Soft Skills and Personal Branding- 3 mins
I am a Master of Technology student from one of the top technical institutes in INDIA called the INDIAN INSTITUTES OF TECHNOLOGY. Studying at IIT is similar to studying at American Universities like Harvard, MIT, or Stanford. Even after acquiring such highly technical/hard skills, sometimes I feel I am short on soft skills.
In today’s world, if one strives to succeed as a leader, one also needs an excellent balance of hard and soft skills. Hard skills are essential, but not sufficient. Schools and Colleges often focus more on hard (or measurable) skills. Soft skills are not taught there maybe because of the difficulty to measure & grade.
Here are some strategies to improve soft skills and personal brand that may be beneficial for professionals or anyone, along with tips and resources for developing them.
Soft skills are personality traits and characteristics that are less quantifiable, but equally as important as hard skills. They’re rooted in behavior, attitude, and values. While hard skills have a larger impact on the work produced, soft skills help develop human connections and establish a sense of culture and community in the workplace.
Focus to learn Transferable Soft skills
- Presentation skills
- Communication skills
- Critical Thinking
- Emotional Intelligence
Personal branding is the conscious and intentional effort to create and influence public perception of an individual by positioning them as an authority in their industry, elevating their credibility, and differentiating themselves from the competition, to ultimately advance their career, increase their circle of influence, and have a larger impact.
Branding is not just another example of marketing jargon. It is critical to the online presence and one’s success.
A personal brand follows the individual regardless of who they work for and is a huge asset in taking their skillsets to market wherever they go.
Define and build each of these items specific to YOU.
- Brand boundaries
- the 5-second elevator pitch
- 30-second pitch
- 90-sec pitch
- About Me webpage
- Linked-in profile
- Brand picture/avatar
- 360-degree review
|My Sweet Spot
Ex: Decision maker
What do we mean by personal brand?
- “Your brand is what people say about you when you leave the room”
Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon
THE SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE
By Stephen R. Covey
- Be Proactive ( circle of concern and circle of influence)
- Begin with the End in Mind
- Put First Things First (four quadrants for time management)
- Think Win-Win (Principles of interpersonal leadership)
- Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood (Principles of empathic communication)
- Sharpen the Saw (four dimensions: physical, spiritual, mental, social/emotional)
HOW TO Win Friends AND Influence People
By Dale Carnegie
- Don’t Criticize.
- Winning people over is all about making them feel good.
- Investing in relationships is paramount for success
By Peggy Klaus
- A Job Well Done Does NOT Speak for Itself
- Humility Does Not Get You Noticed
- Sell Stories, not Numbers
I get that everyone is not strong in all of these skills. That’s ok, it’s never too late to develop them. One should evaluate themselves and find areas for improvement.
Most people focus on learning technical skills or competencies. They have a solid plan to measure the skills but often neglect learning soft skills. Without soft skills and one’s brand, it is difficult to succeed in future positions that require a high degree of emotional intelligence and social interaction.
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