A colleague recently asked about increasing soft skills, including resources and how to go about it. Here is my answer and the link to the article she wrote from it.
Lezlie, thanks for asking about leveling up soft skills. Blessedly, there are tremendous free and low-cost options for people to obtain professional development online and in-person. Typically, that in-person training is more at corporate, community college, and community center/library level, whereas online comes from multiple sources, including LinkedIn. However, individuals must be careful in thinking that any course can transmit into soft skills immediately. Mentorship is also incredibly valuable. From interpersonal communication, public speaking, conflict management, and emotional intelligence, to trend awareness, situational awareness, and time management, all of these skills are developed over time and with practice. This means practicing with others, using it in your daily interactions and approaches in your workplace and personal life, and realizing you can’t work on 10 of these simultaneously. Just like learning a new language, it is with use that you gain proficiency. Read about them, take courses in them, and use them. As a couple of skills start to become more routine to you, add another. Also, remember that others come equipped with certain skills you don’t have and vice versa, so learn from them.
Karen Silins is a multi-certified, award winning resume writer, career, business and personal branding coach working with individuals and small businesses. After graduating with degrees in education and vocal performance, she made her own career transition into the Human Resources realm. Karen left Human Resources to become an entrepreneur and help jobseekers, executives and fellow entrepreneurs achieve their goals. She keeps current regarding trends in the resume writing, coaching, HR, small business and marketing industries by working daily with individual clients on resume development and career coaching, executive/career management coaching, consulting for small businesses in business plan development, marketing, blogging, hiring and overall HR processes, and providing 20-50+ seminars and workshops annually to a variety of organizations in the greater Kansas City area. She can be reached via her website at www.careerandresume.com.