Advertising
Advertising

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

    Advertising

      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

          Advertising

            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

                Advertising

                  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

                      Advertising

                        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!

                          More by this author

                          Jenn Beach

                          Traveling vagabond, freelance writer, & plantbased food enthusiast.

                          How We Are Confusing Self-Love with Narcissism In This Generation How Traveling Can Drastically Improve Your Interpersonal Skills 10 Best Lumbar Support Cushions That All Desk Workers Need See How Your Brain Can Ruin Any of Your Workout or Healthy Eating Plans. One Small Action Separates Success From Mediocrity.

                          Trending in Psychology

                          1 How to Do Meditation at Home to Calm Your Anxious Mind 2 How to Handle Rejection and Overcome the Fear of Being Rejected 3 8 Powerful Reasons to Love Your Enemies 4 20 Things Only Parents Of Children With Dyslexia Would Understand 5 How to Find the Purpose of Life and Start Living a Fulfilling Life

                          Read Next

                          Advertising
                          Advertising

                          Published on November 28, 2018

                          How to Do Meditation at Home to Calm Your Anxious Mind

                          How to Do Meditation at Home to Calm Your Anxious Mind

                          The woman in yoga pants sitting in a lotus position atop a rocky cliff, overlooking a valley draped in fog — this is the glamorized version of meditation you’ll come across as you search. Yet if you’re seeking meditation to calm your mind, a fantastic setting with no distractions is rarely available.

                          So how to do meditation?

                          The truth about meditation is it’s an everyday practice for anybody. You could be a mountain climber or you could be an accountant — either way, your home is just as good a place for meditation as any.

                          Are you seeking to corral your racing thoughts and relieve a sense of unease, awkwardness, or uncertainty? Look to home meditation to cultivate a laid-back, creative, confident, and organized frame of mind. According to extensive scientific research, meditation relieves stress and anxiety, decreases blood pressure, improves sleep, and improves your ability to pay attention. [1]

                          From start to finish, this article will give you quick, easy steps to follow so that you can meditate at home regularly. You’ll begin by assessing, identifying and altering things that need to change in your home environment. You’ll end by understanding the basics of meditation so that you can let yourself do what you already know how to do deep down in the hidden reality of your mind.

                          You’re ready to let your mind be, and just be, in your own home — let’s begin.

                          1. Find the Right Space in Your Home

                          Where is your right space for meditation at home? Is it in your basement, your bedroom, your living room, or your study?

                          The right space will be one with the least distractions built in to its purpose. In that case, it may be your bedroom. If you’ve set up your bedroom to be a place for sleep and only sleep, it will lend itself well to meditation.

                          Advertising

                          The right space will also be a reasonably spacious one. Although comfort is not your goal, you need room to sit. Choose a space that is private, spacious, and quiet. If you don’t have a space in your home like this, create one. Free it from clutter and get it ready for you to meditate there any time.

                          Ultimately, your right space is one you feel comfortable meditating in, the space you can enter with no other expectations.

                          2. Improve the Feng Shui in Your Home and Meditation Space

                          Feng shui means “wind and water.” It’s the ancient Chinese art of placement.[2]

                          Feng shui improves harmony with nature. Adherents to the principles of feng shui believe all things have energy (chi). The focus of feng shui is to send negative chi (sha) out of the space and attract positive chi (yun).

                          Here’s the truth about feng shui: it’s not complicated or hard. The following will influence feng shui positively in your home and meditation space:

                          • Living things, such as plants
                          • Beautiful objects, such as sculptures or even a well-polished piece of driftwood
                          • Mirrors in symmetrical placement with the lines in a room
                          • Mellifluous sounds, such as trickling water or wind chimes
                          • Furniture away from walls
                          • A centerpiece, such as a small table with books or an ornate lamp on it
                          • Incense or something else that smells good
                          • A lack of clutter and an attention to organization that emphasizes the usefulness, purpose, and essential being of each item in your house

                          Given that feng shui is connected to Taoism and Buddhism, it will complement the meditative atmosphere you want to cultivate in your home.

                          3. Eliminate Pervasive Distractions That Can Harm Your Wellbeing

                          In part, meditation is about accepting the existence of distractions. When you meditate, you don’t judge and assign a positive or a negative value to distractions — the ticking of a clock, an itch, the barking of a dog — you let them occur and let them dissipate like waves.

                          However, in the same way that feng shui removes objects that attract negative chi, there are certain types of distractions that don’t belong in your meditative space. You must remove them.

                          Advertising

                          In a survey of 1,700 people who visited social media sites at least 30 times per week, 30 percent reported high levels of sleep disturbance and 25 percent presented symptoms of depression. [3]

                          Those individuals who experience sleep disturbances or mental health issues due to social media are not setting boundaries between themselves and their connected devices.

                          Part of learning how to meditate at home is learning how and when to set boundaries between yourself and your connected devices and social media accounts. If you need your phone for a timed meditation practice, but you normally receive social media notifications on your phone, set it on Do Not Disturb or Airplane mode during your meditation time.

                          4. Flow into Meditation Through Time

                          Next, set aside a time for meditation each day. It’s right to be structured and disciplined about your meditation time.

                          Buddhist monks whose lives revolve around meditation are very structured and organized with their tasks each day. Structure provides the balance your being needs. Once you are meditating, your mind has no need for time. Outside of your given meditation time, you are completing tasks essential to the wellbeing of yourself and your home.

                          Consider meditating as the sun rises. This is a quiet and contemplative time of the day when it is natural to set your day’s balance through meditation.

                          5. Recognize the Rightness of Doing Nothing

                          At home, you’re probably used to always doing something. When you do meditation at home, you are being, which is doing something and nothing simultaneously.

                          Maryville University points out that successful people unplug by doing nothing. [4] Not only this, but they set the right expectations for the time during which they will do nothing.

                          Advertising

                          We oftentimes look forward to the future by expecting something to happen and by expecting something of ourselves. To meditate from home, look to that time and that space by expecting nothing. You will not do any chores. You will not catch up on work. You will do nothing but meditate for a certain amount of time each day.

                          This might sound crazy, but in taking on meditation from home, you’re not expecting yourself to improve and become a better person. As Ram Dass put it, you are expecting yourself to be here now.

                          6. Choose from the Incredible Variety of Meditative Practices

                          As I outlined in my post on types of meditation, there are many different and not-so-different types of meditation from which to choose.

                          Many beginners find it right to choose guided meditation, for which there are apps, videos, and audio tapes available.

                          If you are not necessarily a beginner but are merely moving your meditative practice into the home, you can facilitate a practice such as Nada Yoga — sound meditation — by placing a fountain in your space or listening to ambient alpha wave music.

                          If you’re used to meditating outside of your home — perhaps you are drawn to the outdoors because of the sounds of nature — a practice like Nada Yoga can help you transition into your home space.

                          7. Understand You Can Meditate Any Time at Home

                          What if I told you to throw out all of the tips that came before this? Sounds crazy but that is how radical mindfulness meditation really is. We don’t think of it as radical because it is now ingrained in our popular discourse.

                          Mindfulness meditation does start as a sitting meditation practice. It goes like this:

                          Advertising

                          1. Sit comfortably and close your eyes.
                          2. Focus on breathing. Inhale through your nose slowly and exhale slowly.
                          3. As distracting thoughts arise, don’t judge them and don’t hang onto them. Let each thought go as you focus on breathing.
                          4. Treat all physical sensations and feelings in the same way you do thoughts: register them, then let them go, returning to breathing.
                          5. Extend this practice to everyday activity, remaining “in the moment” of the body’s activity with each new breath.

                          As you practice mindfulness around your home, note the physical characteristics of the things in themselves. Note physical sensations: sounds, smells, textures, appearances, tastes. Stop now and then and do a body scan from head to toe, noting what each section is doing and how it’s feeling.

                          Note thoughts that come and the emotions attached to them: let them go. Concentrate on the breath and the physical activities — including the details of the objects with which you’re interacting.

                          You’ll notice that your home will lend itself to a meditative state when things are in order. This is where true feng shui originates. You will naturally sense how the arrangement of things affects the energy in a room.

                          Clutter will disappear because mindfulness tells you to dispose of unnecessary things. Plants will bloom. Birds will make their nests in your backyard. Your home will smell pleasing and people will naturally be attracted to it and your presence.

                          You’ve Reached the Beginning and the End

                          Once you are able to do mindfulness meditation even as you are attending to the normal and abnormal requirements of your home, the mundane and the unusual, you are at both the beginning and the end.

                          You are at the beginning because meditation never ends. Continue setting aside time each day to do sitting meditation in the space you’ve set aside. Continue practicing mindfulness as you attend to the energy of your house, your own energy, and the energy of those around you.

                          You are at the end because you grasped what it means to do meditation at home: it means letting go of cares and concerns and being in your home as you attend to the right tasks. The right tasks are those necessary for being in your home.

                          As you sit in your home, rise, open the door and you leave, you are calm in your mind because you are home.

                          Featured photo credit: Simon Rae via unsplash.com

                          Reference

                          [1]Healthline: 12 Science-Based Benefits of Meditation
                          [2]Marquette University: Feng Shui: The Wind and Water
                          [3]Rutgers University: Social Media and Well-Being
                          [4]Maryville University: How Successful People Unplug

                          Read Next