Ready to get serious about taking that next step in your career?
If you have the technical skills and experience needed for a promotion, you may think you’re a shoe-in. These factors are certainly important, but they’re only part of what you need to move ahead. The final element? People skills.
Often referred to as “soft skills,” people skills are the attributes and competencies that help you effectively interact with others. They’re the intangibles that make you a successful team member or leader. And in many cases, great people skills can help you land the promotion you know you deserve.
So, what are the “soft skills” you need to develop to move ahead in your career? Here’s a list of 7 that are applicable to a wide range of job functions, summarized from a recent Forbes.com post “The 20 People Skills You Need to Succeed at Work”:
- Persuasiveness. The ability to form a solid, convincing argument for why you, your ideas, your products or your services are the “right” ones. Being persuasive will help you achieve what you want in your job – including landing a promotion.
- Open-mindedness. When you respect others’ points of view and feedback, you build trust and respect. Being known as someone who is open-minded also makes you more approachable.
- A great sense of humor. Laughing is a great way to ease tension and break the monotony of routine work. When you can help create (appropriate) lightheartedness in your job, you’re more likely to be viewed in a favorable manner – and thrive in your job.
- Awareness of body language. Non-verbal cues account for the majority of how we communicate with others. Being mindful of others’ gestures, posture and tone of voice – and correctly interpreting those cues – greatly enhances your success as a communicator.
- The ability to support and motivate others. Look for opportunities to praise others and show your enthusiasm (without going overboard). When you effectively encourage others to perform, their success will drive your own.
- Flexibility. Having sound people skills requires the ability to shift gears when needed – in thought patterns, behaviors and even beliefs.
- Good judgment. This soft skill comes from learning, listening to others and observing the world around you. It helps you select friends, colleagues and work allies wisely; gauge their actions, reactions and responses accurately; and ultimately make good decisions on the job.
Conduct yourself honestly, ethically and with empathy in your job, and you’ll make great strides in developing the people skills you need to move ahead. Then, use the tips in this post on help you demonstrate your soft skills in the interview.
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