4 personal attributes you need for the workplace

A soft skill refers to a personal attribute which is used on a daily basis in and outside of a working environment. An example of a common soft skill is communication, which can come in many different forms. If someone has good communication skills they are more likely to be able to interact better with co-workers and customers. A good problem solver will be able to diffuse situations and help the company to continue moving forward and achieving their goals – and so on.

There are a huge amount of soft skills and personal attributes which are used on a daily basis and each have their own particular uses. However, we’ve chosen 4 unique personal attributes which are not often discussed but are equally as important. Here are 4 of them we believe you need for the workplace.

1. Empathy

Someone who is able to empathise with either a co-worker or customer is more likely to be able to solve problems and improve their interaction. Being able to naturally understand how someone else feels will help put them at ease and build trust and confidence in your ability to help them.

A good example of a role which would require a high level of empathy would be customer complaints. Dealing with people on a daily basis who are upset, angry and frustrated with the company can be a difficult job. Solving these issues is a matter of great importance for the company, as just the one bad review can affect business. Someone who sits on the frontline and empathises with the customer has a far greater chance at helping them.

But it isn’t just customer complaints that requires empathy to succeed. Any kind of interaction will go much smoother when someone can put themselves in the shoes of the other person. A manager or supervisor has to have good empathy skills so they can help and assist their team members. Even if you are below the status of manager you can still do wonders for your career if you show empathy towards others.

2. Giving and receiving constructive feedback

Delivering feedback could be a part of your job, especially if you are a manager. How you deliver that feedback is the key to things going smoothly and getting a positive outcome. Positive feedback is often quite easy to give, but negative or constructive isn’t. Nobody likes to be told they are doing something wrong, but if the giver of the feedback is great at delivering it, then it can often end in a positive outcome for both parties.

In some situations it doesn’t matter how well you give the feedback because sometimes it just won’t be well received. But that doesn’t mean to say you shouldn’t continue to remain positive, helpful and friendly towards everybody. You will have more success if you remain consistent.

If you are on the receiving end of criticism by your boss or especially a co-worker, it could be easy to react badly to it. After all, they could be wrong and you don’t actually need to improve on anything. But is that really the case?

There will be the rare occasion when you receive feedback that isn’t actually justified, but you should still roll with the punches. You don’t need to react or worry about it – just acknowledge it and carry on. But if you receive some good genuine feedback from your manager during an appraisal or meeting, then you should listen very carefully and react positively to it. Your reaction will determine how the manager perceives your intentions and how you will make improvements in the future.

Someone who reacts badly to feedback is very unlikely to accept that they need to change and improve. It will only serve to frustrate those around them and it will cause all sorts of difficulties. Taking responsibility for mistakes is also a very strong trait to have in the workplace. Everybody makes mistakes from time to time, and it’s the ones that own up and take ownership that thrive.

Here are 6 tips for giving and receiving constructive feedback.

3. Taking ownership

Taking ownership of a problem or a mistake is a valuable trait to have. It takes a lot of guts to put pride to the side and own up to something. It also takes confidence to take control of a project and volunteer for the difficult tasks. If you are seen as someone that is happy to volunteer and take ownership for something, you will become the ‘go to’ person in the workplace. This will often not go unnoticed and will certainly help you when an opening for a higher position becomes available.

Nobody likes to make the coffee or create a new filing system, but if you are someone that can take ownership of a difficult or tedious task, then you will be seen as an asset to the company. Someone who is always willing to help when the going gets tough is likely to move up within the company.

4. Positivity

Finally, being positive in the work place, even when things go wrong is a great attribute to have. Not only does it help you to stay in control and to problem solve your way out of a difficult situation; it will also help those around you to do the same.

Negativity in the workplace just isn’t helpful – it’s as simple as that. Although it can be hard sometimes to smile and stay calm, putting a brave face on is a far better way of dealing with the bad times. Things can and will go around at some point, and it’s how you deal with it that matters.

Your positivity can also have a great affect on the customer. If you are in the customer service, sales or hospitality industry, then being a friendly and positive person is a must. But even if you are not in a customer facing industry you should still be as positive as possible. It will help your career greatly and you’ll be seen as a role model within the business.

Here are 15 ways to stay positive at work and help you boost your career.

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