The Art Of Developing Superb Soft Skills: A How To Guide (Part 2)

Last time we showed you how to make the most of your soft skills regarding communication, self-confidence and team play.  In this second and final part we discuss how you can improve your empathy, criticism, commitment and motivational ability.

+ Empathy – Putting yourself in someone else’s position +

What’s needed?

The ability to put yourself in the shoes of superiors and colleagues by taking their viewpoint.

How do you apply this in your daily work?

In order to collaborate productively with other people, you should question your own stance and allow different views. Why does one colleague do his job differently than you? Why does the superior communicate some things briefly and others more detailed? If you understand the context, you will be able to shape daily tasks more efficiently and adapt to the respective situation. This not only enhances productivity, but improves the team atmosphere as well.

What’s important?

You should remember that different people deal with situations differently. The goal is not to get your way, but to achieve a smooth work flow and good results. That’s why compromises are necessary.

How do you train this?

Regular exchange with colleagues helps you understand their work styles. A good moment for this is after the conclusion of a project. Ask direct questions. This is how a mutual learning process is encouraged. While new starters can benefit from the experience of older colleagues, the latter should get inspired by the fresh ideas of younger colleagues.

+ Criticism – Dealing with feedback appropriately +

What’s needed?

The ability to deal with criticism in a reflective way.

How do you apply this in your daily work?

You should always react to colleagues’ and superiors’ criticism during your daily work. The goal should always be to improve work flows and the collaboration.

What’s important?

It is vital for you to assess criticism correctly and react accordingly. Think about whether it is justified. Improve your work following justified criticism and reject unjustified points with factual arguments. Try to take on the criticism without losing yourself in explanations or justifications.

How do you train this?

Just repeat the previously described process and you will see that you will start to react much more confidently to criticism.

+ Commitment and Motivation – Doing more than what you are asked to +

What’s needed?

The ability to motivate yourself and perform accordingly.

How do you apply this in your daily work?

Superiors are there to motivate their employees. But as an employee you should also know how to motivate yourself. When you know your own goals, this releases motivation to reach them. For instance, visualize your professional goals and divide them into smaller goals that you try to reach every week. Suggest how you could complete projects more efficiently from your view.

What’s important?

When you identify with your work, you will automatically show higher commitment. Follow the goal of improving processes instead of adapting to given circumstances. Think about what could take your business forward. How can you align your own goals with your company’s?

How do you train this?

These skills are mostly a question of attitude. You have to know your own goals and what motivates you. Besides, you should know what is important for your business and what takes it forward. After that you check where the two overlap.

Hopefully you now have a much better idea of how to make the most of your soft skills! How do you train them? Do you agree with us? Let us know and leave a comment below!

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