Can you train ‘soft skills’?

We recently ran a survey to find out what’s more important to employers – skills, sales, or culture fit. Hands down, culture fit was the key point that employers were looking for, with over 90% of the respondents stating that they would prefer will over skill, any day! We all know you can train technical skills, but can you train ‘soft skills’ that employers are looking for?

So what are these valuable skills? 

  • Punctuality 
  • Work ethic
  • Effort
  • ‘Can do’ attitude
  • Positive body language
  • Good energy
  • Passion
  • Going above and beyond expectations
  • Organisation and being prepared
  • Communication
  • Interpersonal Skills

All of these soft skills require almost no talent and with enough dedication, everyone is capable of showing these qualities. But they don’t always come naturally to some people. 

How can you sharpen these types of soft skills when they are so highly sought after? Is it even possible to train ‘soft skills’? Here are some ideas on how you can improve yours.

Identify your areas for improvement

Perhaps you are absolutely nailing it when it comes to some of these skills but feel intimidated by others. Identifying where you feel you are lacking automatically shows a great sense of self-awareness, which is a soft skill in itself! 

Ask others for feedback

Feedback is extremely difficult to receive for some people, however it’s much easier to take on board when you are the one asking for it. We are not always completely aware of our own flaws, and perhaps a close friend, family member or even your employer could provide you with feedback on where they believe you could make improvements. 

Actively listen to others

Listening is an integral and often core part of many soft skills, and if you work on this skill alone, you will already see improvement across many of the above. 

Communicate often

Communication and listening skills are like a muscle – the more you use them, the stronger they get. Communication online has become the norm in today’s society and quality in-person communication skills have become rarer and harder to come by. Try to spend time with people face to face. Actively engage with them, ask lots of questions, and listen to their responses. This will have a positive impact on your body language, communication, energy, and interpersonal skills!

While hands-on skills are important in a skills based industry, nailing the soft skills will see you land the dream job a lot faster!

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