The world is filled with talented people who are failures. They’re stuck in the same place for many years. At the same time, there are people who are not as good technically but achieve phenomenal success in a short period.
As you grow professionally, you could be managing teams, communicating with clients, conducting meetings, making impactful presentations, and much more.
Here are 16 must-have soft skills that are critical to professional success.
1. Body Language and Non-Verbal Communication
Even when you’re not talking, you communicate through your body. As they say, our words might lie but our body rarely does. It is one of the most required soft skills for professionals. Your body language determines the way people perceive you.
2. Public Speaking and Verbal Communication
Glossophobia, or the fear of speaking in public is one of the most commonly known fears. Many professionals, including entrepreneurs and CEOs fear public speaking. People lose opportunities because of the fear of public speaking, and lack of verbal communication skills.
3. Social Skills
Many experts believe that growth in one’s career depends a lot on good relationships. Your social skills determine the way you get along with your colleagues, friends, clients, and acquaintances in formal and informal situations.
4. Negotiation Skills
Negotiation is not always about winning. It is the ability to arrive at an agreement where both parties benefit. It is your ability to sway people into your way of thinking.
5. Handling Conflict
Every person faces conflicts in life. It could be internal conflicts within the organization, or with a client, or competitor. The way you handle a conflicting situation impacts your personal as well as organizational success. Listening carefully, placing your opinion smartly and thinking logically will help you resolve many conflicts effectively. Resolving conflicts at work is one of the key managerial skills that every organization looks for.
Many talented people fail at job interviews and remain unnoticed at work because they lack self-confidence. People usually have low self-esteem because they have a fear of being judged. This fear of being judged, and the lack of self-confidence can inhibit your growth.
7. Time Management and Productivity
Lack of time management skills lead to poor productivity. Your productivity is one of the most important factors to determine your performance at work. Productivity is getting more done is less time.
8. Stress Management
Most of us juggle with our personal and professional lives, and end up being stressed. Stress is one of the biggest hurdles to success, as it brings down your productivity, and kills your motivation. Too much stress could affect your health adversely.
9. Business Writing
Written communication is one of the most important forms of business communication. It includes several forms of writing, like emails, reports, fax, advertisements, proposals and so on. In today’s world, most people read your emails or some form of written communication before they meet you. A well written communication is make a lasting impact on a person before they even meet you.
10. Email and Telephone Etiquette
Most formal business communication occurs over emails or telephone. It’s hard to achieve great results if your emails and calls are not impactful.
11. Personality Development Skills
Everyone wants to build a charismatic, and magnetic personality. You cannot achieve great success if you’re never noticed. It’s all about creating a brand for yourself. Personality development is an essential life skill. It includes several aspects, like the way you talk, the clothes you wear, the way you carry yourself, and more.
12. Personal Creativity
Creativity is the ability to come up with original ideas, and think differently. Many business problems require a unique, and creative solution. To think creatively, you must let go of the barriers in your mind. Take time to relax, pursue your hobbies, discuss your ideas freely, and make creative thinking a habit.
13. Developing Good Habits
The ability to break set patterns and replace destructive habits with constructive ones is a skill we must learn. It helps us succeed both professionally, and socially.
14. Customer Service Skills
Most successful businesses are a result of happy customers. Giving your customers, a happy experience should be one of your top priorities. Customer service professionals must have a clear knowledge of their products, patience to deal with the customer and the ability to make quick decisions.
15. Sales Skills
Everything in this world is selling. Whether you are convincing your special someone to go on a date with you, trying to get a job or a promotion, or pursuing a friend to attend your seminar, it requires good salesmanship skills. Even if you are not in the sales profession, this skill is an absolute must-have.
16. Leadership and Management Skills
Leadership is about inspiring people to perform to the best of their ability. Creating a positive atmosphere, motivating people, the ability to delegate work, exhibiting trustworthiness and credibility are some important leadership skills that you should own. Management on the other hand is about getting things done.
Soft skills are often undervalued in comparison to hard skills. They are much harder to master than technical skills. Top performers understand their value, and work on them consistently.
Further reading>> Impact of Soft Skills on Career Success