The world is becoming increasingly interpersonal. The way you conduct yourself with your peers and superiors is taking precedence. Be it emotional intelligence, personal manners and habits, communication and negotiation skills, the ability to work in teams, or leadership skills, people matter!
1 Be people-centric: There is much more beyond tasks, skills and abilities for success. High IQ and occupational competency are no longer adequate for success. People skills are equally important, if not more, to ensure survival in the outside world.
2 Soft skills rule: Good task performance is just not enough to guarantee success. Day-to-day work increasingly involves interacting with others, be they contemporaries or seniors. Accept the importance of soft skills and make them a priority.
3 Sharpen your edge: Everybody is not born with soft skills. However, these skills can be developed like any other and perfected with practice. Enrol in programmes that enhance your people skills.
4 Read up: When talking of soft skills, there is a whole gamut of competencies involved. Read self-help books that help you hone your emotional quotient and interpersonal skills.
5 The extra-curricular way: Soft skills can’t be developed sitting in the classroom. Be it debating, theatre or sport, get involved in extra-curricular activities.
6 Stay connected: Soft skills can only be mastered through continued practice. The more you involve yourself in group activities, the more opportunities you have to practise and improve your people skills.
7 The support system: Schools and parents need to understand the importance of soft skills training and incorporate it in their teaching. Provide opportunities and encourage students to master soft skills.
8 Build your personality: Don’t restrict yourself to occupational tasks. Whether it is communication skills, teamwork, out-of-the-box thinking or leadership skills, strive for more holistic development.
The author is director, Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Fortis Healthcare