#4. Look into my eyes, not around the eyes – Soft skillsBlogs
#4. Look into my eyes, not around the eyes - Soft skills
That man makes us feel uncomfortable…. Which is the opposite of what you'll be doing with your upgraded Soft Skills! When we talk about Soft Skills in our presentations, we always start with
"So, who knows what 'soft skills' are?" We're usually met with blank stares, some avoidance of eye contact and some uncomfortable shuffling in seats. And that's just the teachers. But in truth, it's something we don't expect you to already know much about.
However, if you start learning about them now you'll dazzle interviewers and potential networking prospects later on. What makes it even easier is that you do it all the time anyway!
Unlike "Hard Skills" such as your skill set and technical acumen , "Soft Skills" are often related to your personality traits and so it's harder to train yourself and develop them. However, they can be refined, practised and over time, improved. We've split this into three simple sections and hopefully you' ll get an idea of what we're on about.
• Understand the situation and react. This one's pretty easy to explain as you do it every day. Imagine how many different people you speak to on a daily basis. From the moment you wake up to the moment you sleep, you might speak to your parents or guardians, friends, teachers, shop assistants, bus drivers and even perhaps your boss, co-workers and customers if you have a job already. We bet you don't speak to them all in the same way. You adapt to who you're talking to.
Now imagine that in the world of work. If you work in a shop you wouldn't talk to each customer in the same way. If you approach each one differently you'll be able get the best of every situation. This works all the way to the top. It should go without saying, that if you're speaking to the CEO of company you shouldn't interact with them in the same way as you do with your friends. Start becoming more aware of how you interact with people and how you react to different circumstances because the sooner you understand yourself, the easier it will be to act according to the business situations you'll find yourself in.
• Eye contact. Here's an important one. Learn to keep eye contact. For some people this isn't much of a challenge, for others it's easier said than done (we know your pain). But eye contact becomes an incredibly fundamental part of business. People don't trust someone who can't keep eye contact with them. It also comes across as though you are uninterested if you can't hold their gaze. But don't walk around eyeballing everyone trying to get you skills in check. Just make sure that it's something that's present in your mind when you talk to people.
- Body Language. By the time we finish talking about this in our presentations, we tend to have half the room thinking they're Derren Brown, but at least they're think about it. The ability to read someone's body language is as important as understanding your own. There' s a general consensus after Dr. Albert Mehrabian's research (don't worry, we didn't know his name either and had to google it) that what you're saying only accounts for 7% of the message you put across so understanding your body language is as important to you in your first interview as it is in the most important boardroom. We talk about the act of mirroring in during our presentations (hence the Derren Brown thing) as it gives you a good idea, albeit a very exaggerated one, of how body language is reflected upon others when you interact with them and how positive body language can be a hugely constructive part of your business arsenal.
Next Week: #5 Research - It's important.
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