Who we are
The genesis of the SoftSkillsWorld lies in the following excerpts from THE HINDU.
Aakanksha waited with bated breath in the lobby for the results of the interview. Was the company reasonably impressed with the skills she had to offer? What would differentiate her from the many others who made similar claims? Would she be able to clinch the deal?
Aakanksha didn't have to wait too long. It was a simple decision for the company, as Aakanksha made the perfect candidate meeting all their requirements.
The seemingly inscrutable veneer of success does have its foundation in arduous beginnings. In the quest for professional excellence, technical know-how or functional knowledge is no longer the only thing that matters. The importance of soft skills cannot be over emphasized in an age where so many premiums are put on interactivity and communication. It thus goes without saying that if you don't have the necessary soft skills to go with your other qualifications; you might not be able to make it up the corporate ladder easily.
Reality bites when nothing else does…
The quest for acquiring soft skills should begin early. First and foremost, polishing up your act would require you to realize your lack of the skill. You might assume that you don't need to improve.
Before you commend or absolve yourself of any faults it is better to ask for an honest appraisal from someone who knows you well enough. Even an honest introspection would help.
Making it up as you go…
Effective communication skills are something every professional needs to possess. Verbal communication skill includes a one- to- one interaction, presentation/public speaking ability, and good telephonic skills. Written communication would include report writing, business writing and email etiquette.
Listening skills are another vital aspect of the art of communication that is often ignored, if not relegated to the background. In your enthusiasm to state your point of view, it is possible that you could be missing out on an important perspective or concern. Learn to give an ear to others, before you suggest your views.
All these facets of communication are vital in every business scenario. If you are not comfortable with certain skills, there is always scope for improvement. You can take up formal training through workshops or an informal one through mentoring. Both ways, you need to pinpoint areas that need to be honed and develop the drive to follow through till you attain perfection.
In synch with outrageous success….
The ability to work in a team can add tremendous value to your employability quotient. Interpersonal skills play an important role in this regard. Your ability to understand situations, fill in the missing pieces, connect and coordinate, and enlist the support of others are important parameters.
Cultivating an attitude that is empathetic is therefore essential. Make a conscious attempt to steer clear of pitfalls like concentrating only on personal advancement, or having a narcissist approach. Learn to resolve conflicts rationally rather than getting involved in emotional outbursts or `showdowns'.
Leading by example…
Leadership skills in a profession are an added asset to a company.
A management degree alone does not ensure you a place among the managers. For instance, when Aakriti joined her company as a trainee, the manager felt that she had the drive to take the initiative. When all others went about doing their normal jobs, she ensured that everything else was running smoothly and was able to handle emergencies adroitly. The management also spotted in her the ability to make sound decisions. Good organizational skills accounted for her promotion to head the small group of peers whom she worked with.
Learning to serve…
When learning takes the centre stage, it brings with it a whole lot of add-ons with it. Problem solving abilities are tested and sharpened. Conversely, one should realize that a know-it-all, un- teachable attitude wreaks disaster. Having an insatiable desire to learn is something that keeps a professional alert and open to improvement.
While putting into practice what you have learnt, make it a point to have your customer, or user audiences' point of view in mind- this helps you to stay focused and moving on the right track.
Getting into the groove…
Whatever be your core competency, managing change is another skill that you need to master. Being adaptable is essential at a time when corporate scenarios are constantly changing and evolving. Being able to adapt and adjust quickly thus works to your advantage.
Stemming the tide…
Managing stress and not buckling under pressure will help an employee be resilient. Managing time and resources effectively also accounts for a lot of professional success. The ability to multitask helps in cases when you have to coordinate a number of activities of your peers or subordinates, as well as take on additional responsibilities as and when the need arises.
The new breed of wannabe professionals may have all the qualifications to vouch for them. However, with stiff competition in the job market, those who are hard working, honest and competent with soft skills to match are the ones who will find a place and keep their jobs, at a time when the shaky economy is trying to steady itself.