10 Ways To Improve Your Soft Skills

10 Ways To Improve Your Soft Skills

It’s great to have trade skills or a degree that relates to your job, but no amount of education or training is a substitute for soft skills. If you want to succeed in your career, you need to have soft skills that translate to your job. Here are a few ways you can improve your soft skills.

Understanding Soft Skills

Before you work on your soft skills, you may need an explanation of them. Soft skills are abilities and qualities that make an individual successful with coworkers or clients. Unlike degrees and certifications, soft skills aren’t tangible. They’re usually abilities that you can’t learn in a classroom. Rather, you develop them in your social or work life.

Unlike job-specific skills, soft skills transfer to a variety of industries. For instance, the customer service skills you learn in retail could help you be better at almost any other job. Here are some other examples of soft skills:


Interpersonal relationships

Emotional intelligence



No one can succeed with just education. Even if you’re excellent with numbers, you won’t be a good accountant without communication or teamwork skills. You need soft skills combined with all of your other abilities.

Prioritize Your Skills

While soft skills are transferable, there are some soft skills that matter more to your job than others. Before you make a plan to work on soft skills, think about which abilities would help you thrive in the workplace.

As you prioritize your soft skills, don’t just think about your current job. Consider your career goals and what you need to achieve them. If you want to be the manager of your company, what skills do you need to improve to be successful?

Request Feedback

As much as you might try to criticize yourself, it’s impossible to know what others think you need to do to improve. If you have anyone you trust at work, ask them to assess your soft skills. Which areas need the most work?

When you ask for feedback, keep an open mind. Don’t take the criticism as an attack on yourself. Rather, think of it as constructive input that will help you advance in your career.

Reflect on Yourself

People underestimate the value of self-reflection. Don’t only rely on other people for feedback regarding your soft skills. In addition to asking others for input, dedicate some time to self-reflection.

After you complete a task at work, stop and think about how the process went. Did you perform well? What was the biggest challenge? It’s just as important to analyze your successes as much as to analyze your failures.

Push Yourself

Developing soft skills means coming out of your comfort zone. Every day, there are things you avoid doing because you don’t like them. Oftentimes, gaining new abilities requires you to push yourself through the discomfort.

For instance, you might hate dealing with team projects. If you stop avoiding those projects and volunteer for them, you’ll get better at working with others. Ultimately, you could get so good at team exercises that it becomes a strength.

Take Online Courses

For the most part, people work on their soft skills alone. However, there’s another way to build up your skills. You can take online courses or read books in the areas you want to improve. There are several online platforms that offer free classes on a wide range of topics.

If you find it difficult to make time for this self-improvement, make it a routine. Pick a time and day every week that you dedicate to reading or taking a course.

Be an Active Listener

Several soft skills require you to be an active listener. If you make an effort to actively listen to your colleagues, you’ll improve those soft skills.

Every time you talk to someone, spend more time listening than talking. You should be able to recap what the person told you in a way that they would agree with. Although you might disagree with the person’s statement, that’s beside the point. You should still be able to understand their perspective.

Practice Writing Skills

In today’s society, written communication is an essential part of any job. To progress up the career ladder, you need to be able to communicate effectively via email, chat, and CRMs.

If you’re not confident with your writing skills, take a business writing class. At the very least, practice your grammar and spelling with an online test. When you’re writing for work, make more of an effort to be clear and concise.

Offer to Be a Leader

By stepping into a leadership role, you can develop new skills. Experience is one of the best ways to learn leadership skills, so don’t hesitate to volunteer for leadership roles in projects.

If you’re new to a company or have an entry-level position, you might have a hard time finding leadership opportunities. But don’t let that stop you. Join committees or start your own committee. It’s possible to create your own opportunities for leadership. If you can’t find a way to be a leader at work, volunteer with a local organization in a leadership capacity.

Communicate Frequently

The more you communicate, the better you get at it. And some people don’t communicate frequently enough to become good at it. If you make an effort to communicate more, you’ll quickly learn how to convey your thoughts effectively.

If communication isn’t a big part of your job, think about how you can incorporate it more. Can you speak up more at meetings?

Use Critical Thinking

It’s easy to rely on your boss for answers to difficult questions. However, you should try to solve problems yourself before seeking help. When there’s a problem, use your critical thinking skills to develop a solution. Even if you can’t solve the problem on your own, you can come up with ideas that impress the right people.

One of the great things about soft skills is that they’re easy to develop. By being more mindful at work, you can improve a long list of short skills.

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