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The Top 10 Soft Skills in the Workplace

Having strong workplace soft skills is highly valued in today’s workforce. Soft skills describe who you are as a person and as an employee. It sets you apart from other candidates who have similar expertise to you. Thus, developing a set of soft skills that will complement your hard skills will be your stepping stone to success. Here are the top ten most important soft skills in the workplace.

1. Communication skills

Communication skill is the ability to give information that is easily understood by others and also your ability to understand clearly the different kinds of information that you are receiving. As an employee, you need to communicate effectively with your colleagues, clients, and superiors to be productive and operate effectively. Having this skill will help you land a job, get promoted, and be successful in your career.  

Becoming an effective communicator does not happen overnight, but you can learn and improve your communication skills. You can start by practicing and building the following:

  • Active listening
  • Asking questions
  • Non-verbal communication
  • Paraphrasing technique
  • Being empathetic
  • Attending skills or being present
  • Giving and receiving feedback

2. Time management

Learning effective time management is important at a workplace because it allows you to accomplish your goals by consciously taking control of your time and working smarter rather than harder. Having poor time management at work can result in:

  • Procrastination
  • Failure to perform
  • Missed deadlines
  • Stress
  • Work-life imbalance
  • Lack of professionalism
  • Failure to set goals

3. Stress management

Stress management keeps you focused at work by boosting your morale and helping you become more productive. Feeling stressed can be overwhelming, especially if you are constantly working under pressure. Therefore managing stress is essential, and you can do this by following some of these tips.

  • Maintain a positive attitude
  • Exercise regularly
  • Practice relaxation techniques
  • Eat healthy meals
  • Get enough sleep
  • Learn time management
  • Don’t rely on drugs and alcohol
  • Seek professional help
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4. Customer service

Customer service is your ability to address customer needs. This is achieved by using a set of behaviors and skills when interacting with a customer and ensuring that they will have a positive experience. Customer service soft skills are useful for many businesses as they foster loyalty and a good reputation for their customers. As previously mentioned, this skill is composed of a set of behaviors and skills, such as:

  • Communication skills
  • Empathy
  • Friendliness
  • Conflict resolution
  • Responsiveness
  • Quick thinking
  • Patience
  • Dependability

5. Strong work ethic

To be successful in your career, you must have a strong work ethic. This is a good habit, value, and discipline of a person that has been developed over time. When you have a strong work ethic, you are more focused on finishing a task efficiently and immediately, and that impresses an employer. If you have a strong work ethic, you are motivated to come to work. Here are some steps for developing a strong work ethic:

  • Develop discipline
  • Practice professionalism
  • Apply time management
  • Become responsible
  • Set goals
  • Develop a positive attitude

6. Problem-solving skills

Problem-solving skills allow the development of practical and creative solutions. If you possess this skill, you are able to analyze, identify, assess problems, and come up with an impactful and sometimes an out-of-the-box solution. Employers value employees with problem-solving skills as these employees usually use different approaches to solving problems. These approaches sometimes include:

  • Defining the problem
  • Brainstorming solutions and alternatives
  • Proposing solutions
  • Evaluating solutions
  • Choosing the best solution
  • Implementing solution

7. Teamwork

Teamwork is essential when you are working as part of a team because it drives success to any business. It means there is a sense of unity, camaraderie, friendship, and loyalty within a group. It’s what keeps a team stick together to work towards a common goal and overcome obstacles. Having teamwork allows team members to contribute fresh ideas, which will benefit the overall business, resolve problems, support each other, and develop a strong sense of belongingness. 

8. Leadership skills

Having leadership skills means you are able to organize people to achieve a shared goal. You take responsibility for decision-making and do not shift the blame to your team members when something goes wrong. Leadership skill is the combination of several other skills and qualities working together, such as:

  • Communication
  • Delegating
  • Motivation
  • Positivity
  • Trustworthiness
  • Creativity
  • Vision and purpose
  • Confidence
  • Honesty and integrity
  • Accountability

Mastering leadership skills can help you become successful in any field as you help businesses to grow by setting the tone for the organization and inspiring your colleagues to get them to follow you as they trust and respect your words.  

9. Critical thinking

Critical thinking is your ability to analyze facts to come up with a judgment. Employers seek employees who have this skill since there is a lot of information and tasks that every one of us needs to process every day. With this skill, employers know that you will have the finest answer to a problem. You can develop your critical thinking skill by:

  • Asking basic questions when approaching a problem
  • Questioning basic assumptions
  • Evaluating existing evidence
  • Reasoning through logic

10. Interpersonal skills

Interpersonal skill has a great contribution to a person’s success. It allows an employee to communicate and collaborate with other team members effectively. This skill is important in the workplace because it shows that an employee is able to make contributions through collaboration and help your team get the job done.

Interpersonal skill cannot be taught overnight, as this is usually acquired through our experiences with other people. However, some naturally have interpersonal skills and are unaware of it because it is not new to them that they get along and understand others well. 

You can improve your interpersonal skills and connect with others by practicing the following.

  • Controlling your emotions
  • Practicing empathy
  • Acknowledging others
  • Practicing active listening
  • Taking an interest with others
  • Cultivating positive outlook

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About The Author

Esther B.

Esther B.

Esther is a writer whose work focuses on career and personal development. She has also been YourTango’s Expert Partner where she wrote articles mostly for women to encourage them to have a meaningful life and healthier relationships. Her articles were constantly in YourTango’s weekly top ten for highest number of page views and her works have been featured in MSN and POPSUGAR. She also has almost 8 years of experience working for top publishing companies (Wiley and Cengage Learning) helping authors publish their books and research papers. When she is not on the computer, you’ll likely find her in the kitchen busy looking for snacks to eat.