Soft skills are essential for success in today’s dynamic business landscape. Improving your soft skills through training courses can make you a more effective employee and a better leader. In fact, soft skills like effective communication and teamwork can lead to more productive teams.
While they aren’t always easy to measure, you can improve your soft skills. Keep reading to see our top eight recommendations for training courses to help you improve your soft skills.
What is soft skills training?
Soft skills training is an exercise, course or practice you use to improve and hone your soft skills. It can be as simple as working on your public speaking skills or as intense as earning a soft skills training program certification. Soft skills development looks to improve non-quantifiable characteristics like listening, communication and time management.
Everyone can benefit from improving their soft skills. A team with strong soft skills generally runs smoothly thanks to high levels of emotional intelligence and the ability to work together to solve problems.
What are the benefits of soft skills training?
Soft skills training for employees positively impacts work environments. Strong soft skills in the workplace allow employees to communicate effectively across teams. A workforce full of active listeners, leaders and collaborators leads to increased efficiency, effectiveness and productivity.
Honing your soft skills isn’t just beneficial for professional development, however. Unlike many hard skills, you can apply soft skills to almost every aspect of your life. For example, improving your communication and listening skills can improve your relationships with romantic partners, family and friends.
How to improve soft skills outside of courses
A soft skills training program is a great way to improve your skills, but it’s not the only way. There are many ways to practice and improve soft skills without signing up for training courses.
The first step to improving your skills is finding gaps in your skillset and getting feedback on your current skills. Which soft skills are your strengths and which could use improvement? Try to list what you think are your best and worst soft skills. Ask for feedback from co-workers, friends and family. You could even ask someone with the skills you seek to mentor you and provide regular feedback and advice.
In addition to feedback, practice is often the best method for improving soft skills without a course. Once you know which skills you want to work on, you can look for opportunities to improve them. For example, you can improve time management skills by tracking the time it takes you to complete tasks, making a daily to-do list and giving yourself microbreaks between projects.
8 best soft skills training courses
These eight soft skills training programs can help you improve specific soft skills and expand your professional and personal development.
Communication skills are perhaps the most important soft skills to master. This course from IBM focuses on improving interpersonal communication skills. In the course, you’ll learn how to effectively communicate in a way that builds a positive personal reputation. Other skills in the course include presentation delivery, active listening and effective questioning.
The ability to solve problems is essential both in the workplace and in your personal life. As problems become more complex, you’ll need to use critical thinking to find the best solution for the situation. Cornell University offers an online course in problem-solving that aims to improve critical thinking skills. You’ll use credible evidence, situational analysis and risk management strategies to solve problems.
This Harvard Business School Online course helps you expand your leadership skills in a workplace setting and is a great option for employee learning. The course is aimed at existing leaders who are looking to grow their leadership responsibilities, including those aiming for the executive level. You’ll learn high-level organizational leadership skills by identifying your leadership style, shaping organizational culture and learning to lead through others.
From remote workers to in-office staff and teams small to large, it’s hard to overstate the importance of teamwork. A team that works well together is more effective, but personality type incompatibility can make teamwork difficult. This LinkedIn Learning course helps you become a better teammate through improved communication and conflict management skills.
Time management is one of the hardest soft skills to master, making this LinkedIn Learning soft skills training an important asset. The course helps you improve your overall organizational skills to increase efficiency. In addition to time management skills, you can expect to learn how to prioritize tasks and organize your workspace.
Resilience is a soft skill that often gets overlooked for more obvious skills like communication or time management. However, resilience is a key skill for managing setbacks, issues and stress. This course from Arizona State University teaches you how to create a growth mindset and express empathy for yourself and others. You’ll also learn how to identify immediate stressors and reduce short- and long-term stress.
Negotiation skills aren’t just for sales teams. A good negotiator can help get buy-in from business stakeholders for projects or improve their livelihood through salary negotiations. Harvard Business School’s Negotiation Mastery course will help you better understand negotiation dynamics, address small differences or pushback before it escalates and refine your personal negotiation approach.
To be an effective leader, you have to be an effective listener. The ability to listen to others and process their opinions, ideas and feedback can help you reduce conflicts and miscommunication. This active listening course from Cornell University helps you better develop your listening and response soft skills. The course uses self-assessment and peer feedback to set listening goals and create listening environments for the teams you manage.
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