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Strengthen Your Soft Skills to Get Ahead

Publish Date: January 27, 2021

You feel like you’ve given everything to your job. You are accountable, responsible and committed to advancing your clinical skills. So why haven’t you been promoted? Don’t you deserve it?

It may be that your soft skills need some attending to.

Good leaders require a number of soft skills to help them positively interact with employees or team members. They have the ability to communicate well, motivate their team, handle and delegate responsibilities, listen to feedback, and have the flexibility to solve problems in an ever-changing workplace.

Can soft skills be learned? Maybe.

Unlike hard skills (think clinical education) that are learned, soft skills are similar to emotions or insights that allow people to “read” others. These are much harder to learn, at least in a traditional classroom. They are also much harder to measure and evaluate. Soft skills are the skills that enable you to fit in at a workplace. They include your personality, attitude, flexibility, motivation, and manners. Soft skills are so important that they are often the reason employers decide whether to keep or promote an employee.

Soft skills include interpersonal (people) skills, communication skills, listening skills, time management, and empathy, among others.

The Center for Management and Organization Effectiveness (CMOE) presents a strong case for the value of developing soft skills to get ahead. They report that many senior leaders believe effective soft skills take priority over hard skills.

If you’re feeling “stuck”, it may be time for an honest self-evaluation and, possibly, time to seek education resources to strengthen your soft skills.