Soft skills refer to interpersonal and social abilities that are essential in a variety of contexts, particularly in the workplace. As a business manager, you want your employees to have skills that include communication, empathy, teamwork, creativity, adaptability, and more. Despite the term “soft,” they are considered hard to master. Let’s talk about why people skills are so hard.
They are untangilble. How do you measure one’s ability to listen? Or their teamwork? Or their leadership? It’s hard for you to judge the effectiveness of interpersonal skills. They are complicated by diverse workplace cultures, too – where expectations and meanings of communication can affect teammates differently.
In addition, people skills are leadership skills, and they need to be developed over time. You can learn a hard skill quickly, but these skills have subtleties and nuances. Each personality in your team has different abilities. So, refine and hone those people skills regularly. Try these strategies:
- Tailor your soft skills training so that individuals each get the guidance they need to develop.
- Provide consistent, constructive feedback to help team members recognize and grow their soft skills.
- Encourage a workplace culture where collaboration and communication are valued and rewarded.
- Recognize the unique soft skills each team member brings to the table, and leverage these strengths.
- At team meetings, let employees trade soft skills challenges, and solutions – so they grow together.
Soft skills are so hard! It might feel like you’re trying to tame the intangible, but with insight, dedication, and a willingness to approach professional development in a more holistic way, it’s entirely possible. As a business manager, embracing the complex world of interpersonal skills may be one of the most rewarding journeys you embark on. Steer your team towards growth in these vital areas You’ll not only enhance productivity but also build a more resilient, connected, and successful organization. You haven’t peaked yet!
Give your people wings and your business will fly. Christine provides LIFT. Contact her to find out more.