It goes unsaid that hard skills are essential to obtaining a job. Whether it’s learning to cook, code, or engineer, with hard work and effort, any hard skill can be obtained. But soft skills are a whole different breed. Responsibility, time management, confidence, etc. These aren’t skills that can be taught in a classroom. They’re abstract skills that are shown through the execution of hard skills and a daily work regiment and how you choose to carry yourself every day. Now what if someone lacks certain soft skills? Are there methods for someone to learn soft skills and add more attributes to themselves?
1. Discipline yourself
It is possible to teach yourself soft skills, but it’s not as straight forward as hard skills. Learning to be more punctual, responsible, or confident is something you have to register as an issue with yourself before attempting to fix it. If you know you need to be at work early in the morning, and you keep getting there late because you choose to sleep in, that’s a habit you have to break out of. It comes down to how you decide to carry yourself. If you refuse to accept that you have weaknesses, then you’ll never get around to fixing them.
2. Pinpoint your weaknesses
As stated above, you have to acknowledge what your weaknesses are and why you’re so in tune with them. Whether it’s taking a good long look in the mirror, or asking close friends that’ll be honest with you, knowing the issue is the first step to solving it. Some of your short comings might be things that others notice about that you’re oblivious towards. For example: If you’re in a business meeting and you present an idea that gets shot down, you become visibly upset and it makes your co-workers think that you’re doing it for attention. Being made aware of that issue can help you work on it and present yourself with more confidence during a meeting.
3. Learn from your co-workers
If you know a co-worker that’s better than you at a soft skill, ask them for help. Ask how they’re so good at time management when they have such a busy work schedule, or how they get to work on time so consistently when they live so far away. Learning the soft skill can be as easy as mimicking their routine for getting to work or organizing their schedule. And remember, you have to actually put the effort into developing the soft skill. Don’t listen to your co-worker’s advice and then fail to put into practice.
4. Track your progress and yourself
If you’re trying to improve soft skills that are more tangible like your time management, or self-management skills, make a chart that’ll help you keep track of how you’re progressing. If you keep getting to work late, go to bed at a specific time to ensure you’re well rested for the day ahead. Take note of when you go to sleep, when you wake up, and how long it will take you to get ready for work. With your scheduling, try and make a schedule for yourself. Divide the work you have and start tackling it little by little. Don’t do everything in big chunks because it’ll lead to burn out. And again, remember that the improvement of your soft skills is up to you. There aren’t any shorts cuts to taking responsibility in your own life.