6 Soft Skills to Incorporate in the Workplace
While hard skills are job-specific technical skills, soft skills refer to interpersonal skills. No matter the role, both are important.
Kim Crowder, a DEI expert and founder of Kim Crowder Consulting, and Jenny Maenpaa, the creator of the evidence-based workplace wellness program FIREwork, provide examples of these important soft skills for today’s workplace in a recent Well+Good article.
Soft skills for employees:
- Trust other people’s perspectives. Acknowledging and validating other people’s experiences builds trust. “This is especially important when it comes to believing the experiences, emotions, and interpretations of those who have been historically ignored [such as BIPOC, LGBTQ, and disabled communities],” Crowder writes.
- Monitor your emotions. Recognizing your thoughts, feelings, and behavior could be strategically beneficial. “Before responding to someone, take a moment to pause, have a few deep breaths, connect with your body, and release any tension,” Maenpaa recommends.
- Learn to take criticism constructively. “Reminding yourself that these criticisms are given with the intention for you to learn and grow can help you not see them as personal failings,” Maenpaa explains.
Soft skills for managers:
- Humanize team members. “It’s a manager’s job to recognize when employees are withdrawing and do their best to re-engage them” Crowder states.
- Regulate your emotions and help others do so, too. “Rushing to answer something will induce a sense of panic, which in turn will make your employees feel panicked and rushed,” Maenpaa says. “Also, managers can help their employees regulate their emotions by using the ‘yes, and’ strategy to validate their feelings while also redirecting them to take action.”
- Make cultural competency a priority. Integrating cultural competency is vital at the workplace. “Being sensitive and seeing the value of that without asking individuals to assimilate or conform to the dominant culture is a golden skill for any leader,” Crowder says.