soft skills workout

How to Create a Soft Skills Development Plan

soft skills workoutWorkout Objective:  Create a concrete plan to develop your soft skills and know exactly how developing these soft skills will help your career
Prerequisite: none
Recommended Frequency: once every six month to a year

It can be pretty daunting to think you have to develop 28 soft skills to accelerate your career success.  There is a Chinese Saying, “Don’t try to eat a cow in one bite.  You will get indigestion.”  In the same notion, it is important to prioritize how you will develop soft skills for your career.  Follow these 5 steps  to create your soft skills development plan and motivate yourself to take action on a consistent basis.

Step 1: Read up.   Go to Soft Skill List article – read the 28 soft skills to working smart and understand why they are key to career success

Step 2: Prioritize.  Choose 1-2 self management skill and 1-2 people skill to focus on first based on the following criteria

  • Your current level of competency for each soft skill (based on self-assessment)
  • Your understanding of how these soft skills can help your work and career today

Step 3:  Know why.   To stay motivated it’s critical to know why you are developing these skills for your career.  It will help you focus and keep this effort a priority if you know the specific benefits you will realize if they develop these skills and the pains you will experience if you don’t .

  • Write down 3-5 benefits you will experience in your career if you developed the soft skills you prioritized.
  • Write down 3 pains you will experience in your career if you don’t take time to develop these soft skills.

Step 4:  Make a commitment to practice.  Write down 1-3 commitment sentences.  For example, I will practice this skill at least once a week for three months.  I will look back in a month and see what I have learn about this skill.

Step 5:  Find a supporter.  Share your answers from step 2-4 with at least 1 other person in your life – someone you already interact with multiple times a week (e.g., spouse, colleague, friend) and will support you in your efforts .    Just by verbalizing your plan to this supporter, you are making it real and readying yourself for action.    Ask your supporter to do the following for you.

  • Ask about your progress
  • Be available to listen to your experiences

Your supporter can also choose to join you and choose a set of soft skill to develop on their own.  Then, you will have a Soft Skill Workout buddy!

Bonus: If you like, you can also share your plans in the comment section below.  The more I know about your plan.  The more I can also support your efforts  🙂  You can do it!  You have already taken a big step here.  Congratulations for finishing this workout.  🙂


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