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Office Communication and Soft Skills you need to remember at work- Learn how to use them!

 

Let’s start by understanding the meaning of soft skills.

Soft skills are an aggregate of one’s interpersonal, communication, emotional intelligence among many-which lets one work effectively and with a team to put their hard skills to optimum use.

Every individual can have a different approach towards soft skills, hence it is difficult to define due to this subjectivity.

Every individual will give importance to one skill more than others due to their different perspectives.

Few of these skills will be naturally imbibed in you and few would need some improvisations. Moreover, we hope to paint a clear picture as to how to monetize your assets and limit your liabilities on this front.

Hence, how to apply soft skills to make your life at work more comfortable and your presence at the workplace standout. Soft skills can never be fully mastered, because of its relativity. It’s difficult to assess the soft skills of an individual.

With the growing importance of soft skills in the corporate world, It has become imperative to put a conscious thought and effectively imply them in your day-day life at work.

In a 2016 study from the assessment company Wonderlic, 93 percent of employers said that soft skills are either an “essential” or “very important” factor in hiring decisions.

Office communication and Soft Skills

There are 4 most important soft skills in no particular order. If you have ever read a job description, It is highly likely you read them somewhere in the job description:

1) Problem Solving

2) Emotional Intelligence

3) Creativity

4) Teamwork

To understand the importance of soft skills in your professional life, let’s get into details of each aspect one by one.

Problem Solving

As the name suggests, It is the skill to effectively identify and find an optimum solution in a timely fashion at your workplace

It is very important to focus to be solution-oriented to become a good problem solver. The idea is to focus on the result and draw out a feasible plan to achieve it!

The process of solving any problem at your workplace can happen if you follow these steps:

  • Identify the problem/issue: It is always a great idea to pen your worries down. Whenever stuck with a lot of problems, make a list of issues along while prioritizing the urgency for a solution for the same.
  • Identify who it affects: Think about who all will get affected by how you choose to solve this problem. We as humans are social, and even at our workplaces, one decision can be associated with multiple individuals. You should know what is at stake before arriving at a decision.
  • Different courses of action: Try to think of multiple ways to solve a problem

For example, Assume your senior behave badly with you because of your negligence, Let’s see what all you can do:

    1. File a Complaint to the Human resources
    2. Cordially discuss it with your senior
    3. Lash out and reply badly to your senior
  • Weigh the pros and cons: Now that you have a fair idea of what all you can do, it’s time to think about the positive and negative consequences that come along with the decision.
  • Choose the best alternative: When making decisions at your workplace, it is very important to think logically. Always choose the alternative which would help you to have a comfortable work experience in the future. Never make any decisions in hostility.
  • Follow-up: Always observe and record your observations of the consequences of your decision. You should always keep your eyes and ears open for feedback and improve your problem-solving skills by analyzing the outcomes.

Emotional Intelligence

Workplaces can be stressful. You might not always get the freedom to express your emotions to your colleagues. Hence, It is becoming increasingly important to have an Emotional Intelligence Quotient(EQ)

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to identify oneself’s emotions and correctly label them, It also helps to understand people around you better and deal with disturbances effectively.

Empath: ie The Ability to put oneself in another person’s shoes plays a very important role in increasing your EQ.

Whenever you face a problem at your workplace, just try to think from other parties’ point of view. It will help you in solving the matter in a better manner.

Sometimes, It becomes increasingly important to identify your emotions to control them. You cannot get driven by your emotions at your workplace, as it can hamper your professional relationships and career.

Honesty is one of the key elements in the understanding of EI.

Here is a small test you can put yourself to find out little insides about yourself.

For every statement. Choose the most appropriate answer from the following and mark the corresponding number as your score.

1: Not at all

2: Rarely

3: Sometimes

4: Often

5: Always

*1. I can recognize my emotions as I experience them

*2. I do not become defensive when criticized

*3. I can freely admit to making a mistake

*4. I recognize how my behavior affects others

*5. I know how to calm myself when I feel anxious or unhappy.

The goal is not to score a perfect 25 but to realize the present score and keep moving forward. You can be your teacher by following these steps :

  • Make self-awareness a practice, ask for feedback, or keep a journal.
  • Take responsibility for your actions and behaviors, and make sure that these align with your values
  • Set long-term goals. When you decide what you want to achieve, you’ll focus on what matters to you.
  • Practice active listening i.e. Try not to interrupt or talk about your feelings during the conversation.

Creativity

Office communication and Soft Skills - Be creative

It is the ability to think differently. To derive innovative ways to do a task so that your thought can be implemented and your versatility can be put to use.

More and more organizations are focusing on hiring creative individuals to benefit from the diverse thought patterns one has as humans. It is important to have varied outlooks on the table to choose the best practice.

Creativity aids in solving problems by finding interesting ways to approach problems. Since- the human mind is so complex and difficult to interpret.

Creative and critical thinking skills help to find and accommodate diverse individuals in an organization effectively.

Teamwork

Office communication and Soft Skills - Teamwork

Teamwork skills are essential at workplaces. You have to interact with multiple stakeholders in a day’s work be it- clients, colleagues, and managers.

Having teamwork skills is dependent on your ability to communicate well, actively listen, and be responsible and empathetic.

It is important to understand the importance of regularity and effective communication to get things done in a team. It is vital to have good relations with each team member to make the work enjoyable.

Let’s now focus on ways to make office communication more effective as it is central to all soft skills we have talked about.

 

Become a Subject Matter Expert

 

What is Office Communication?

Office communication is the process of sharing knowledge and ideas between one person or group and another person or group within an organization both verbally and non-verbally.

It is important to get the job done, as well as developing a sense of trust and increasing employee productivity.

Communication in the office can be formal as well as informal

Formal communication is done mainly with your line managers during work hours both verbally and non verbally whereas Informal Communication is often with teammates outside work and post-work hours in the form of verbal chit chat.

Presentation skills and feedback mechanism in an individual also plays a very important role in making office communication effective.

Office communication in whichever manner be it- verbal, nonverbal, written, presentation, or feedback is impossible to master. We as humans have a lot of tendencies to hamper effective communication like mood, tone, technical jargon, etc.

Here are a few tips to make your office communication effective. We would help you effectively use your skills to make your communication at your workplace hassle-free.

It is impossible to incorporate everything while you communicate but it is a great idea to brush up on your knowledge about soft skills in communication and bring them to conscious thought while you indulge in the same.

1. Don’t criticize, condemn or complain

Whenever stuck with a work problem, refrain from criticizing, condemning, and complaining about it to your colleagues.

It is our instinct to express our disapproval when given a chance but the repercussions of the same go a long way.

For example: If your junior fails to come to the office on time.

Instead of criticizing them for being impunctual or condemning them from entering a meeting, try a new approach!

Empathize with your junior and try to make him understand the importance of coming on time in a calm and composed manner.

It is highly likely that someone will understand your point when you explain it to them as compared to criticizing, ranting, or complaining.

Don’t believe it? Try it yourself!

2. Give Honest and Sincere Appreciation

Learn to celebrate achievements at your workplace. Give genuine appreciation to your colleagues and participate in sharing their happiness.

Do not let go of an opportunity to appreciate your fellow workers for their achievements! It is an effective way to bond and share a moment of positivity.

The power of appreciation is underrated. You should always honestly appreciate the efforts of your colleagues.

Mind you, the appreciation should not only be genuine but also honest. Otherwise, unnecessary buttering to woo others might land you into trouble!

Hence, be mindful, honest, and genuine with your appreciation.

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3.Become genuinely interested in people and their feedback

When talking to a colleague, it is highly likely to indulge in informal chit chat. Do not dismiss the other person and make them feel unwanted when they discuss something they want to.

Learn to take interest in the person without being nosy. Being a good listener is as important as getting the work done.

Always be a positive receptor of feedback. Try not to interrupt the feedback with ‘ifs’, ‘buts’ and ‘excuses’. Learn to listen first, comprehend, and act later ( Not react upfront ).

4. Smile

Smiling is more contagious than the flu. It is very important to have pleasant interactions at the workplace.

Workplaces can be packed and it can be a hectic experience for everyone. Lighten the atmosphere by communicating with your smile.

It is always a good idea to do your work with a smile on your face. It creates a sense of bonding amongst individuals even without noticing.

So don’t forget to SMILE! 🙂

5. Talk in terms of other person’s interest

If you keep in mind the interest of the other person while communicating at your workplace, you will save yourself from diverting from the topic and getting into unnecessary conversations.

It is easy to get confused between what to say and what not to say at the workplace.

It is highly likely that you will get confused as to how much information you should provide about a certain issue but as you start to empathize, it becomes clear in a moment!

In the end, we would like to say, ACT doesn’t REACT. The whole purpose of this was to take a moment and learn and put conscious thought into making full use of your soft skills to communicate effectively at work.

 

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