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Beyond Ordinary: The Untamed Power of the Top 16 Soft Skills

Updated: Jul 9, 2023

Regardless of the massive disruption we see in our workforce today, it is imperative that we learn how to pivot, adapt, and navigate through these uncertain times to develop what experts are calling the "new normal"—what the professional workspace will look like in the future.

We've been following scholars and doing research for years on what helps create high functioning workplaces and high quality leaders that can positively influence and elevate team performance.



Soft SkillsWhat are soft skills? Social and communication skills (like networking, teamwork), and other helpful career skills (like time management, creative thinking, and conflict resolution), which are also not technical or hard skills.

That's right, soft skills are arguably the most valuable skills a professional can possess. In a recent article from LinkedIn, "The Most In-Demand Hard and Soft Skills of 2020," the author states, "While hard skills are usually very specific to a person’s role in their company, the top soft skills — creativity, persuasion, collaboration, adaptability, emotional intelligence — are needed to be successful in nearly any role.


Let's look at the top 16 soft skills that you and your team need yesterday!

  1. Emotional intelligence: The capacity to understand and manage one's own emotions and effectively navigate relationships and social interactions. It encompasses empathy, self-awareness, and the ability to respond appropriately to others' emotions.

  2. Self confidence: a crucial soft skill that plays a significant role in personal and professional success. It refers to a person's belief in their own abilities, qualities, and worth.

  3. Communication: The ability to convey information clearly and effectively, both verbally and in writing. This includes active listening and being able to express ideas coherently.

  4. Collaboration: The capability to work well with others in a team environment, fostering cooperation, compromise, and open-mindedness. It involves respecting diverse perspectives and contributing to shared goals.

  5. Problem-solving: The aptitude to identify, analyze, and find solutions to complex problems. This skill includes critical thinking, creativity, decision-making, and adaptability in dynamic situations.

  6. Leadership: The ability to guide and inspire others, providing direction, motivation, and support to achieve common objectives. Leadership includes decision-making, delegation, and the capacity to influence and inspire others positively.

  7. Time management: The skill of efficiently organizing and prioritizing tasks, meeting deadlines, and effectively utilizing available time. It involves setting goals, planning, and balancing competing demands.

  8. Adaptability: The capability to adjust to new situations, challenges, and changes in the work environment. This skill encompasses flexibility, resilience, and a willingness to learn and embrace new technologies and methodologies.

  9. Conflict resolution: The proficiency to identify and address conflicts constructively, finding mutually beneficial solutions. It involves active listening, negotiation, and the ability to manage differences of opinion.

  10. Creativity: The capacity to think innovatively, generate unique ideas, and approach problems from different perspectives. It includes imagination, originality, and the willingness to take calculated risks.

  11. Networking: The ability to establish and maintain relationships with individuals in professional settings. Networking involves building connections, seeking opportunities, and utilizing social contacts for mutual benefit.

  12. Presentation skills: The competence to deliver information effectively to an audience, using appropriate verbal and non-verbal communication techniques. This includes public speaking, visual aids, and engaging the audience.

  13. Critical thinking: The ability to analyze and evaluate information objectively, making reasoned judgments and decisions based on evidence and logic. It involves questioning assumptions, seeking alternative perspectives, and problem analysis.

  14. Empathy: The capacity to understand and share the feelings and perspectives of others, demonstrating compassion and consideration. Empathy helps in building rapport, resolving conflicts, and fostering positive relationships.

  15. Interpersonal skills: The ability to interact effectively with others, building rapport, and developing positive relationships. Interpersonal skills include active listening, verbal and non-verbal communication, and respect for others.

  16. Cultural competence: The understanding and appreciation of diverse cultures, beliefs, and perspectives. Cultural competence involves embracing diversity, adapting to different cultural norms, and demonstrating inclusivity.

Remember, soft skills are not just limited to this list, and individuals may possess a combination of various soft skills to varying degrees. Developing and honing these skills can greatly enhance personal and professional growth. In fact the Center of Leadership states that, "75% of an organization and individuals success is determined by soft skills."

At some point in the very near future, technical skills are going to come to a head against AI, advanced technology, and other competing professionals! Soft-skill development (for yourself and team) is a great way to keep yourself competitive through any professional disruption in addition to creating a healthy and high functioning workplace.


Understanding how to pivot, adapt, and communicate effectively with others is what businesses and working professionals need now more than ever. With your emotional intelligence and soft skills honed, you'll be able to navigate, strategize, and adapt to any circumstance, situation, or person to benefit yourself, others, and all collaborating parties.


Want to learn more about how soft skills coaching, training, and development can support your team and company? Grab an informative call here with the Rise Up For You, SHRM-CP, SHRM-SCP team.

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