Martin Luther King Jr. stood on the Lincoln Memorial’s steps and called for an end to racism in the United States in front of a crowd of more than 250,000 people. The ability to speak and articulate our thoughts into precise words has always been a leader’s skill. And, when done right, this ability can help in shaping the world but at the same time also something as simple as making a living.
The ability to communicate is often referred to as soft skills these days. While this particular skill set is important in every facet of living, we want to cover a specific vernacular and talk about the importance of soft skills while working in an organization.
What are soft skills?
Soft skills are the non-technical abilities that help you to adapt and grow in an organization.
- Communication skills: Active listening, Verbal and non-verbal communication
- Critical thinking skills: Creativity
- Leadership skills: Decision making, positive attitude, teamwork, work ethic
And the list goes on.
You may already be blessed with some of these, or you may have to work on some this year.
You can start working on these skills but after you finish reading this blog. Why? Because I’ve highlighted some important skills that will matter the most in 2021.
Remote working is in high demand after the world got hit by the Covid-19. The way we communicate and work with each other has changed. Things like teamwork are now more challenging.
That is why hiring managers or recruiters will be hard on you to see if you got the soft skills required for the job.
Here are some of the soft skills that will make your work life in 2021 better, if not amazing:
Communication – Give Attention, Get Attention
Communication is a skill that you can learn. It’s like riding a bicycle or typing. If you’re willing to work at it, you can rapidly improve the quality of every part of your life.
Communication is bliss when it helps people you are communicating with. So, what is it like to be a great communicator? You need to be an active listener. You then need to understand the other person well and be able to provide a response or solution. It will help your team be on the same page.
Since the beginning of 2020, we have mostly relied on online chat rooms, video conferencing, and emails. You have to make your message simple and concise to make everyone clear. Your word choices, voice tone, the writing style will matter the most. Also, emails are now more crucial than ever. Knowing how to write good emails will be like winning a lottery.
At Leapfrog, we value effective communication. We encourage open and honest communication among team members and within the whole company. We help each other by providing periodic feedback. Likewise, we also conduct communication training programs to help Leapfroggers uplift their skills.
Teamwork and Collaboration – The Hero in All of Us
None of us is as smart as all of us.
Are you a team player? A team player is a person who works well as a member of a team.
As a team, everyone should work towards a common goal. You should provide help whenever required. You should also not hesitate to get help from the team members. One thing to keep in mind is to respect the time of others too.
To work together in a team and produce desired results one also requires other soft skills like active listening, leadership, and self-motivation.
If you are working remotely, contacting other people directly might be challenging. You can look at teamwork as a ride-or-die situation.
Leadership – What Are You Doing for Others?
A person always doing his or her best becomes a natural leader, just by example.
You do not have to be a business leader that leads the company to have leadership skills. You may be at any level of your job; if you have leadership qualities, you will inspire others and help them succeed.
Surviving 2021 also includes helping others survive. In these uncertain times, helping each other move ahead is more important than ever.
A great leader will influence others in a way that’s best for them. They will also inspire others to have a strong vision and grit to achieve their goals.
A great leader may possess a positive attitude, decisiveness, good communication, and problem-solving or conflict management skills. But you can be an awesome leader by putting your best foot forward, listening to your team, and being a good if not best example for them.
Go ahead and be an exemplary leader!
Adapting – Just Like the Water
2020 has drastically changed the way we work. The constant change in the work environment, like the shift from physical to remote/online working, is common in the modern-day workplace.
Additionally, new tools and technologies keep popping up. These tools change the way of doing the work.
Likewise, most of us will still be working remotely in 2021. For example, Zoom was used extensively worldwide during 2020 and is still prevalent in 2021 for video-conferencing and catching up for a quick meeting. We have to be prepared to adapt to new tools and technologies and the way we work.
So, how can you adapt to the changing situation? Firstly don’t forget about the hard skills. Being up to date with emerging tools will make your job easier. Secondly, get help from other team members. Similarly, develop a good relationship within the organization.
At Leapfrog, we also value ‘Technical Expertise.’ Solving problems with the right tools boosts your self-development and benefits the team and company as a whole.
Problem Solving and Creativity – Be a Superhero
New problems or challenges keep coming in the workplace. Not every one of us is ‘Albert Einstein’ or a modern-day genius ‘Elon Musk.’ Each one of us is different and has different capabilities.
Being creative and able to solve problems is a crucial skill that each one of us should have. It may come naturally to some people, but exploring new ideas, upskilling yourself should help you out on this. Don’t worry; it does not always have to be you alone. It will be helpful to know how to reach out to the right people, work as a team or even delegate the task effectively.
The problem exists, and you have to solve that problem, that’s all. Creativity generates solutions to a problem. Being creative and thinking out of the box will be the right piece to the puzzle.
This skill is not particularly here for helping you out during remote working. People less often unlock their creativity. Therefore, solving unfamiliar problems in both conventional and creative ways will be a major selling point to the interviewer. And it will certainly help you in your current job.
Self Motivation and Self Assessment – You Are the Sailor of Your Ship
Push yourself, because no one else is going to do it for you.
Sounds harsh but it is the truth.
Now, especially when you are working from home, self-motivation is a life-saver. In most cases, you have to deal with personal matters at home along with your professional life. Things can go out of hand. But stay true to yourself, develop a routine, prioritize tasks and do what makes you happy.
No one can understand you better than yourself. Self-assessment is one of the key parts of staying motivated. Check within yourself from time to time. You don’t have to go crazy with an hour-long meditation; just as simple as keeping a written to-do-list or a journal will help you.
Update yourself on how you are doing tasks recently, where you are excelling or lagging. Determining the strengths and limitations of your values and abilities can help you create a path to self-motivation.
Taking one step at a time will make this lot easier for you.
Making 2021 a Great Year
Life has certainly not gone back to normal. But people like you and I have not stopped imagining. Imagination gives birth to ideas. And ideas and innovation have certainly not stopped shaping the world.
Also read about how 2020 went for Leapfrog: The Best of 2020 – Looking Back and Looking Forward.
Jumping to the main point here. Whether you are currently working or looking for a new job, having soft skills is a job-savior, or you can even say a life-savior.
Developing a skill is never a waste. And in the year 2021, it’s the same.