How good are your people skills?

How good are your people skills?

The present world of digitalisation expects dynamism from its competent workforce. To be able to create, innovate, and execute well is expected of the human-power that is being churned out of the knowledge centres. Besides tracking down academic and technical identifications which are industry-specific, development of soft skills is important to become an effervescent and effective workforce in the current employment scenario. Regardless of the increase in the number of graduates in any field, it is reported that a great number of them are predicted to be unproductive as they lack foundational soft skills.

In present-day development, soft skills clench similar prominence as technical skills. It is not enough to be just good at what you do; it is correspondingly imperative to be able to communicate effectively what you know to your clients or employers. It has become quite essential to be able to work with a team consisting of a diverse group of people. 

In common parlance, soft skills can be defined as a set of skills that may support an individual to interact better with other people. Soft skills is a parasol word that embraces everything from social skills to communication skills to emotional intelligence and personal character traits. Here are some soft skills that enhance a person’s interactions, job performance and career prospects.

Communication skills: Both verbal and written communication skills play a vital role in an employee’s career enhancement. These skills are of paramount prominence for making a decent first impression. The way you converse and interact will set the tenor for how people will look at you in your workplace. Indeed it is of immense help to work with a team when you can transfer your notions commendably. For all these reasons, communication skills are appreciated by employers. It makes the workplace environment more comfortable and efficient.

Conflict resolution: When members of a team work together, there might be some differences of opinions. When conflict arises, an individual who assists in conflict resolution will stand out. Conflict resolution does not just deal with solving the problem. It is about de-escalating the situation while making sure both the parties involved are contented with the solution. It also means to ensure a conflict does not affect teamwork or the team’s productivity and output. This is one of the much needed skills in the manufacturing sectors at present.

Leadership skills: The long-standing objective for anyone entering the workforce must be to become a good leader. Leadership skills can’t be achieved overnight. Right from the school to the college to the workforce, one must make use of a chance to showcase one’s skills as a good leader. Whether it is leading your school football team or organising an event in your institute, one must start early when it comes to proving to be an effective leader. Employers expect this skill because they want a team that will ultimately be able to take the company forward. 

Teamwork: The ability to instantaneously execute as an individual and together with your colleagues through effective teamwork is key to growth and success. In effect, teamwork is central and critical in order to accomplish the overall objectives and goals of an organisation. For any good employer, making sure the employees work together symphonically is indispensable for the feat of the company. When employees can work together and pool their individual talents in one place, work can be accomplished more competently. The quality of your work will also mount when you work together and collaborate with your team members. Teamwork is an important skill that freshers often overlook. However, working in a group will help you succeed at your job.

Problem-solving: When employers talk about problem-solving skills, they are often referring to the ability to handle complex business challenges in the workplace. Organisations trust employees who could assess both kinds of circumstances and calmly ascertain solutions. Problem-solving means thinking ahead of time and planning for all the encounters one might combat at the workplace. It is one of the most sought after skills in potential employees. The sooner you master that, the healthier it is. 

Schools and colleges play an important role in developing employability skills. They should ensure students develop soft skills through various activities. They can invite experts from industry and conduct soft skill sessions every week as part of their pedagogy. Organising group discussions at regular Language and Behavioural Laboratory sessions are of immense and immediate help for students to refine their people skills.

Education institutions should involve students in team-building and decision-making activities. This might help them acquire the new skill set. In the evening, preferably after the class hours, take students to the amphitheatre of your school and college and ask them to talk about a particular topic of their own choice. One can expect a tremendous change in the public speaking and confidence level among the students in two weeks. These activities should be a part of the curriculum and the government must take a special interest in assisting our present students to achieve employability skills. It is essential to remember, however, that education is not only about making workers and employees, but must also aim to develop well-rounded citizens. 

These people skills can mean the difference between leaving an internship empty-handed or with a full-time job offer. Begin refining these skills right now so that when you enter the industry, you are well prepared and ahead of the game.

(The writer is with Siddaganga Institute of Technology, Tumakuru)

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