Take a look inside the modern workplace and it’s clear ‘soft skills’ are becoming more and more essential, with employers seeing these skills as paramount to getting ahead and ensuring business longevity.
A study conducted by Deloitte (Global Human Capital Trends report) revealed over 90% of respondents considered soft skills essential for fostering employee retention and a meaningful culture.
Developing soft skills
With soft skills now being seen as highly desirable traits, what things should you consider when trying to develop your soft skills further? We've rounded up 10 of our top tips for improving your soft skills to help you stand out to employers:
1) Understanding what soft skills are
You need to first understand 'what are soft skills'. Take some time to familiarise yourself with the concept of soft skills and what they entail by researching and reading relevant articles (like this one!).
2) Utilise a learning mindset
Develop a learning mindset. Once you’ve understood what soft skills are and their importance, you should find yourself becoming more self-aware and recognising how you may be able to improve certain skills.
Engage in a period of self-reflection. Become aware of your strengths and weaknesses, and identify opportunities for improvement. You can even ask friends, colleagues and employers to think about your skills. Noting specific examples where you’ve displayed a soft skill well, or need improvement, can help you reflect on certain areas.
Once you’ve identified potential skill gaps, you can start to prioritise developing those skills that you lack. If you’re working for a particular company or have certain career aspirations, consider targeting those skills that align with the culture and competencies of the job.
5) Learning & Training
Engage in learning and training opportunities. With soft skills becoming increasingly important, there are plenty of resources available to help boost your skill-set.
Online courses. Develop your skills at home by following expert advice.
Collaborate with your employer. Take advantage of workshops and training to help you upskill at work.
Coaching from others. Practicing with a friend or colleague can help increase your confidence with soft skills.
Practiceis key. You should seek out opportunities, at work and at home, to put your newly developed skills into practice. Make sure you’re practising intelligently in settings that simulate real-life situations.
Have patience and be prepared to put in effort. Developing soft skills essentially requires a change in personality and habit, meaning it will not be a simple overnight transformation. Soft skills can diminish over time so dedicate time to developing these skills in order to make steady progress.
8) Remember your why
Remember why you’re developing these skills. Focusing on soft skill development can help set you apart from the competition and allow you to excel in your role. Just 8 months of soft skills development can increase your productivity, efficiency and attendance at work (MIT study).
Make the most of feedback. It’s important to get feedback from others to assess your progress and areas for development. Developing these habits requires consistent effort, so feedback little and often can be very effective to keep you on track.
10) Highlight your soft skills
You’ll be able to sharpen up your CV. Employers know what skills they are looking for. Being able to offer concrete examples and showcase your polished skill-set will help identify you as a good candidate.
While developing your soft skills might not be an easy task, it is certainly necessary to ensure your workplace success.
If you're interested in finding out more abut how to develop your soft skills, our soft skills certification, or how to identify soft skills in workers, then please do get in touch, and one of the team will be happy to answer any questions you may have.