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Hard Facts About Soft Skills in Business

By 2025, over 50% of employees will need re-skilling. Sounds scary doesn't it?

Business leaders describe how what we all see as "essential skills" like communication, leadership, and social skills will prominently grow in importance in the coming years. T

These abilities, primarily known as "soft skills", should be adopted by entrepreneurs in their efforts to achieve business success.

You'll see in my previous blog, ‘Working for Yourself is the Best Job You Will Ever Have’, I shared how failure to diversify your skillset can mean limiting your brand’s potential, so you'll need to grow and broaden your horizons to succeed. In this article, I"ll provide a rundown of the most important "soft skills" self-starters should cultivate and the relevance behind developing them.

The crucial soft skills to cultivate

Soft skills is a broad concept, It can refer to one’s social, emotional, and cognitive competencies. Otherwise, soft skills take shape as attributes such as:

  • Agility

  • Communication

  • Creativity

  • Emotional intelligence

In a survey by LHH on developing soft skills, 24% of respondents viewed agility as their top soft skill that will help them advance in the careers.

Being adaptable to change can bolster opportunities to innovate and learn. This is especially true when you’re open to collaboration. Meanwhile, transparent work relationships hinge on communication, which is why 23% of individuals wish to enhance this skill. Great communication skills entail active listening and verbal and written communication. In terms of creativity, this plays a pivotal role in creating solutions to work-related issues. 19% of participants found that creativity requires perseverance, which means you should focus on a problem until it’s resolved. This capability can be practiced outside of work as well. For example, you can pursue artistic avenues such as dancing or sketching. Finally, emotional intelligence is related to empathy and social skills. It is the highest-ranked trait; 33% of respondents want to nurture their capacity for self-awareness. Upon recognizing that your business affects a community or your target market, you can better gear yourself to understand their needs.

Significance in developing soft skills

Research on entrepreneurial capacity explains that self-starters generally focus on innovation and risks. In a Business Insider article, Jen Glantz reinforces how soft skills are essential to growth, especially when you first establish a business. When you’re the head of the company or self-employed, you will be leading presentations and sales pitches. These will require a creative mindset, perseverance, and excellent social skills. That being said, soft skills can improve how you interact with clients and solve problems at work. Primarily, when soft skills bolster self-starters, they can be self-reliant in communication. This means they can efficiently relay important emails and memos to clients or readers. Blogging, writing proposals and reports, and using social media all require excellent communication skills. Otherwise, you may also need to negotiate contracts with future employees or vendors. If your workforce is limited, you’ll bear the task of guarding your brand’s bottom line, boundaries, and values. In preventing miscommunication, it’s best to focus on what the other party says. You should also avoid drawing inferences and constantly ask questions to clarify any misunderstandings. Another facet of soft skill competence is being ethically responsible; Jen Glantz describes active listening as the key to understanding the market’s concern. For instance, a study published on MDPI states the current importance of producing products or services that are sustainable. In the long run, soft skills can provide perspective on the people you work with and the world around you.

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