16 Must-Have Soft Skills for Professional Success

Professional success depends on a person's hard as well as soft skills. Here are 16 soft skills that are essential to professional success.

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.

6. Self-Confidence

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

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About the Author: Staff

This article is written by a staff writer at Trainer Hangout.


  1. I cannot agree with these tips enough! So many people lack common communication skills. It can be a real detriment, especially in the work place.

  2. All of these are phenomenal traits to have! I especially liked the controlling body language and non verbal communication skills. You can actually learn and inquire so much about a person through their body language and demeanor. Thanks for the great tips and for sharing!

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