Soft Skills – 10 Ways to Acquire & Sharpen Your Skills

Have you ever wondered What soft skills you hone?

Where do you stand in your current stage of life? Are you a student? A fresh graduate? Or an employee? Regardless of where you are, there are some vital steps that must be taken to define the soft skills that you currently hone.

First and the most difficult step is to self-reflect. Without an in-depth self-reflection, we as individuals will never understand the extent of our skills, flaws, and growth. Though the process is difficult it is also the biggest steppingstone in achieving growth within oneself.

Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as playing a training video to develop essential soft skills and ensure that individuals, and hence organizations, are set up for success. Companies must instead modify their employees’ processes and behaviours, which is a considerably more difficult task.

Here is a list that we have put together to guide you on your journey of personal development, relationship management and career progression. Follow these 10 steps and you will notice a world of difference in how you interact with one another including yourself.

Read more: what-are-soft-skills-how-to-showcase-them

10 Ways to sharpen soft skills

1) Develop a mentality of learning.

You will undoubtedly have setbacks as you work to improve any soft skill, but you will also likely experience many victories. What matters is that you learn from them in either situation. Consider spending time after the project is completed (or perhaps in phases during it) to get feedback on your leadership and how the project could be better next time if you oversee a project and are working on your leadership and collaboration soft skills. People you work with are the ideal people to assess how the project went and provide feedback based on their previous experiences.

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2) Communicate Often.

Effective communication is a soft talent that is beneficial to all employees. Make use of the possibilities you must establish relationships with individuals around you, even if you have jobs and responsibilities that don’t require the assistance of anybody else in your office. To improve this soft talent, communicate frequently. Face-to-face contact, email communication, and group presentations are all examples of this. Because practically every mode of communication is different, it’s necessary to communicate in a variety of ways to broaden your communication soft skills.

Consider how you address others, how clear your message is, your body language, and your tone of voice when communicating. You’ll also be able to observe how others communicate and learn from them to develop a communication style that suits you.

3) Experiment with things that are unfamiliar to you.

It’s critical to venture outside of your comfort zone and try something new if you want to improve anything. It could be a new environment, new tasks, or a leadership position. You may even volunteer to be the one in your group to deliver the project as a method to hone your public speaking skills. Professionally, putting yourself in an unknown area has the potential to demonstrate to your boss how seriously you take your job while also allowing you to learn something completely new.

4) Be open to feedback.

Being open to feedback from supervisors, managers, and even coworkers is an important aspect of enhancing your soft skills. When you’re open to receiving feedback, you’ll be better equipped to take constructive criticism and utilize it to enhance your job performance, including your soft skills. You might get feedback on your communication abilities, group work capacity, time management, leadership potential, and other things. Consider thanking the person who gave you the feedback and making a strategy to improve and learn, either by yourself or with the help of a manager.

5) Teamwork should be emphasized.

When you work well with others, you demonstrate to your employer that you are capable of cooperating with others. Teamwork can take place in a group environment for a presentation or individually with another coworker to execute a common assignment. Allow each member of the group to give their share throughout a shared task or daily responsibility and recognize the group’s diverse skills and personalities. When you place a strong emphasis on teamwork, you open yourself up to possibilities to learn from your coworkers while also strengthening your abilities.

6) Actively listen.

Many of the soft skills require good listening abilities. When you listen, be sure you’re listening to comprehend, not just to respond. The purpose of active listening is to listen well enough to be able to rephrase the other person’s material in a way that they would agree with, even if you completely disagree with them. You don’t have to agree with the other person if you listen actively. Instead, it means you’ll demonstrate that you grasp their point of view and can effectively communicate it, even if you disagree.

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7) Self-Reflection.

In today’s fast-paced world, self-reflection is a helpful exercise for almost everyone, but it requires intention. We shift from one activity or meeting to the next far too often, with little or no thought given to how we presented ourselves or acted in the prior period. Schedule some time for self-reflection throughout the day if at all possible. Consider times when you didn’t get the reaction you wanted or when someone appeared to be leading you in the wrong direction. Consider what you said, how you said it, and how you expressed it. In those instances, you might make some surprising insights about your behaviour, which might help you improvise.

8) Take on leadership roles.

Experience can teach you a lot. Taking on a leadership role, no matter how minor, is an excellent approach to improve your soft skills in general and in leadership. If you’re at the bottom of the corporate ladder and have a single position, you may not have many natural opportunities to develop your soft skills. This presents a challenge for you because any step into leadership will necessitate the acquisition of these talents. One approach is to find a way to step into a leadership role, no matter how little or inconsequential it may appear. You might be able to request to chair a small committee or working group at work. It doesn’t have to be at work, and you don’t have to be in charge of other people. You might become a leader in a community organization, at your place of worship, in an online community, or in a variety of other settings. Whatever role you’re in, you’ll have plenty of chances to practice soft skills and improve your interpersonal skills.

9) Prioritize.

Every person has their own set of talents and shortcomings. Prioritizing soft skill areas where you are naturally stronger than others is the first step in learning how to improve soft skills. Take some time to explore your strengths and weaknesses, as well as areas where you would like to improve. Compare this list to the abilities that are most important for your chosen profession.

10) Improve critical thinking skills 

Although critical thinking is a soft talent in and of itself, it is a core ability at the heart of most of them. Critical thinking is reflective thinking for the sake of self-improvement. Wading through any (direct or indirect) comments you receive about your communication from peers and others is also important. Work on honing your capacity to detect and consider things before reacting. Over time, these skills can help you enhance your communication and decision-making.

Why you need soft skills?

Soft skills are vital not only for building your own reputation, but they may also help to build the reputation of your employer. How you connect with clients and business partners may have an impact on how others see a firm in your community, which can affect their capacity to conduct business. Your soft skills impact the effectiveness of your social interactions, the accuracy of your job, and your capacity to settle disagreements on behalf of your company in order to establish a positive reputation.

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Rebecca Quentin
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