Workout Objective: Create a concrete plan to develop your soft skills and know exactly how developing these soft skills will help your career
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. 🙂