Nothing gets done at work unless average people like you and me work together effectively. That’s why it’s imperative that we practice and enhance a “solid” set of soft skills: emotional intelligence, communication sense, problem-solving, flexibility, and a positive, we-can-do-this-together attitude.
Your employer knows that technical skills and good judgement can be nurtured with training and experience; but they also know they just can’t fix ornery.
Ornery employees–or stubborn, discontented, impatient, overly-independent, easily-stressed–employees and managers create a productivity-sucking vortex around them. Quality declines. Morale withers. Employee retention exits the building.
It’s no wonder many employers try to avoid hiring soft un-skilled people like the plague, regardless of how smart or talented they may be.
If it’s true that your employer places a premium on soft skills in hiring decisions, then it must also be true that your soft skills can help you advance, or fail, at your current job. With this in mind, here’s 11 easy ways you can you re-focus on your soft skills and avoid being the person no one wants to work with.
1. Smile and say “Hello” to everyone: your direct reports, your boss, the CEO, the janitor, your peers.
2. Treat every colleague like your most valuable client/customer.
3. Actively listen to your colleagues–their ideas, their hobbies, their lives, whatever they will trust you with.
4. Laugh with as many people as you can during the day.
5. Never talk about your competence (the interview is over).
6. Own responsibility for mistakes.
7. Praise others’ accomplishments.
8. Never, ever complain. Ever. Seriously. Never.
9. Deliver more than expected, earlier than expected, every single time.
10. Treat communication like it’s mostly your responsibility.
11. Get good at proposing new ideas.
Behind these 11 ways to succeed at your job is a healthy dose of humility, perseverance, joy and compassion. You may recognize these as Christian virtues. And, if you are a Christian, you know their source: the Spirit of Jesus Christ within you.
Let me encourage you to begin every workday in prayer confessing your dependence on Christ for these virtues, asking Him to fill you with His Spirit, for the benefit of your colleagues, your employer, and His Kingdom.
Okay? Great! Now, let’s get to work.
- Why Soft Skills Matter (mindtools.com)
- Top 10 Soft Skills for Job Hunters (jobs.aol.com)
- 10 Reasons Why Humor Is a Key to Success at Work (Forbes.com)
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