Soft skills have been on lots of people’s minds lately. LinkedIN recently published an article about these “soft skills.” (click here to read the article!) But what exactly are these skills and how can you use them?
What are soft skills?
First things first. You know how you communicate, engage and respond in the workplace? That’s it. Soft skills differ from a “hard skill” because the latter isn’t technical like coding or science stuff. Soft skills are about engaging with people. You can see the excellence of these skills everywhere. Ever go to a fancy restuarant and the waiters are just on point? The way they engage with customers, how they communicate, present themselves, the small conversation they might make about the menu are all part of their soft abilities. All these little tricks add to the experience of working with other people and with clients. Great business deals are made even better. If you could elevate your presence and leave an impact on people, would you? Which leaves us the question:
Where Can I Start Using Soft Skills?
Great question! We USE these skills in everyday life without really thinking about it. Skills like collaboration, creativity, persuasion and adaptation are in our daily lives. Play sports? Adaptability and collaboration. Like to take pics and post them on the your Facebook/IG? Creativity and content production. Enjoy writing? That’s a skill you can use for communication platforms (like an email newsletter or social media post 😉) One of the most popular jobs for undergrads is tutoring. So TUTORING/TEACHING is almost ALL communication (which is something you can put on your resume).
Let’s explain how.
Communication –which is extremely important to have– can come from any teaching or tutoring experience. How? Teaching someone means connecting the dots of information. I say the simpler the explanation, the better. As a teacher myself, I constantly have to explain how things are connected. Teaching grammar and English means I have to guide my students every step of the way through some subject or idea. Questions like “what is it?”, “what does it do?” and “how is it used?” are frameworks for my lessons. Creating a narrative while logically moving from one point to another is highly under-appreciated but IMPORTANT. You can use this skill for business meetings, grants, project proposals etc! Good, clear communication is the hallmark of ANY good teacher and adds that extra special something to any workplace.
You know how Steve Jobs would give those Apple Presentations? How he talked with simple vocal, his rhythm, the repetition of key words/ideas are arguably some of the BEST examples of soft skills through communication. Take a look here (Introducing the iPad)and you’ll get what I’m saying.
The Ingredients of Soft Skills.
Your interests and habits aren’t EXACT professional soft skills just like eggs, butter and sugar on their own aren’t EXACTLY a cake but they are the ESSENTIAL ingredients of your own “soft skill’s cake”.
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