What soft skills mean and their differences from hard skills
The range of soft skills that people need to develop and improve on it are the following:
- Critical thinking helps to understand better what happens in the world and make the right decisions
- Life-long learning: successful people always learn new things and the better you can work with new information take advantages of it, the faster you will become better.
- Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand emotions, people’s motivation and to manage all of it. It helps to solve lots of problems, make decisions and build communication with other people
Soft skills are the Grand Canyon between just a good specialist and the specialist whom everyone wants to hire. Soft skills are not related to a specific profession, but they help you to perform better and influence your career path.
For sure, you’ve heard about these magic skills that go beyond your professional knowledge, so-called hard skills.
Basically, everyone needs to develop soft skills. From a programmer to an entrepreneur. But what soft skills should we pay attention to in our rapidly changing world?
I launched 3 startups as a founder, included Overgear, and supported 4 projects from zero to a million dollars as a mentor. So, I have some experience with what you need to be a successful entrepreneur in 2020.
Here are five must-have skills in 2020 and tips on how to develop them.
It’s the ability to understand emotions, motivation, and intentions of oneself and other people and to manipulate all of them. It helps to solve problems, make decisions, and create communication with other people in a proper way.
To develop emotional intelligence, you need to develop empathy for yourself and with other people. Notice your emotions as well as other people’s ones.
Reflect on what they are caused by and how they impact others. Try to control yourself and make better decisions based on empathy.
Top 5 books:
- Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ
- Emotional Intelligence in Business: EQ: The Essential Ingredient to Survive and Thrive as a Modern Workplace Leader
- Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry, Jean Greaves
- Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life
- Emotional Intelligence for Project Managers
Working in the conditions of uncertainty
The modern world is described by the abbreviation of VUCA. This is a world of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity, and we will have to adapt to it.
Working in such conditions supposes the ability to quickly react to changes, make decisions, manage projects, and your resources. To be competitive in the market you need to quickly adapt to change
Working in the conditions of uncertainty involves stress management. Stress management is your life if you aim to do something.
It’s a management of your and people’s behavior during periods of stress: tight deadlines, unexpected circumstances, high workload.
How to develop the skill. You need to develop your self-sufficiency. Come up with solutions to different problems and difficult situations, try to find approaches that you have not used before.
Follow trends and new technologies, find what you like.
Start your own business or blog. Prepare the ways of its development in different circumstances: when everything is going well, in a crisis, when there are many competitors or there is no desire to do it.
Top 5 books:
- Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives
- Attention Pays: How to Drive Profitability, Productivity, and Accountability
- In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed
- How to Do Great Work Without Being an Asshole
- Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts
Self-reflection is your analysis of your actions, behavior, thoughts. It helps you to understand yourself, your actions, and decide what to do next.
For example, if you’re struggling to get along with colleagues, self-reflection can help you to find out communication mistakes that you make. This skill develops mindfulness. You’ll make better decisions if you know yourself and understand your needs.
How to develop it. Analyze yourself: note the details of your behavior and actions. Try to keep a journal – write down your impressions of a day, insights, analysis of your behavior. Each day, write down about the people you are grateful for something in your life.
Top 5 books:
- The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living
- Meditations: Critique of Pure Reason
- Man’s Search for Meaning
- Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World
Projects are everywhere. The first and the key one is yourself. Make a website, build a house, organize a trip – it’s later. Different people are united by the project, for example, the client, assistants, contractors, external forces in the form of the state.
The person who manages the project stands in the center of the system. He/she communicates with all people and can impact everything. That is why he/she is a key factor that determines the success of the project.
How to develop it. Think about your current affairs in the terms of projects. Set up the goal, deadlines, stages. Reflect on how you can optimize your projects: get more value or save resources.
For example, if you are often late for work, prepare your clothes and food in advance or change your route.
Top 4 books:
- Do It Tomorrow and Other Secrets of Time Management
- Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time
- Essential Kanban Condensed
- Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams
Decision making is the ability to consciously choose the best decision from the possible options. This skill helps you to achieve your goal quickly and with maximum benefit.
For example, if you are offered two interesting vacancies, but you do not know what to choose, you can miss both.
To develop decision-making skills, you need to learn to identify as many options as possible, properly prioritize them in each situation, and choose the best one.
If you have some trouble at work, ask your manager for a solution, not a problem.
Top 4 books:
- Decisive: How to make better choices in life and work
- Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard
- Think Differently: Open your mind. Philosophy for modern life
- Choose the Life You Want
This is all about soft skills. In fact, there are still a lot of other ones, such as creativity, negotiating skills, and so on, but they can be considered as extra options.
Dmitriy Beseda is a Managing partner and co-founder of Overgear, an international marketplace for services and items within game universes. Dmitriy helped to create effective communication in teams of different game projects. He has been in marketing since 2012 and has gained long-term expertise in online entertainment products.
He also has extensive experience in teaching founders to properly manage marketing, sales, and product. During his experience in marketing management, he spent more than $ 5 million on influencer marketing (bloggers), $ 2 million on performance marketing (contextual advertising, targeted advertising).
Find him on facebook – https://www.facebook.com/dbeseda