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Soft Skills Essay

5371 words - 22 pages

Soft skills enhance your technical skills.

© iStockphoto/peepo
In almost all jobs, your people skills – also known as "soft skills" – have as much of an impact on your success as your technical skills. That's especially true when you're in a management or leadership role.

The importance of having solid people skills transcends industry and profession; so, whether you lead people, aspire to lead people, or work within a team of professionals, you need to apply people skills to achieve your objectives.

So, how good are your people skills? Take this short quiz to assess your current skill levels. Once you've answered these questions, we can then point you toward specific tools and ...view middle of the document...

I look out for myself at work and do what is necessary to get ahead.
I think about how others perceive a problem or issue.
I speak first, and think later.
I collaborate with others to solve problems using a variety of problem solving tools and techniques.
I cause more harm than good when trying to resolve a conflict.
When someone gives me feedback, I ask him or her to provide examples so that I can better understand the issue.
I pay attention to other people's body language.
Where team agreement is necessary, I figure out the best solution to a problem and then explain why it's the right decision.
I study my audiences' needs, decide what I want to say and then figure out the best way to say it.
I make sure everyone knows about my contribution to a positive outcome.
Total = 0

Score Interpretation
Score Comment
16– 36
Your technical skills may have taken precedence over your people skills in your career to date. You aren't making the most of the relationships you have at work, and this may be limiting your career growth. It's time to assess how you can work better with others in the workplace and develop a more collaborative, understanding, and open approach to getting your needs met – while still achieving team and organizational objectives. (Read below to start.)
37– 58
You recognize that working well with others in the workplace is important; and you are trying to work collaboratively while still making sure your needs are met. There is room for improvement, however, as old habits may creep in during times of stress and pressure. Make a plan to work actively on your people skills so that they form the natural basis for how you approach workplace relationships. (Read below to start.)
59– 80
Your people skills are good. You understand the give and take involved in complex issues involving people. You might not always approach situations perfectly, however you have a sufficiently good understanding to know when and where you need to take steps to rectify things. Keep working on your people skills, and set an example for the rest of your team. And take some time to work on the specific areas below where you lost points. (Read below to start.)

The quiz assesses your skills according to the four main themes below. Review your scores for each theme, and read more where you need to.

Interpersonal Communication Skills
(Statements 6, 9, 13, 15)

Many people spend more time working with other people than they do with processes or products. This means that they need to communicate well with others, and this makes communication skills some of the most important skills in the workplace.

Some of the key communication stumbling block to be aware of include:

•Message barriers: These occur when the person communicating fails to communicate clearly.
If you find that you often confuse people,...

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