Brush Up: Improving Soft Skills through Alternative Learning

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More employers are now looking for employees who have transferable soft skills. They evaluate how well the candidates handle the interview process and put high regard towards that as opposed to relying entirely on the resume to make a hiring decision.

Schools and educators are also putting more emphasis on teaching soft skills to children. Students with well-developed soft skills go on to do better in both their studies and their extra-curricular activities. They are also more likely to take on leadership roles and pursue higher education opportunities.

Therefore, exploring alternate avenues for improving soft skills, such as through taking piano lessons or by joining a sports club, are a necessary investment in guaranteeing your future success.

What are Soft Skills?

These are the skills that are not tied directly to your field of study or area of work. They are non-technical and usually learned through experience and personal application.

Soft skills are described as transferable because they are skills that you can apply in every area of your life. Communication and teamwork are critical soft skills used in the sports field, classroom, and workspace.

Why do Soft Skills Matter?

People with soft skills are more likely to have a team-first attitude. Their work ethic and creative problem-solving approaches are geared towards helping their teammates succeed just as much as for their personal success.

People with the ability to utilize their soft skills well can bring out the best in others and, in so doing, create more opportunities for their growth and expand their knowledge base as well.

How Can Soft Skills be Improved?

Soft skills grow as you use them. Therefore it is an excellent idea to participate in activities that allow you many opportunities for using your soft skills. Music lessons are a great way to learn responsibility and accountability. Sports are highly suitable for learning teamwork, confidence, and perseverance.

Finding the right activity that suits you and can help you work on the skills you want to focus on is a way to improve your abilities and have fun while doing it.

Choosing the Activity

Time management and punctuality are also soft skills. Having to create a schedule that you need to follow closely to balance work, school, and activity is already a brilliant first step towards improving yourself. You do not have to throw yourself into an activity with a big-time commitment and physical stress. You can work your way up.

Start with setting some time aside to play. Regular and structured play improves your cognitive ability and reduces stress. It engages your senses and improves perceptual reasoning in ways that will help you to choose other activities to build up towards.

Choose Team Work Over Individual Work

Working together in teams is a sure-fire way to identify the soft skills you need to improve. This is applicable in both schools and the workplace. If your work schedule is too packed for you to add a sport or a club after hours, then working on group projects is the next best thing. It will give you the same type of interactive and interpersonal situations that will hone your soft skills.

The amount of communication needed to understand a group project plus the problem-solving and adaptability on the fly to complete them on time are the kind of high-stress situations where these skills are truly needed. Some people learn better by doing.

shaking hands at job interview

Cultivate Responsibility

The best way to improve leadership and accountability is by taking more responsibility in the workplace or the school. School projects and extracurricular activities are a readily available avenue for practicing these skills.

Volunteer yourself to take on the responsibility of organizing an activity or a booth for a school fair. The disparate skills you will have to utilize from organization to communication will all come into play. You will be able to work on them while doing an activity that expands your horizons and allows you to show yourself what you are capable of achieving.

Essentially, what needs to happen is to make learning a more personal and involved process. Soft skills are something that is within you; it affects your personality and character. It can help define who you are to people who meet you.

Choose activities that help enhance your image of who you want to become. Self-image and self-esteem are necessary for living life on your terms and with personal satisfaction. Working on your soft skills is a way to achieve this objective.

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