Having the right skills for a job is what sets you apart from the rest of the competition. However, the desired skills do not always come down to on-the-job knowledge, like being proficient with the latest tech or being a good salesperson. The ideal employee also possesses those essential soft skill – skills that allow you to operate on a more personal level beyond the technical side. So what are some of the most important soft skills if you want the job, or if you want that leadership role?
We’ve talked about this quality and how it relates to boomers many time before. There is a common misconception that professional past a certain age are unwilling or unable to adapt to new scenarios at work. Naturally this concern as the working world is in constant motion. What is used one week can be outdated the next. Being able to roll with changes and stay on your toes inspires confidence in your employer that you are able to be thrown into any situation and still be effective.
If there is one universal quality that needs to be improved across just about every work environment, it’s communication. A good communication makes every move more efficiently. It can be small things like ensuring feedback is given in a clear way so no miscommunication issues arise. It can also be much bigger ways like being able to communicate the company’s desired message in an effective way. Someone with good communication skills certain separates themselves from the crowd.
While most of us likely see ourselves as capable and personable professionals, conflicts will no doubt arrive within the workplace. This is just an expected part of the job, therefore, an ideal employee is not expected to have no conflicts but be able to deal with the conflicts themselves. Not letting the conflicts rise to a point of mediation is something managers are thankful for and certainly a quality that suggests management potential.
Some might think their job doesn’t require much creative thought to occur, but while it might not be used in a day-to-day sense, or be overly apparent, there are few if any positions that wouldn’t benefit from creativity. It is a skill that can mean many different things, but the essential selling point is that it means you can think outside the box. When conventional idea and methods aren’t working, the solution is usually found with those who are able to open their mind to new ways of doing things and try something new.
Often in work, employees will be called upon to give a critical examination of the work at hand. It takes a skilled eye to be critical of someone’s work and even more skill to be able to communicate the critical take in a way that is respectful an helpful. Even more difficult and important, is being able to take the same critical observation of your own work and being able to be honest with yourself. Such employees not only better their own work but the work of those around them.
When confronted with an issue, how one deals with it often speaks volumes as to their professionalism. Some become flustered and anxious when confronted with such an issue. Those ideal employees however, are able to confront the problem and find ways to solve it. A manager does not want to be bothered to come to an employee’s rescues every time the unexpected happens, so the abilities to deal with these issues themselves is indeed a valuable quality,
If there’s one thing managers hate doing, it’s micromanaging. Yes, their job requires a certain part of supervision, but when it comes to the smaller projects, they hope employees can handle them on their own. Of course, someone inevitably needs to take the lead and those employees who can oversee a small group of co-workers and see a project completed successful are certainly valuable members of the workforce. It takes a knowledge of the various departments, a keen attention to detail, a leadership ability for effective project management. Certainly another skill that suggests management potential.
Every successful and efficient workplace excels because all the various moving parts are able to work in harmony. The best ways to achieve this is with employees who have superior teamwork skills. Being good at teamwork doesn’t mean agreeing with everything your co-worker says or staying out of the way, it means having an open mind, questioning decisions while still being respectful, and taking feedback under consideration instead of being offended. These types of workers make each other better and allow the whole operation to run a lot smoother.