It is important for employees to upskill and improve their hard skills. These are skills that will enable workers to perform specific tasks depending on their job position, whether they’re in the field of information technology, human resources, accounting, and others.
Most of the time, hard skills are sharpened through formal and informal learning. There may be no distinction between people who learned software design from a university class and someone who learned the skill through an informal technical program. Both people could excel in what they do.
When you’re sharpening your hard skills, you’re spending time and energy to innovate and use your creative juices. However, there is an uncertainty that someone with great hard skills can neglect their soft skills, also known as people skills. But why are people skills important in the first place?
Why people skills are important
Toxic bosses usually exhibit hot-headedness, aggression, and micromanaging. These are all symptoms of poor management and are a hindrance to how people communicate in the workplace. Research has proven that poor management, particularly toxic bosses, cause anxiety among employees and prevent effective performance.
This is why it is important to have great people skills. With a growth mindset, you can learn to adapt people skills that will help you communicate well with others, solve problems with ease, improve productivity, and lead a team effectively. You don’t have to be the boss of your team to have impressive people skills. In fact, as an employee, you drive the performance of your team by being an effective communicator and great problem-solver.
Important people skills you need in the workplace
What are the people skills you need to have an impact in the workplace?
Active listening: Listening to someone without being distracted is an essential people skill. Active listening and hearing them talk are completely two different things. When you only hear what the other person is saying, you’re already thinking of what to say as a response, and you are more likely to interrupt the person who is talking. When you actively listen, you understand what’s being said without interruption. You absorb what they are saying and see where they are coming from.
Negotiation: The workplace involves a lot of negotiation because people are not always on the same page. Although your workplace has specific goals set, not everyone can think the same. You might experience negotiating with someone who has a different idea than yours. Such negotiation skills are effective if you can find a common ground with the other person.
Leadership: Like we said, you don’t have to be the boss or the manager to have great people skills, such as leadership skills. With this, you will have the ability to help the people around you reach their full potential. You can motivate and guide a team while recognising the strengths and weaknesses of an individual. This comes in handy when you are delegating tasks.
Empathy: Human-centric solutions are the trend these days. This means that the ability to empathise with another person will help you foster and build connections that can lead to innovations. By empathising with another person, you understand their motivations, intents, behaviours, and skills. It will enable you to offer support to others and show compassion in difficult times.
Assertiveness: Lastly, it is important to assert yourself in the workplace. There is a chance that you will feel stretched out because you say yes to every task. But when you are assertive, you know that you have the power to say no, especially if it will lead to burn out. Explain clearly why you can’t do it and be honest about how you feel.
How employers treat their employees are crucial in management. But it works both ways: employees also need to learn important people skills to effectively communicate with others and improve productivity. Innovation is a two-way street.