In our disconnected culture, it is no wonder that people have a hard time with soft skills. We are accustomed to quick texts and short emails. Those types of interactions do not lend themselves to soft skills. In general, we just want information and we want it now. No time to do small talk or find out how someone’s day is going. Believe it or not, soft skills are very valuable in the workplace. When a boss is seen as cold and harsh, employees will not respond as well. It takes those personal connections for your team to feel excited about the job.
How to Develop Soft Skills for the Workplace
If you have not spent much time developing your soft skills, then it will take changing your mindset to undo some of the bad habits you have formed. Also, you will have to be intentional in your communication and actions. Here are some of the top ways to develop soft skills that are needed to be successful in your business.
Have face-to-face conversations. Those that have grown up with texting, chatting, and email as their main source of communication are not used to actual conversations. There is a flow that happens in a conversation that is happening face to face. In order to develop soft skills, you must learn to talk with others.
Develop a listening ear. There is more to a conversation than just saying what is on your mind. You have to truly listen to the other person. Try to identify with what they are saying during the conversation. This is an invaluable skill when it comes to handling customer service complaints or team member issues.
Engage in intentional conversations. Communication takes place instantly these days. When you have something on your mind, you shoot a text, post a status update, or share your thoughts in a quick burst. It is important that you put an emphasis on engaging in intentional conversations where you ask the other person about their ideas, thoughts, and day. Become sensitive to what is going on with someone else.
Take on a positive attitude. Many people are in the habit of sharing their negative feelings about life in the form of rants on social media outlets. Those negative comments we make and read have harmed our attitude. Instead of staying negative, turn to the positive. Be positive about your job and other areas of your life.
These are a few of the things that you can do to work on building your own soft skills and helping your staff develop their skills in this area.
Written for us by our associate Gary Sorrell, Sorrell Associates, LLC
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