Soft Skills X Qualification

Soft SkillsA few years ago all it took to find a good job was our ‘Hard Earned Skills’. In other words the years we spent studying at College, University or any specific know-how we acquired. That would be quite enough! Not now… those times are long gone. The present times require from all of us to have something called Soft Skills or Emotional Intelligence in order to make our way to a successful career no matter which one you choose.

Having a stupendous, awesome, first-class CV won’t guarantee the job if the person behind it doesn’t bring the right cluster of personality traits indispensable for future achievements. The lack of crucial soft skills, like self-motivation, positive attitude, communication, the ability to work as part of a team, leadership, time management, etc. is a clear indicator that the candidate has a limit on what will be accomplished.

If you are lucky enough you were born with the right set of personality traits and you won’t need to learn them. However, if you don’t have them you will have to learn them and best sooner than later.

Communication Skills

One of the soft skills most asked and we can see all over the job ads are “the candidate must have excellent communication skills”. Unfortunately, it doesn’t mean chatty!

Interpersonal relationships in business are fundamental. The way you communicate can determine your success or failure. Your ability to be a good listener is part of good communication skills. When you are talking to someone it is very important to give your full attention and maintain eye contact. If your mind wonders, the person will notice instantly. Don’t try to formulate questions or think about what to say next while someone is talking to you.

People don’t want you to agree with them all the time they just want to be listened and if you manage to develop your skills in listening you will be able to communicate your ideas effectively. The ability to put yourself in other people’s shoes is a great skill to have as it will help you enormously to be more effective in your communication avoiding conflicts. Courtesy and showing care for others not only with words but also using your voice tone and your body language are important aspects of good communication. If you can live in people’s memories for the right reasons you will be respected and more likely to achieve your goals personally and professionally.

The key is to be able to make your case and communicate your needs in such a way that your customers, colleagues and superiors instantly connect with your message.

Positive Attitude

Positive attitude is also mentioned abundantly in job descriptions. If you are not a natural in this area you have to learn to have a positive attitude and this can be tough. Old habits are solid ingrained in our personality and sometimes unlearning something is a lot more difficult than learning in the first place. Think! Can you unlearn to ride a bike? No, but you can learn to drive a car siting in the right seat and the left seat. You will never unlearn but you will put the not so positive attitude on hold and practise the positive ones. Train your brain to see the positive aspect in every so called negative experience.

The Ability to Work as Part of a Team

As a team player your ultimate goal is to work as part of a team that has an objective to be achieved and you are there to make this happen. In a football team the objective is to score goals and avoid the other team from scoring against you. So if you are not the goal keeper but you find yourself in the position of defending your team would you say I am not doing this because it is not my job? Acting as a team player is to make sure you do your work and always be ready to help the team to achieve their targets.

A good team has to work with synergy, cooperation, interaction but it doesn’t mean that diversity is not welcome. A great team is a combination of very different people with different abilities who can work together with synergy.

You have to be prepared to accept that some people in your team are very different from you. However, both have important abilities to contribute to the team. Keep an open mind and avoid prejudices, put your communications skills into practice and listen, listen and listen more. After all that is why we have two ears and one mouth!

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