Soft skills, sometimes called “people skills” or “emotional intelligence,” are less tangible qualities that determine how you manage your own behaviour, as well as interact with and get along with others. While soft skills are more difficult to measure than hard skills, they are just as important when it comes to job prospects and advancement.
As your career progresses one of your goals is to ensure that your “hard” skills tangible, teachable skills and abilities that allow you to perform your job are up to date. But in your effort to hone your hard skills, don’t ignore your “soft” skills.
Here are some ways a lack of soft skills can kill your career.
Emotion overload: If you are quick to anger, or easily frustrated, and you can’t control your emotions or keep a cool head when the going gets tough, you’ll be perceived as a hothead who can’t think clearly. Emotional outbursts are threatening to co-workers and colleagues, and can result in low productivity. Learn how to cool it, or expect to cool your heels on the bottom rungs of the ladder.
Lack of self-confidence: It’s normal to feel challenged as you make the larger transitions throughout your career, but it’s one thing to feel nervous, quite another to let them see you sweat. If you don’t have belief in yourself, you can be sure that no one else will. Figure out what’s causing your lack of confidence lack of training or experience, for example and address it head on. Start by pretending you believe in yourself. Sooner or later, you’ll convince yourself that you do. And once that happens, others will be convinced as well.
Poor communication skills: Good communication skills and that means on both the giving and the receiving side are necessary to develop the strong interpersonal skills that are so integral to an organization’s success. You have to be good listener, and you should be able to articulate your own thoughts and ideas in a way that others understand and appreciate. Communication occupies up to 90 percent of a successful professional’s day, so it makes sense that poor communication would be a total career killer.
You’re a Quitter: If your energy flags during challenging times or during difficult projects, or if you have a habit of being impatient and giving up, the proof will be evident: goals simply won’t be met. When promoting employees, organizations look for individuals who have persevered during tough times, encouraged others to be their best, and have helped to motivate and drive co-workers and colleagues. If you have a habit of giving up when the going gets tough, don’t expect to go too far.