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How To Perfect Your "Soft" Skills

May 27, 2008
Your compensation package will be reflected by your own sense of style and savvy. These personality skills are not taught in any class, but are developed over time. You have to learn what works and what doesn't.

Improving your soft skills will help in not just your professional life but in your personal one as well. Next, we will take a closer look at just what soft skills are and how you can use them to your advantage.

Communication

Every day in almost any way you can think of you communicate. All kinds of business transactions whether in an email or in person, are done via some type of communication. Because it is so vital to everyday life, it is important not to neglect it.

When indoors, adjust the volume of your voice accordingly. Make sure you speak clearly. Maintain eye contact and respect the privacy of others. You should never chastise another employee in front of others.

Never interrupt others when they are talking; rather, wait until they are finished and then make your response. When you constantly cut someone off they get the impression that you are pushy or rude. Others will form opinions of you from the manner in which you communicate.

Written communication is very important. Check your spelling and grammar before handing out a memo or sending an email. You do not want to circulate documents that contain errors.

Body Language

Watch your body language because it tends to sends messages, either negative or positive. Sit up straight, be still and don't fidget during presentations. If you think positively then your body language should reflect that.

Positive body language sends a message of confidence.

Hand Movements

Limit your hand movements as excessive movements can become distracting. Unnecessary hand movements will make your audience focus on your hands and not what you actually have to say.

Eye Contact

It is a good rule of thumb to maintain eye contact when you are speaking with someone. Doing so tells the other person that you care about what they have to say.

Maintain Proper Distance

When you are engaged in a conversation with someone do not enter their personal space. Don't crowd them during the conversation, especially members of the opposite sex.

Attitude

You want to project a positive attitude. Positive does not mean arrogance, but rather charm and confidence. Take criticism in stride. Be grateful that someone brought your mistakes to your attention and use it as a learning opportunity.

The effectively you can communicate the more likely you are to become a leader within your organization. You want to learn from your colleagues but not become overly dependent on them. You should respect not just management, but all people that you come into contact with. Remember to smile. A warm smile goes a long way.

Try developing these skills - and you will see a positive change in your working conditions.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for six sigma professionals including, lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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