Soft skills are skills related to your attitude, disposition and personality. There are so many things that 8-4-4 did not teach us, one of them being how to develop our soft skills (and I doubt the new education system will either). Some of these things are paramount to be a truly happy and successful person. So when I came across an article listing 50 soft skills for happiness and success, I had to share at least 10 with you.
- The ability to listen. Through listening, you can learn from others. You’ll also gain more friends – as most people love to talk about themselves or their lives.
- Having a flexible approach. Flexibility is not taught in schools, but is required in all areas of life. Just think how many times you’ve had to adjust your plans to match a partner’s requirements?
- Assertive when needed. You may not be a naturally assertive person. However, you should definitely learn to be assertive when the situation requires it. For instance, if you need to ask a shopkeeper for a refund.
- Understands how to resolve conflict. It’s sad to admit it, but conflict is everywhere. You probably argue with your partner, and fall-out with colleagues at work. For happiness’ sake, develop conflict resolution skills. This can be as simple as knowing when to walk away from a confrontation.
- Has a courteous and good-mannered personality. In my experience, many people are unaware of how they come across to others. For example, they may appear arrogant and aloof when they are simply trying to show self-confidence. To be courteous and good-mannered is to return to a relaxed, natural state. Put any pretensions aside, and let your inner charm shine for all to see.
- Can deal with the stress of difficult circumstances. You’ve just lost a job that you’ve dedicated the last 10 years of your life to. Do you crumble from the shock – or do you quickly pick yourself up and look for opportunities? Sure, there are difficult circumstances to deal with in life. Nevertheless, always focus on the positive, and refuse to be dragged down by negative thoughts and emotions.
- Is quick at making decisions. I remember reading a self-help book that stated: “Winners make decisions quickly, losers make them slowly.” There’s definitely something to this. If you take days and weeks making decisions, you’ll often find yourself left behind by those who make decisions quickly. (And also act on these decisions quickly.)
- Knows when to delegate tasks. Are you someone who likes to do everything yourself? If yes, you may find that you often run out of time and energy. If you have family members or colleagues whom you’re able to delegate tasks to, then use this option when needed. However, for this to work successfully, be sure to match delegated tasks to individuals with the relevant skills.
- Communicates clearly and effectively. Communication is at the heart of all personal and business interactions. It’s critical that you learn how to write and speak well. And of course, communication is not a one-way street. You must also be a good listener.
- Continually seeks to improve. The Japanese call this kaizen – the strategy of seeking continuous improvement. This could be about a business process, or the way an athlete prepares for a race. Whatever the circumstance, there’s almost certainly room to improve some part of the process. If you develop a mindset of constantly looking for ways to improve things, you’ll rapidly find yourself climbing the ladder of success.
Which of these soft skills do you have? Holla at me on Twitter.