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Feel behind at work? 5 soft skills you ‘need to prioritize today,’ says career development expert


You want to get an advantage in today’s highly competitive work environment? You need to improve your soft skills.

Critical thinking is essential for solving problems and communicating effectively in a post-pandemic world. strong communication.

Yet, 39% say that the number one workplace problem isn’t having effective soft skill training. according to researchCFA Institute, where i am the managing director of professional education.

This means that many people are left to develop these skills themselves. These are five skills you should prioritize right now:

1. Curiosity

Employees who are curious challenge the status quo by asking pertinent questions to expand on an idea or project.

Most people who are curious see possibilities beyond what is visible in everyday life. You can find great solutions quicker and creatively by sharpening your curiosity.

What to do to increase curiosity? Learn about something you don’t know much about. Recenty, I began to understand more about the brain. Two books on neuroscience were my first steps to understanding how the brain processes new information.

2. Innovation

Although curiosity is a good way to generate ideas, innovation can drive the creation and collaboration necessary to bring your idea to fruition.

As a consultant I saw that people who came up with innovative solutions for client problems made the team more motivated to work together. These employees often received both praises and pay for their innovation spirit.

What are the best ways to improve your innovation skills?Customers and coworkers are the best friends you have in helping to come up with innovative, practical ideas. Work with them. Make it a top priority to network and to have discussions about your work beyond the mundane.

3. Tempo

It is the ability to take in information quickly and apply it. Decisions that once took weeks to make are now possible thanks to technology.

When I interview someone I ask them for an example of a difficult professional situation in which they were required to meet a strict deadline. It makes me feel more comfortable hiring them if they are able to explain how they managed it under pressure.

Speed:When offered, volunteer to do an attractive task. Pay attention to your time management.

You might waste your time in recouping information by not taking detailed notes in meetings or lose productivity because of overscheduling. These are opportunities for improvement and change.

4. Communication

We have the ability to communicate and connect emotionallyHumans are different from robots because they have this ability to think for themselves. The ability to see the future and reflect back on it is what makes us human.

Years ago, communication meant a solid handshake, attentive listening, and eye contact. It is now a critical investment to be successful in any job that requires the ability and intentity to make a Slack or Zoom message great.

Communication skills to improve:You can take a course, join a group that teaches public speaking or sign up for a private class such as Toastmasters International.

After I realized that I would be required to speak in public, I chose to enroll in a communications course with a TV broadcaster. My fears were confronted and I learned how to structure my speech. This helped me become a confident communicator.

5. Vulnerability

Her book is “Braving the Wilderness,” Brené Brown writes: “The foundation of courage is vulnerability — the ability to navigate uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure.”

Although it may appear counterintuitive at first, this soft skill is crucial in today’s job changing environment.

Take into account the standard job interviewA challenge where you are asked to describe how you dealt with a challenging situation. Most desirable candidates are able to show the benefits of the knowledge gained, not just the mistakes they made, but how this helped the company.

What can you do to increase vulnerability?You should be open and honest about your shortcomings. I am quick to admit my own mistakes — and I do that not only for my own growth, but to set an example for those who work for me.

Barbara PetittCFA. Ph.D. CFA InstituteShe brings her 25-years of digital education experience to the project. Before joining CFA she was the director of online education at Laureate Online Education.

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