When it comes to improvement and getting ahead in your career, you may think technical ability is the way to go. In reality, soft skills can improve your workplace outlook and set productivity on fire.
There are a variety of soft skills you can start building on today.
1. Emotional Awareness
It can be easy to let our emotions get the best of us when we’re having a bad day. However, allowing negativity into the workplace can affect your performance and decision-making.
Negativity isn’t the only emotion that can wipe out productivity. It’s normal to be sad, tired, agitated, anxious or excited, but when your feelings begin to make you behave questionably, it’s time to take a step back.
Being in check with your emotions and understanding why you feel the way you do plays a vital role in maintaining your workplace performance.
Beyond understanding your own emotions, it’s also important to build empathy. This allows you to connect with co-workers and better understand those who have differing viewpoints and backgrounds.
Studies have even shown that empathy relates to positive job performance, as we can feel more connected to the workplace and the people in it.
In the workplace, effective communication is key to success and increased profits. Not only do you need to understand your duties and responsibilities, but you also need to be able to communicate any problems or challenges you might be facing.
When you have a system in place for clearly relaying messages to co-workers, clients and superiors, you can reduce time spent answering questions and correcting assumptions.
Problem-solving is a valuable soft skill that’s highly underrated. Employees who excel at solving problems often understand how to make work routines more efficient and blow productivity scores out of the water.
Employers love the problem-solver, as this is the person who can be left to their own devices and even put in charge of a team. If given a difficult task, this individual can conduct their own research and analysis when issues arise.
Adaptability is necessary for every industry. In fact, 77 percent of hiring managers say soft skills, like adaptability, are as critical as technical skills.
No matter the industry you work in, the workplace is always changing. Many of these changes are put in place to increase productivity. Other changes could include new technology, streamlined task procedures and time management software.
As an employee, it’s your responsibility to adapt to these changes and not allow them to interrupt your daily flow.
6. Time Management
Valuable employees are those who are highly productive. One key aspect of staying busy and hitting goals is to manage your time.
Time management includes setting goals, understanding priorities, maintaining performance standards and determining positive outcomes. If you’re new to the process, there are plenty of time management tips available to take advantage of, like the 80-20 rule.
One of the biggest office time-wasters is disorganization. When you can’t find a file or an email or a sticky note, you’re wasting valuable time that could be put to use.
To be highly productive, you need to have an organized setup. Important files and documents should have a designated place. Confidential information should be secured. Deadlines and appointments should also be written down and remain easily accessible.
Productivity in the Workplace
Soft skills are something you can develop on your own time to improve work performance.
Abilities like effective communication and time management are crucial to staying productive, impressing employers and maintaining your edge in the workplace.