
So, I would like to point out the most important tools I use, which you can learn and practice to improve yourself.
Both written and verbal communication skills are of utmost importance in the workplace because they set the tone for how people perceive you. If you can clearly express the who, what, when, where, why, and how of a project, you’ll be on top of your game.
I have achieved this by practicing. You need to set apart the necessary and unnecessary information and clearly communicate them further. It's like you read a book and you need to paraphrase the whole thing in 15 sentences so someone can get the right idea.
When something goes wrong, you can either complain or take action. Knowing how to think on your feet can make you indispensable to an employer.
I have achieved this by learning as much about the given job and processes as possible. If you know what you are doing and most importantly, what you are dealing with, you will find a solution or a workaround. Not knowing your job properly is a dead end.
Being able to constructively work through disagreements with people is a sure indicator of maturity—as well as leadership potential. Someone like this helps to promote a healthy, collaborative workplace, and be customer friendly as well.
This one for me comes with communication no doubt. You have to be able to keep yourself in check when in a tight or unfriendly situation. Keep in mind one thing, people respond much better to a calm, open and non judging individual. I am at a point that I respond to someone in a very calm and quiet manner but hit them with every sentence because arguments coming from a confident and calm person are very hard to beat.
Interpersonal skills are the behaviors and tactics a person uses to interact with others effectively. In the business world, the term refers to an employee's ability to work well with others. Interpersonal skills range from communication and listening to attitude, compassion, willingness etc..
This last one can be a bit tricky. Especially when you are not a sociable flower. This works for me:
I accept the different individuals and the environment surrounding me. This is very important as you need to understand that not all of us function in the same way. I accept that my way of thinking and working is not the only way and might not be everyone's cup of tea. I practice finding positive traits in everything.
For the conclusion, soft skills revolve around personal relationships, character, and attitude. This is something you can practice on every day basis, encounters, examples etc.The problem is that many people still think of these types of skills as innate qualities rather than something that can be learned – they consider that a person is either born with them or not. Fortunately, nothing could be further from the truth, as all of the most in-demand soft skills can be trained and developed.
Hope this article will help you start your journey to great soft skills!