Good business is about relationships. Whether it is the relationships that you develop with your clients, your network or your employees, there’s no getting around the fact that interpersonal skills are critical to success. These skills are referred to as soft skills.
Soft skills are defined as personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people. Hard skills, on the other hand, are any teachable, measurable skill that one can acquire. Soft skills are much less definable than hard skills, which can make it challenging for entrepreneurs to develop them.
In this article we will define key soft skills that you need to succeed in business and why you need them!
Arguably the most important soft skill you can acquire is leadership. In order for your team to produce excellent work and to enjoy the work that they do, they need to be motivated and they need to be happy.
The way to succeed here is by looking at each employee individually. Understand their personality types, and understand their strengths & weaknesses. What does it take to drive this person toward success? Are they motivated by praise? Are they motivated by money? Do they prefer a soft or hard touch?
Understanding the personality types of your employees and what motivates them is the key to driving them to achieve goals and high levels of success. Take the time to understand your employees on a deeper level.
Strong communication skills will apply to all relationships that you develop, whether it’s a client, team member or a part of your network. Communicating effectively can mean conveying your ideas in a manner which is easily understandable and compelling. It also means listening. Understanding exactly what it is that people are trying to convey and then reacting to that appropriately.
One of the things that I’ve learned as a business owner is that things don’t always go as planned. Adversity and obstacles pop up all the time. I have learned through the years to become very flexible and open-minded when finding different solutions to different problems.
If you’ve tried one approach to an obstacle that hasn’t worked, try a new approach. If that approach doesn’t work and you run out of ideas, ask business people that you respect for guidance. Trust in your team to come up with good ideas as well. Lean on them for solutions to problems.
One of the things that entrepreneurs learn quickly when owning a business is that they have very little time to accomplish a great many things. Time management is key.
To succeed in business, you need to develop a daily timeline and stick to it. Understand what tasks you need to accomplish personally and what you can delegate. If you’re inundated with clerical tasks look into hiring a virtual assistant. Always have a to-do list, and break the entries down into immediate, short-term and long-term tasks.
Believe it or not, not working is an important part of working well. Business ownership, or having an executive level position in a corporation can be extremely stressful, and it can be easy to let your work life overwhelm your personal life.
In a similar vein to setting a daily schedule for work, commit to downtime on a daily basis. One needs to be fresh and clear-headed when working. Otherwise, you can suffer burnout which can negatively impact all aspects of your business.
Hiring Good People
This was one that I learned very early on and I couldn’t be happier about it. When I began to grow the business, I started trying out different freelancers. I learned that just because a person has vast experience and an extensive skill set doesn’t mean they are people you want to work with.
We hire character above all else at Bush Marketing. Our belief is that we would rather have positive, driven and invested people with less experience than more experienced team members with sour attitudes. We can always train hard skills! Soft skills can be much harder to impress on people.
Here’s the deal. You are going to make decisions that don’t work out. You are going to fall on your face a whole bunch of times. You may end up moving backwards occasionally while trying to move forward. So what? It’s perfectly fine, and it’s something that all successful entrepreneurs do. Failure is a good thing; that’s where learning and experience come from.
Take chances with your business. Not blind risks, but educated and informed leaps forward. My mother was a very successful business woman who once told me, “If someone asks you if you offer a service, and you don’t, say yes! Then go learn how to do it.” I embraced that philosophy and have seen growth as a product of it.
Soft Skills are very important to the success of your business. Some people are born with them, but they can certainly be developed! Where can you improve?
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