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12 Books to Equip You with the Soft Skills in Demand

12 Books to Equip You with the Soft Skills in Demand

Out there in the rat race known as “the corporate world”, having the right soft skills will determine whether you make it or fall off the track. Fear not! Having these skills will separate you from the competition and put you ahead of the chase. There are some great self-help books that will identify the soft skills that you already have and help you to develop new ones.

Nobody Can Survive in the Workplace Without Soft Skills

Soft skills are personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people. These are qualities such as communication, teamwork, adaptability, problem solving, critical observation, and conflict resolution. While you may already possess the foundations for these skills, there are a number of self-help books out there to help you hone your skills and acquire new ones. More often than not, you will be working with others which can at times be daunting. With a little light reading, you’ll be ahead of the game in no time!

Best Books To Start Honing Soft Skills

The Hard Truth About Soft Skills: Workplace Lessons Smart People Wished They’d Learned Sooner – by Peggy Klause

    Peggy Klause, a Fortune 500 Coach, has built her business by providing consultation to individuals with great technical skills but limited interpersonal skills. This is typically what holds back people in their careers rather than any lack in technical or practical capability. Her coaching provides the steps required to master communication, self-management, and social aspects of the workplace.

    Bridging the Soft Skills Gap: How to Teach the Missing Basics to Today’s Young Talent – by Bruce Tulgan

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      The most common issue challenging young people in the workplace is the lack of soft skills. The issue is becoming greater as time goes by and is hindering much young talent because they don’t know how to accurately express and carry themselves. This book teaches how to behave in the workplace in a proactive and professional manner.

      Soft Skills Training: A Workbook to Develop Skills for Employment – by Frederick H. Wentz

        Frederick Wentz was hired to teach recently-released offenders the skills necessary for employment. After going through the motions of resumes and mock interviews, he realized that to truly benefit his students he had to teach them the soft skills that are essential to getting a job. He wrote this book to give guidance to those who are new to the working class.

        Everyone Communicates, Few People Connect: What the Most Effective People do Differently – by John C. Maxwell

          Experience is not the most important quality in order to succeed. The most vital skill that you can possess is communication and connection with your listeners. You need to know how to get through to people and appeal to their interests in order to attain their attention and respect. Charisma can be a learned skill, and you can sharpen your communication without being an extrovert.

          How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks to Have Big Success in Relationships – by Leil Lowndes

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            This book will teach you how to make a great first impression, work a room like a politician, master small talk, feed someone’s ego, and so much more! Leil Lowndes delves deeply into the different aspects of communication and how to use them to secure your success.

            Teamwork 101: What Every Leader Needs to Know – by John C. Maxwell

              Best-selling writer John C. Maxwell explains that in order to have a successful, healthy workplace, there needs to be a solid foundation of teamwork and team players. This requires a well-thought-out game-plan, positive energy in the work place, identification of negative members and their impact on the team, production, and creativity, and the ability to judge whether or not the team can fulfill the task at hand.

              Teamwork is an Individual Skill: Getting Your Work Done While Sharing Responsibility – by Christopher M. Avery, Meri Aaron Walker, and Erin O’Toole

                This book emphasizes the importance of being able to work well with others in order to excel in the workplace. Mastering teamwork requires five essential skills: assuming personal responsibility for productive relationships, creating powerful partnerships, aligning individuals around a shared purpose, discerning when something is “just right”, and developing a collaborative mindset.

                The Advantage: The 7 Soft Skills You Need to Stay Ahead – by Emma-Sue Prince

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                  The world is changing rapidly, and in order to stay ahead you need to change with it. You need these seven essential skills to make yourself stand out from the rest: adaptability, resilience, optimism, integrity, critical thinking, proactivity, and empathy. You might think that either you have these qualities or you don’t, but these qualities can be learned!

                  FLIPP the Switch: Strengthen Executive Function Skills – by Sheri Wilkins and Carol Burmeister

                    A book written by parents and educators for parents and educators. This book focuses on young people who have trouble focusing and communicating, are disorganized and impulsive, and struggle with planning or problem solving. Although this book is written with adolescents in mind, young adults could find this book incredibly beneficial to improve these skills.

                    On Adaptability…

                    AdaptAbility: How to Survive Change You Didn’t Ask For – by M.J. Ryan

                      Whether you’ve found yourself displaced from a job, struggling to stay current as you age and your coworkers keep getting younger, or are faced with the reality that your company is outdated and in danger of being phased out. We all need to learn how to deal with change and use it to our advantage.

                      On Conflict Resolution…

                      Perfect Phrases for Conflict Resolution – by Lawrence Polsky and Antoine Gerschel

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                        In the workplace you’re bound to face conflict at some point no matter how nice or easy going you are. The result of the conflict depends on how it is handled and how carefully you choose your words. This book will equip you with conflict-diffusing phrases that can cool down any situation and stop it in its tracks before it gets out of control.

                        Conflict Communication: A New Paradigm in Conscious Communication – by Rory Miller

                          Learn how to control and manipulate situations to avoid and diffuse a conflict before it become a huge issue. This book covers conflict dynamics in the workplace as well as at home so that you’re always in control of a situation.

                          These books will equip you with the soft skills needed in the workplace. Learning them will be an advantage. The importance of being able to work well with others in the workplace cannot be overemphasized, so what are you waiting for? Start reading!

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                          Jenn Beach

                          Traveling vagabond, freelance writer, & plantbased food enthusiast.

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                          Last Updated on February 19, 2019

                          Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

                          Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

                          No one wants to suffer. As a general rule, people like to avoid hurt and pain as much as possible. As a species, humans want a painless existence so much that scientists make a living trying to create it.

                          People can now choose “pain-free” labor for babies, and remedies to cure back pain, headaches, body-pains and even mental pains are a dime a dozen. Beyond medicine, we also work hard to experience little pain even when it comes to loss; often times we believe a breakup won’t hurt as much if we are the ones to call it off.

                          But would a world without pain truly be painless? It’s unlikely. In fact, it would probably be painful exactly for that reason.

                          If people never experienced hurt, they wouldn’t know what it was. On the surface level, that seems like a blessing, but think for a moment: if we didn’t know pain, how would we know peace? If you don’t know you’ve hurt or been hurt, how would you know that you need to heal? Imagine someone only knowing they have an incurable cancer at the final stage because no obvious symptoms have appeared at early stages.

                          Without the feeling of pain, people won’t be aware of dangerous situations—what should or shouldn’t do for survival.

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                          Pain Is Our Guardian

                          Pain serves to protect human beings from harmful actions. It’s the same reason parents teach babies that fire equals hot, and that hot equals hurt. Should the baby still place its hand in a fire or on a stove, the intense pain remains so memorable, that the child is certain never to repeat that action.

                          In the same way, pain within human bodies can serve as a warning that something is not right. Because you know what it is to feel “well,” you know what it is to feel poorly.[1]

                          Along with serving as a teacher of what not to do, pain also teaches you what you are made of in terms of what you can handle as an individual.

                          While the cliche, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is a tired term, it’s used excessively for a reason: it’s true. Pain helps you learn to cope with life’s inevitable difficulties and sadnesses— to develop the grit it takes to push past hardships and carry on.

                          Whether it’s a shattering pain, like the loss of a loved one or a debilitating accident, pain affects everyone differently. But it still affects everyone. Take a breakup as an example, anyone who has experienced it knows it can hurt to the point of feeling physical. Especially the first breakup. At a young age, it feels like the loss of the only love you’ll ever know. As you grow and learn, you realize you’re more resilient with every ended relationship.

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                          No Pain, No Happiness

                          You only know happiness when you have known pain. While the idea of constant happiness sounds nice, there is little chance it would be. Without the comparison to happiness, there’s no reason to be grateful for it. That is to say, without ever knowing sadness or pain, you would have no reason to be grateful for happiness.

                          In reality, there is always something missing, or something unpleasant, but it is only through those realizations that you know to be grateful when you feel you have it all. Read more about why happiness and pain have to exist together: Chasing Happiness Won’t Make You Happy

                          In a somewhat counter-intuitive finding, researchers found one of the things that brings about the most happiness is challenge. When people are tested, they experience a greater sense of accomplishment and happiness when they are successful. It is largely for this reason that low-income individuals can often feel happier than those who have a sense of wealth.[2]

                          This is a great thing to remember the next time you feel you would be happier if you just had a little more cash.

                          Avoiding Pain Leads to More Suffering

                          Pain is inevitable, embrace it positively. Anyone who strives to have a painless life is striving for perfectionism; and perfectionism guarantees sadness because nothing will ever be perfect.

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                          This isn’t a bleak outlook, but rather a truthful one. The messy moments in life tend to create the best memories and gratitude. Pain often serves as a reminder of lessons learned, much like physical scars on the body.

                          Pain will always be painful, but it’s the hurt feelings that help wiser decisions be made.

                          Allow Room for the Inevitable

                          Learning how to tolerate pain, especially the emotional kind, is a valuable lesson.

                          Accepting and feeling pain makes you human. There is no weakness in that. Weakness only comes when you try to blame your own pain on someone else, expecting the blame to alleviate your hurting. There’s a saying,

                          “Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting your enemy to die.”

                          Think back to the last time you were really angry with someone. Maybe you were hurt because you got laid off from a job. You felt angry and that anger caused so much pain that you could feel it in a physical way. Being angry and blaming your ex boss for that pain didn’t affect him or her in any way; you’re the only one who lost sleep over it.

                          The healthier thing to do in a situation like that is acknowledge your pain and the anger along with it. Accept it and explore it in an introspective way. How can you learn and grow? What is at the root of that pain? Are you truly hurting and angry about being laid off, or is the pain more a correlation to you feeling like you failed?

                          While uncomfortable, exploring your pain is a way to raise your self-awareness. By understanding more about yourself, you know how to deal with similar situations in the future. You can never expect to be numb to difficult situations, but you will learn to better prepare financially for the loss of a job and be grateful for an income since you now know nothing is promised (no matter how much you work or how deserving you may feel).

                          Pain Hurts, but Numbness Would Be Worse

                          Pain does not feel good, but the bad feeling of it will help you learn and grow. It makes the sweet moments in life even sweeter and the gratitude more sincere.

                          To have a happier and more successful life, you don’t learn from success or accomplishment, but through pain and failures. For it is in those moments that you learn how to do better in the future or at least cope a little more easily.

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                          You are the strong person you are today because of the hardships this life has presented to you. While you may have felt out of control when those hard times came, the one thing you will always have control over is how you choose to react to things. The next time you hurt or you’re angry or sad, acknowledge it and allow yourself to ruminate in it. Then take a deep breath and start learning from that pain. You’ve got this!

                          Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

                          Reference

                          [1] University of Calgary: Why is Pain Important?
                          [2] Greater Good Magazine: The Importance of Pain

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