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How to Improve Soft skills?.

abhijit Ohal
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Joined: Mar 10, 2006
Posts: 64
Most of the people have this question in mind that How to Improve Soft skills?.
I saw people who get highest success within less time than the technical persons.

I want to know that which are the various ways/things we can do in daily basis to improve Soft skills?
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
That's a very general question since "soft skills" covers a wide range of topics. Also different people learn differently, so without know more about you I can't give specific advice, bu my general advice is as follows:

1) Read books and articles on the topic. These include specific books on networking, leadership, communications, etc, but it also includes biographies, event histories, and stories about past situations.
2) Watch other people
3) Talk to people you respect about it and ask them your questions
4) Create a "board of advisors" to guide you
5) Undertake classes and activities (e.g. Toastmasters) to help you work on these skills
6) Have a plan by which you will work on these skills and track your progress

--Mark
arulk pillai
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 31, 2007
Posts: 3219
Mark has summed it up well.

1) Identify your strengths and weakneses in soft skills. Get a colleague or your superior to help you identify if required.

2) List down the weaknesses you identified and pick the ones that is most important to the task you perform.


3) Work on the short listed ones by learning and concsciously applying it at your work. Regularly repeat steps 1-3.


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abhijit Ohal
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 10, 2006
Posts: 64
Thanks a lot Mark & arulk
I know my question is general,As Soft Skill include many aspects
-Communication skills
-Writing Skills
-Presentation Skill
-Body Language
-Leadership
�.. etc
I know it will not be improve in one night, as it is continuous process.
In general most people say read newspaper & grammar book, Watch English News channel.
It helps, but it is not interactive communication.
My question is there any scientific way, we can improve rapidly?
Are there any sites, group, communities, and forums working on this front?
arulk pillai
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 31, 2007
Posts: 3219
There are training courses, but all of which is of no use if you do not consciously apply them. That is why now a days more mangers are looking for soft skills because technical skills are easier to teach than soft skills.

In my book entitled Java/J2EE Resume Companion, I have identified some key soft skills required for software development and also have provided some resume phrases highlighting the importance of soft skills.

Identify your weakness and apply what Mark had suggested.
abhijit Ohal
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 10, 2006
Posts: 64
That's nice Arulk ,
where can i get this book?
Is it available in India?
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by abhijit Ohal:
That's nice Arulk ,
where can i get this book?
Is it available in India?



I don't think that book is a good use of your time or money. It's about writing resumes. Rather you should focus your time and money on books specifically written about soft skills (unless how to write a resume is your primary concern and not the larger set of soft skills).

--Mark
arulk pillai
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 31, 2007
Posts: 3219
As mark suggested the Java/J2EE Resume Companion is a book on writing effective resumes and I have touched upon soft skills (for awareness). If you are keen on improving soft skills a more get specific book(s) on it. I have not used any specific books apart from motivational books like 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People, How To Win Friends and Influence People, etc. Fellow ranchers may be able to help you with more specific books or try googling, searching on amazon.com, etc. You could also start with some good articles on the net.
Mike Isano
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 19, 2007
Posts: 144
It's not possible to improve your soft skills. You're born with what you have.
arulk pillai
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 31, 2007
Posts: 3219
It's not possible to improve your soft skills. You're born with what you have.


Disagree. Some inherently have better ability like leadership skills, etc, but soft skills can be improved. It may take some time and more difficult than acquiring technical skills, but definitely something we all can improve on.
[ August 11, 2008: Message edited by: arulk pillai ]
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Mike Isano:
It's not possible to improve your soft skills. You're born with what you have.


I very much disagree with this. Speaking from personal experience my soft skills have been both hampered and helped by training and life experience. I put my money, or rather time, where my mouth is--I spend a lot of time teaching soft skills to people, and wouldn't if I didn't think it could help them.

--Mark
 
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