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10 soft skills that really matter at work

April 04, 2019 11:00 IST

If you want to grow in your career you should be open to learning, have problem solving skills and be a team player, says Shrutidhar Paliwal.

Skills that matter at work

Photograph: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

Workplaces are undergoing drastic changes in the face of emerging technologies and disruptions.

We constantly hear about new job roles being created as the nature of doing business has evolved.

A decade ago, these roles were completely unheard of but now we are already talking about reskilling and upskilling to stay relevant and take on these emerging jobs.

Naturally, future employees will need to develop new skills to keep themselves abreast with the changes taking place around them.

One such skill set that is fast gaining importance for organisations across the world is soft skills.

They have been regarded as the most crucial element of one's personality that adds to the overall professional performance and personal excellence.

Soft skills are innate to one's overall personality.

In India, 87 per cent of hiring managers believe that candidates with strong soft skills will be increasingly important to the success of their organisations.

Below are the top 10 soft skills that are important in your career:

1. Communication

One of the most important and essential soft skill to possess no matter what the job is.

Both verbal and written communication is crucial in every work set up.

Good communication skills go a long way and give a definitive edge over others.

However, while it seems like a complex skill to attain, one can work on gaining perfection by simple ways such as reading books to better grammar, vocabulary and hearing different podcast, watching videos can help be a better orator.

2. Leadership 

This is another very important aspect of the workplace.

This is a soft skill that shows confidence and plays a big role in guiding and leading the co-workers in the direction with goals.

A leader will ensure that they lead by example. 

People with sound leadership skills will be open to taking and giving constructive feedback.

It helps to earn the trust not only of co-workers and subordinates but also top management.

3. Teamwork

The need for effective teamwork is critical for the success of any business.

At the workplace, it’s all about the performance of a team rather than an individual.

It's important to be a team player in order to work towards achieving the organisational goal along with other members.

To be able to work with different team members and deliver the best results is a great capability.

4. Time management

This skill helps an individual to remain efficient and also lead by example for juniors in the organisation.

If an individual can manage his/ her time efficiently then they can be trusted with more work and higher productivity.

This skill also ensures that the day to day operational tasks are being performed as per the timelines which are vital for smooth functioning of any business.

5. Adaptability 

The only thing constant in this world is change and things don’t always necessarily go as planned.

An individual who has the ability to adapt survives various situations.

These individuals are also trusted to come up with solutions during a crisis situation.

6. Problem-solving skills 

Similar to adaptability, this soft skill needs an individual to step up and resolve problems, whether it’s a technical problem or a problem with two individuals within the team.

Having a positive to approach to problem-solving helps.

You must have heard the popular phrase be a part of the solution, not the problem.

7. Creativity 

This is a desired skill everyone is trying to attain.

Popularly known as the out of the box thinking skill, which not many possess.

This is more an acquired skill.

If you want to be creative and different you need to train your mind to break out of the 'normal' mentality.

8. Open to feedback 

This is a skill that is difficult to come to terms with, as it is a skill that requires you to face your fears head-on.

If you want to grow in your career you should be open to critical feedback.

A good professional takes negative feedback about their work in their stride and works towards bettering themselves in that area.

9. Networking 

This skill comes in handy for any kind of collaboration for business.

A sound professional network is an asset for professionals across levels in today’s age.

Both internal and external network is a must have and should be focused on from an early stage in one’s career.

10. Stability and consistency 

The best of performers need to exhibit stability and consistency at all stages of their career.

This is the key to carving out a niche for themselves and to be considered indispensable part of the team.

 Lead image published for representational purposes only.

Shrutidhar Paliwal vice president and head-corporate communications, Aptech Ltd. 

Shrutidhar Paliwal