Soft skills can usually be defined as a combination of personality traits and behaviours.
They refer to how you work and the behaviours you display in different situations – and they’re in high demand across the business world.
Wondering how you can master your own set of soft skills? Here we discuss a few common ones and offer tips along the way!
One of the best forms of communication for business owners is small talk – you either love it or loathe it – but it can help ease many situations and is often undertaken before moving onto important matters with customers.
A good way to ease small talk nerves is to think of it as friendly dialogue about common topics – nothing personal. This could be the weather, work, travel or local news to name a few.
Give it a try by asking a couple of open-ended questions the next time you contact a customer. You may even be surprised at how quickly this forms a positive relationship and makes the nitty-gritty side of business flow.
Soft skills are like patience – they can be mastered with a degree of self-awareness and time.
In order to improve your patience as a business owner, we recommend taking some time to consider the situations or triggers that make you feel impatient. Once you have these, try and implement a system where you take deep breaths or count to ten when you feel yourself starting to boil over.
You can also get into the habit of taking a brief pause – even when speaking to a customer – to gather your thoughts and move on. While it will take time to master your patience, regular practice will have you slowing down and remembering what’s important.
Problem solving is one of the most sought-after soft skills – as it offers an ability to not only solve problems but to recognise them in advance.
You can practice problem-solving by challenging yourself to think outside of the box on a regular basis. This may involve creating mind maps or new solutions to everyday problems. You can also approach problems through a ‘what if’ mentality to test new approaches and potentially improve upon existing solutions.
No matter the strategy you chose, it’s simply important to continue working through issues that arise and ensuring you look at problems from a number of different views.
Do you have a soft skill you swear by? Share your tips in the comments below.