Everything You Need to Know About Building Soft Skills


Last Updated: October 27, 2022
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I had a friend who aced every class he took. He was the teacher’s pet. We called him a walking encyclopaedia (We all have that friend, don’t we?). But his ‘topper’ spot was soon lost when he entered the workforce. Every day was a struggle. He was no longer the winner but more of a struggler. Turns out, he was missing an important one crucial element that’s a must-have for any workplace – soft skills.

According to a recent survey, 85% of job success comes from soft skills and people skills. This single stat will tell you how important it is to sharpen your soft skills.


What are soft skills though?

They are a unique mixture of your personality, motivation, flexibility, and attitude. They show your employer how capable you are of succeeding at your work. These skills, unlike hard skills, are more challenging to learn. Hard skills present what you know; soft skills show who you are. If you’re a coder, programming would be your hard skill. But your resilience in the face of challenges would count as a soft skill.


Why are soft skills so critical?

Soft skills decide how well you will do in your future career. You could be the smartest robotics engineer, but without soft skills, you can only go so far. So which soft skills are essential for the 21st century workplace, and how do you build them? Here’s a list you absolutely need to run through to start prepping!

Communication Skills

Communication skill is a significant part of any job under the sky. You have already completed half the job if you can communicate your thoughts well. Interpersonal communication is essential for many jobs, and its relevance is increasing daily.

Click here to find out how you can improve your communication skills. We’ve compiled a quick list of tips for you right here:

  1. Well, speak! The most apt way to improve your communication skills is to talk with people. Speaking helps you practice effective communication.
  2. Don’t just hear others; listen to them: You may hear the crickets when speaking to your friend at night but are you listening to them? No, because you are listening to your friend. That is the difference between listening and hearing. Listen actively to what others say (don’t treat them like crickets), and give them your genuine attention for a fruitful conversation.
  3. Body language: Your body language can tell your listener more than what you speak. Make sure you are confident and give a firm handshake before you begin your conversation. Always maintain eye contact while talking to someone, and nod lightly to show them you’ve understood. Avoid fidgeting during a face-to-face conversation, as it may look like you’re distracted. Here’s a wonderful article I found about improving your body language.


Leadership Skills

It is essential that you learn to be a leader early in life. Leadership skills help you step up when everyone around you doesn’t know what to do. It helps manage people and encourages your team to perform better at their specific roles.

Here’s a list of tips to help you improve your leadership skills:

  1. Practice discipline: If you have to preach discipline at your job, you should first practice it. Show your colleagues that you work with discipline, and this will encourage them to do the same.
  2. Motivate and empower your team members: You cannot be a good leader without motivating your team members at their lowest points. Only a great motivator can be a good leader.
  3. Set specific goals and execute them: As a leader, you should have some goals, and your efficiency is measured by when and how well you execute them.


Problem-Solving/Critical Thinking Skills

Strive to be problem solvers, not problem creators. Employers are always looking for employees who can find the perfect way to avert a crisis with their problem-solving skills.

Here are some tips to improve your  problem-solving skills?

  1. First, find the exact problem you are facing. Define the root cause and analyse it carefully
  2. Brainstorm all possible scenarios and the possible solutions that can avert or solve this issue
  3. Finally, select the best option from all possible solutions and go with it



Everyone likes people who think out of the box (I am sure you are one of those too). Employers always appreciate creativity. Your creative skills can help you protect yourself from boredom at the workplace. They allow you to try new solutions and change the oft-repeated ways.

  1. Read, read and read: Reading helps increase your creative skills. It keeps your creative juices flowing.
  2. Write: Try writing at least one page about something daily. Writing enables you to think differently and creatively.
  3. Try new things: Go to a new restaurant or place now and then, or go to a new site every weekend. Ideas can be hidden in any corner. Grab them!



Adaptability is not an easy skill to learn. Changing plans according to the situation and understanding what is expected of you is a skill that should be learned. Adaptability is vital for everyone, from a manager to a business owner to a freelancer; adaptability will decide where you go in life.

How can I improve my adaptability skills?

1. Learn: Make sure you learn at every chance you get. Learning more will help you adapt to the changes in your industry

2. Observe changes: Make sure that you keep an eye open for changes. This allows you to prepare beforehand for what is about to take place

3. Acknowledge change and accept it wholeheartedly: You know the only thing that never changes? Its change. Changes can be really scary but learn to accept, acknowledge and accept them wholeheartedly.


Time Management

We all struggle with time management issues. You can effectively utilise your time at the workplace with proper time management. Proper time management skills eventually lead to better work efficiency. Time is the most crucial resource that we have; use it wisely

  1. Prioritisation: Prioritise your work. Do the most critical work first; this will help you be stress-free
  2. Setting goals: Setting realistic goals and awarding yourself when you achieve them can help you better manage time
  3. Start them early: Say goodbye to procrastination and see the results.


Negotiation Skills

Negotiation skills can be beneficial in your job. It can help you find the middle ground in which both parties are comfortable. Having the power of persuasion can help you a lot in negotiation skills.

How to improve my negotiation skills?

1) Show empathy: Put yourself into their shoes before proposing a middle ground.

2) Know your audience: Research thoroughly before you start your negotiation.

3) Don’t take anything personally: You mustn’t take the other person’s comments or remarks personally.


Innovation Skills

Innovation skills can help the company scale new heights. Employers love candidates with innovative skills because they help solve problems, develop new ideas, and help grow the company.

How can I improve my innovation skills?

  1. What is innovation without research? Research helps you generate new ideas and innovate.
  2. If you have to innovate, make sure that you first experiment without fear so that you get the best results.
  3. Brainstorming: Brainstorming for new ideas can eventually help you sharpen your skills.


Work Ethic

Showing good work ethic can help increase your employability. Having a solid work ethic can help you stand apart from your colleagues.

How can I improve my work ethic?

  1. Be disciplined: Make sure that you are disciplined in your work and never procrastinate.
  2. Ensure that you go beyond the call of duty.
  3. Integrity: Never let go of your integrity no matter what; your employers will eventually respect you for that.


Empathy Skills

Empathy helps you build an understanding and rapport among your colleagues. Empathy is hard to come by in the present corporative competitive world, and that is why you should always hold on to it.

  1. Listen to other people and try to put yourself in their shoes
  2. Be aware of what your team members are feeling. Empathy will help you build rapport with them
  3. Be open-minded: Maybe it was your mistake. Apologise if you think you were wrong.


Afraid of your first day at work? Still can’t figure out if this is your true calling? Contact us at Mentoria and let us help you kick-start your journey to your dream career.