Young children are taught and influenced by those around them and begin a lifelong journey of “training” for success. What personal success looks like is actually determined by each individual. However, in the workplace, it seems that success is directly linked to people skills, also known as “soft skills”. With so much emphasis on education, many young adults are excelling in that area but continue to lack these important people skills. Still, a lot of employees and employers recognize the value they carry.
Many new hires can be taught the technical skills of a position, but find it more difficult to learn good people skills. Because of this, soft skills are a must for most applicants seeking employment today. When dealing with conflict and resolution, both within the office as well as with clients, having these skills is key.
This article covers two of the most fundamental people skills: strong communication and active listening.
Solid communication skills are a necessity in the workplace. Those who have these skills are considerate and stay clear of distractions when communicating with others, reassuring them that they are receiving their undivided attention. They study their audience and know how to relate to them. They are brief, yet specific, clearly delivering the message they want heard. These individuals realize that all are different, come from different backgrounds and think differently. They respect others’ opinions. As a result, others respect them. A strong communicator is considered to be a “people person.”
An effective communicator especially understands the importance of listening carefully. They know the difference between hearing someone and actively listening to them. Active listening allows time to think about everything that a person has said before giving a response and interrupting them. Possessing this quality makes people likable. Therefore, coworkers and clients are more likely to listen to and receive their ideas. Careful to catch the details, these individuals are able to develop genuine interests in others based upon what they have heard. As they take interest, those around them feel special and enjoy spending time with them.
Though not practiced by many, these skills can still be learned. As people are mindful of their shortcomings and begin to put these skills into practice, the new habits will break the old. It simply takes awareness and a desire to change. Those seeking employment or advancement should pay particular attention to ensure that they are learning soft skills and practicing them regularly. Likewise, those looking to hire should be driven to employ those with exceptional people skills. The end result……increased customer growth and satisfaction, success summed up!