Which soft skills should every business person have?
- Courage to lead
- Ability to be a team member
- Emotional control under pressure
Many college graduates and students assume that future employment is entirely dependent on their hard skills. These refer to quantifiable expertise specific to every job posting acquired through formal schooling and prior experience. For example, an HR personnel who is hiring for a business management consultant may require the applicant to have a bachelor’s degree in Business.
Yet, formal knowledge alone does not guarantee someone getting hired for a certain position. Hiring managers should also look out for useful “soft skills” during the interview hiring process.
What are soft skills? This concept is more qualitative because they allude to an employee’s personality traits. There are different types of soft skills such as communication ability and collaboration, but in essence, they affect the way you interact with people in the workplace. These are the soft skills, you should have as an employee:
Courage to Lead
A leader is someone who guides employees to become successful and meet a certain goal. As many probably know, being a leader is not an easy task. There are so many consequences that can come from one major decision and being in charge of the well-being of a team or department can be absolutely overwhelming.
It’s much easier to follow the instructions of people of higher positions and go with the flow. This passiveness usually starts from home with our parents, and further cultivated through our teachers in the classroom. Consequently, we may start to think that being quiet leads to better scenarios.
Unfortunately, businesses rarely succeed with just obedient followers. Managers are so important to their longevity, but it does not mean they should lead alone because they are always looking for potential initiators who may take over their place one day. Management consulting services have to deal with the problems of other businesses, and these situations usually involve stressed-out customers who need a lot of guidance and help in terms of coming up with solutions. Consultants basically have to act as leaders to their clients.
If you want to be noticed as a good employee, do not be afraid to take the lead and solve office problems, even in an entry-level position.
Ability to Be a Team Member
We have heard horror stories of team members who only care about his or her ambitions of climbing the corporate ladder. They steal their coworker’s work and even outright lie to customers to succeed faster. If you only care about your own ego, don’t bother getting a job.
To be an effective team member, you need to be empathetic. Empathy may seem like a trait that is only important for nurturing friendship and family relationships, but it is absolutely vital to the workplace. Empathy boils down to putting yourself in one’s shoes. When you know how to empathize, you also know how to influence other people in a positive direction and motivate them to do better.
Business management consultants need to learn empathy not only to collaborate properly with their colleagues but also to serve their customers better. For example, your teammate Bob is anxious over something to the point that he can’t properly submit his work outputs. Instead of getting angry, it might be better for you to listen to his problem and give appropriate advice instead. For customers, they tend to buy products from services or sellers they trust. Trust comes from a relationship of understanding. In essence, management consulting services work better when they know what their clients and customers are dealing with.
Emotional Control Under Pressure
People who break down easily, rarely succeed, even if they are very talented and smart. Long-term employees thrive because they have learned to bounce back from mishaps and think clearly amidst stressful situations. Life is not perfect — the earlier you accept that the easier pressure of being an employee becomes to deal with.
A person who can deal with pressure is usually good at controlling his or her negative emotions. There are two ways of controlling your feelings: One, you should know your triggers and avoid them at work. Another is practicing mindfulness or the experience of internally watching your emotions from a distance. For example, a conflict has made you too angry to concentrate on your output. In that case, you can take a 1-minute break, take a breath, and evaluate your anger until you find it in you to calm down.
Lastly, remembering the main purpose or mission of your job is a good way of moving on from current stress. When we re-evaluate situations in the context of a purpose larger than ourselves, they suddenly become smaller and easier to control. These could be your personal values, company values, or even both.
Soft skills are entirely based on character. They may be hard to measure, but they are nonetheless worth developing. These are the personality traits are soft skills every good employee should have.