Wednesday, November 6, 2013

7 Important Soft Skills to Have

Soft Skills are those skills that we aren't taught in school including: leadership, motivation, interpersonal skills and creativity.  These are the characteristics that make us more likeable to peers, professors and potential employeers.  Below is a list of the 7 of the most important Soft Skills to have, pay attention to how comfortable you are with each of these skills.

1.  Listening:  If you can't follow instructions, it doesn't matter how talented you may be, you will mess things up.  Show you are a good listener by following directions closely the first time.  How can you tell if you are an good listener?  Practice actively listening during a conversation, can you repeat most of what the conversation was about after it has finished?  If not, try to focus more and practice during everyday interactions.

2. Adaptability:  Change can difficult to accept on some occasions, however, being flexible and having a good attitude during unexpected changes can be a valuable skill.  Do you complain if plans change?  Do you sulk when things don't go your way?  If so, think about how you can be less rigid, change is a part of life and it's important to learn how to deal with is effectively.

3. Teamwork: Teamwork seems to be everywhere in the life of a student.  At any one time you are working in a team to complete a project in a class.  This will be no different than in the work environment.  Even though you have worked in alot of team environments through out your college career do you still feel like you need to work on being a team player?  Consider joining a club sports team or student organization outside of the classroom to futher these skills.

4.  Judgement: Judgement is not a skill that can be easily taught.  Have you ever posted something on Facebook or Twitter and regretted it later?  Then you might need some extra practice in good judgement.  The old saying "think before you act" is a good mantra to live by when trying to practice good judgement.

5.  Work Ethic: Will you continue to work on something until it is complete? Do you step up and complete a task when it is not really your job?  If you answered yes to these 2 questions then you already have a strong work ethic.  If you answered no, think about some things you can do to change that.

6. Communication: This is probably the most important soft skill to have.  It is evaluated every day by those that you interact with.  How you introduce your self or interact with others sends a message of how well you communicate.  It's important to take your time think about what you want to communicate and do it in a way that makes sense to others.  Find yourself repeating yourself often or have others misunderstand you?  Then you may need to step back and take a look at how you are communcating your thoughts.

7. Positive Demeanor: This is just another way of saying are you "nice to be around."  Are you rude to the receptionist or don't hold the door for the person behind you? Than it's likely you may be viewed as a negative person.  If people view you as a negative person it could effect your relationships with those around you.