The Art Of Developing Superb Soft Skills: A How To Guide (Part 1)

Excellent soft skills can definitely help take you to another level – not only in your career, but also in your private life. In this two part series we provide you with some tips on how to build on six key soft skills including empathy, criticism, commitment and motivation, communication, self-confidence and team play. We start by discussing the latter three skills below.

+ Effective Communication – Managing the information flow +

What’s needed? Efficient communication according to the situation and the conversation partner.

How do you apply this in your daily work? There are countless situations at work where you need to communicate effectively. These range from the daily info exchange with colleagues and the project update for your boss, to a presentation in front of your whole department or client.

What’s important? Information often need to reach the target person at the right moment and in the right way. So always concentrate on the key points and communicate at a suitable time.

How do you train this? If the communication culture in a company is fully new to you, you should observe carefully: how do your colleagues and superiors communicate? Make precise agreements when it comes to deadlines and ask at the end of a discussion whether everything is clear. This is how you will spot unclear points and enhance the efficiency of your communication. Also try to make the most out of presentations by repeatedly asking your audience whether they have any questions. This will help you better connect with your crowd, gain routine and build on your presentation skills.

+ Self-Confidence – Knowing your own capabilities +

What’s needed? A realistic self-reflection of your own performance and qualifications.

How do you apply this in your daily work? Your boss has to know how much responsibility he or she can give you. Hence you should be aware of your own strengths and weaknesses.

What’s important? It is key to know your own limits, so that you are neither over- nor under-strained and that you do what you are best at. With the help of a good self-reflection you know when to ask your boss for more or different tasks as well as greater responsibility. Also think about where you would like to develop further and make a realistic assessment as to how much you could potentially develop within a given time frame.

How do you train this? Observe yourself during your daily work. Try to assess the time requirements before starting to work on a task. Compare afterwards whether you were right. Also get your colleagues‘ and superior’s opinions on your performance, because evaluating it by yourself can sometimes be misleading. This will help you get a much better idea of your own capabilities.

+ Team Skills – Collaborating effectively in a team +

What’s needed? Knowing your own role in the team and working for the team’s success.

How do you apply this in your daily work? With most tasks and projects colleagues need to collaborate within or across departments. Here efficient collaboration is the prerequisite for excellent results.

What’s important? The goal is to be productive and constructive with other people in groups. Respectively, it is vital to integrate into a group properly. You should remember that every team usually has various roles. That’s why you need to know and accept your own as well as your team colleagues’ roles. Finally, bringing in line your own goals with your team’s is essential to get the most out of your group performance.

How do you train this? The best way to put this into practice is through a regular exchange with colleagues and superiors. Try to find out what everyone is good at and where people see their weaknesses to help you distribute roles. Make sure to listen to other people’s opinions while representing your own and find out what everyone wants to achieve in a certain time period. This will help you align your goals and eventually enhance your chances of generating great team success.

How do you train your soft skills? Do you agree with us? Let us know and leave a comment below!


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