3 Top Soft Skills to Boost Your Career: DIGGING DEEPER

Building stronger soft skills is the one thing you can do to greatly increase your value in today’s job market! If an organization has two people with similar hard skills, the odds are they will hire or promote the person with stronger soft skills. This is why the world is full of companies shopping for people with top soft skills to add greater value to their teams and organizations. It wasn’t that long ago that job recruiters and HR leaders primarily focused on hard skills when searching for the right talent. Hard skills refer to your knowledge and ability to perform specific tasks: accounting, cloud computing, people management, artificial intelligence, etc. But globally, 92% of leaders now admit their ability to thrive and compete means attracting people with much stronger soft skills. Soft skills determine how you go about performing those hard skills: communication, adaptability, problem solving, persuasion, collaboration, conflict management, time management, leadership, etc. Not only will an investment in soft skills training or soft skills coaching increase your value in today’s job market, it can also provide some job security should your industry face an economic downturn.

92% of leaders say employee soft skills impact their growth and ability to compete

Create a Skills Mapping Strategy

To move your career in the right direction you should create a soft skills assessment map to identify your strengths and weaknesses. You can tap numerous resources to accurately identify which softs skills you have mastered, and which ones still require work: personality assessments, job performance reviews and feedback you proactively seek from trusted peers. These resources will help you identify gaps in your soft skills repertoire. Then, you can find soft skills training or soft skills coaching to fill those gaps. Which soft skills should you invest in first? Studies indicate there are three soft skills most valued by recruiters and employers:

Soft Skill # 1 – Communication Skills

The top talent recruiters consistently rank effective communication skills at the top of their wish list for soft skills. Too many people limp into the workplace with mediocre communication skills and then never take steps to up their game in this crucial area. They lack the ability to speak with clarity and purpose. They struggle with writing skills. They have a hard time delivering clear, compelling ideas and assessments. Yet, communication is the lifeblood of all teamwork and leadership. How well you communicate impacts both your Credibility and Likability Factors. The Credibility Factor is determined by your ability to present clear and compelling information. The Likability Factor is driven by how well you connect with people at a human or emotional level when you communicate. Some refer to this as people skills or interpersonal skills. The magic combination in today’s job market is to be both credible and likable, and effective communication skills training can make this possible. With both capabilities you can more easily influence others and motivate them toward new ideas and behaviors. 

Soft Skill # 2 – Adaptability

Adaptability is another soft skill you should invest in if you want to land your dream job or promotion. Your ability to juggle multiple job assignments, manage your time, make solid judgements and adapt to change will greatly increase your value in the marketplace. Demand for talent with high adaptability comes at a time when the world is changing at warp speed. New technologies are ushering in radically different customer expectations and new skills that didn’t even exist just a few years ago.

91% of HR leaders value people with adaptability skills

Worldwide megatrends clearly show that organizations must be more agile to remain relevant in the marketplace. The key is finding people who are flexible and can adapt to ever-changing demands. This new reality is why 91% of HR leaders now say they focus on finding people who can quickly adapt to changing environments and demands. This is why more organizations are investing in soft skills training to remain competitive.

Soft Skill # 3 – Problem Solving

Problem solving is the third soft skill that can dramatically change the trajectory of your career path. It is consistently ranked among the top most valued soft skills. How good are you at handling unexpected or difficult situations at work? If you want to stand out from the crowed, invest in skills to quickly assess problems and identify valid solutions. To improve your problem-solving-skills you should be aware there is a cluster of other core soft skills necessary to be an effective problem solver: First, you must have very good listening skills to accurately assess the root cause of an issue. At the same time, you need solid research and information-gathering skills to elicit accurate information from others. Creativity is then instrumental in identifying a range of possible solutions to problems. Some of the most creative people have honed their ability to think from multiple perspectives. Ultimately, you will benefit from stronger decision-making skills in your quest to be a master problem solver. Then, once you identify the best solution, you need excellent communication skills to influence and motivate others to act in a timely manner to solve the problem.

Problem solvers are worth their weight in gold to organizations and teams. Three major universities studied how soft skills training impacts the bottom line. They found that problem-solving, coupled with effective communication can deliver a 250% return on investment. It can also boost productivity and retention by 12%! The sky is the limit when you develop a reputation for being able to assess and solve problems.

Planting More Soft Skills

If you are among those actively or passively seeking a promotion or better job, then now is the time to plant more soft skills in your career garden! Too many technically brilliant people die on the vine because they do not take the time to invest in their soft skills.

HELLO & THANKS!  Could you be interested in digging deeper to advance your group’s soft skills to increase your success and overall job satisfaction?   Contact Us today for soft skills training or soft skills coaching.

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Gail lives on a Texas ranch with her family, five amazing horses, one very cute donkey and an entertaining bunch of dogs, cats and chickens! We support a horse therapy program for people with disabilities, as well as local animal shelters that rescue abandoned dogs and cats.

Benchmark has consulted with and trained leaders and associates from all 50 USA states and more than 25 countries. The Benchmark team provides award-winning leadership and communication strategies to Fortune 500 groups so they can achieve their business goals. We provide consulting and coaching services in: leadership development, storytelling / presentations, reputation management, crisis response, media skills, stakeholder engagement, effective communications and soft skills training.