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10 Critical Soft Skills For Communicators

As soft skills are an essential part of dealing with other employees within the workplace, communicators need to harness these skills and fine-tune them if they want to achieve success.

Success isn’t just due to how well you use your innate skills. A much-overlooked facet of success is the use of soft skills. As soft skills are an essential part of dealing with other employees within the workplace, communicators need to harness these skills and fine-tune them if they want to achieve success. Without a proper appreciation for the person they are communicating with and how their communication methods affect the target, they may fail at their task.

Below, 10 members of Forbes Communications Council share their opinions on what they consider to be the most pertinent soft skills communicators should demonstrate to be effective in their role and why they are important.

Members share the most important soft skills a good communicator needs.

  1. Empathy

Empathy is always critical for communicators, but it’s especially important amid our temporary shift to remote work. Most employees are juggling much more than usual, attempting to balance unfamiliar obstacles at work with life at home. Leading with empathy fosters a more supportive and collaborative environment, allowing your team to tackle change – and the challenges that come with it – together. - James Freeze, Interactions LLC

  1. Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is a highly valuable skill to be successful as a communication expert. Knowing how to manage your emotions helps you devise a strong communication strategy, resolve conflicts and manage high-pressure situations along with responding to constructive criticism. - Haseeb Tariq, Formerly Disney/Fox

  1. Listening

Some of the best communicators I know are also the best listeners. And they don’t just listen to respond; they listen to understand. Symptomatic of a good listener is also a communicator who displays excellent empathy. The more you can relate to the perspectives of the people with whom you’re communicating, the more impactful your messages will be. - Melissa Kandel, little word studio

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  1. Confidence

Communicating with confidence is key to successful leadership. Developing self-confidence in your communication skills enables you to lead with healthy authority. Note that there is only a thin line between communicating confidently and being perceived as arrogant. Being an active listener and someone who is open to feedback will keep you on the right track. - Daniel Hussem, Troparé Inc.

  1. Honesty And Transparency

Be real – genuine, sincere, transparent and honest. Nobody likes corporate speak. Don’t try to sugarcoat the truth. Employees will be much more accepting of honest, truthful, transparent information than half-truths. Also, along the same lines, take responsibility if you mess up – don’t blame someone else. CEOs will respect you more if you own up to your own mistakes. - Heidi Green, BrightMove, Inc.

  1. Learning Agility

In today’s rapidly changing environment, the skills and experiences that made you a successful student or entry-level manager are not going to be the same that will make you a successful leader and executive. Hence, I am looking out for employees who are eager to learn new things, who are always looking outside for inspiration, who are reading a lot and acquiring new knowledge. - Rafael Schwarz, TERRITORY Influence (a Bertelsmann group company)

  1. Adaptiveness

The ability for someone in a marketing agency and who serves many clients to be adaptive is key. This ties into many emotions and skills. Things will change on a moment’s notice regarding goals, stresses and demands. Being willing and able to adapt to moving goalposts, changing goals and floating deadlines is critical. Those who can’t shift gears or mentally move on struggle the most. - Corey Morris, Voltage

  1. Storytelling

People respond to stories. Not only do they hold our attention better, but stories are easier to remember and elicit an emotional response. The ability to create a well-thought-out narrative provides communicators a powerful method of persuasion, motivating audiences to act. - Roshni Wijayasinha, Foxquilt

  1. Writing Skills

Writing skills are critical for effective communications in the workplace. We increasingly work and live in a digital marketplace and work environment. Effectively communicating in a written format across multiple digital platforms using different content types will lead to success in attracting, informing and engaging your target audience. - Alexi Lambert Leimbach, Xcellimark.

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  1. Diplomacy

Even transparent workplaces have a degree of office politics. That’s a fundamental core of humanity. Working cohesively with your team begins with building successful relationships so that everyone is aligned toward a common goal. To reach that environment, start with a diplomatic mindset. You don’t have to like everyone in your workplace, but you need to collaborate effectively to be successful. - Patrick Ward, Rootstrap

Adapted from a POST WRITTEN BY Expert Panel, Forbes Communications Council Communications, PR, public affairs & media relations executives from Forbes Communications Council share firsthand insights.

First published on https://www.forbes.com/ June 3, 2020