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5 soft skills that help you to get promoted

Work scenario: Likeable people are moving up in my company because they’re likeable and not because of their capacities. I have the right profile to get the job done, but I’m not getting promoted.

If you’ve ever been in a workplace situation that you’ve deemed to be tremendously frustrating, it may have evolved around something like the scenario stated above. You’re a dedicated worker. You rarely miss a day, your work is always completed on time and without errors. You may not fall into the category of “likeable”, but you are indeed an ideal employee. 

So why is it that every time a possible promotion comes along, the job goes to someone else who you believe is not as qualified as you but a person that others simply prefer to be around?

This is not an unusual experience, agrees transformative coach and trainer Andreea Astilean.
However, Andreea views this work scenario a bit differently than a non-coach might. She doesn’t so much see “likeability” as a necessary trait for advancement; rather, she looks at this situation as an opportunity to help someone develop social skills that will perhaps make them be perceived as more likeable.

So, what are the traits that makes one more likeable? Andreea maintains that there are several “soft skills” that fall under this umbrella. 

1. Positive attitude is number one, she offers. No one wants to be around a negative person, especially at the workplace. Positivity inspires people, encourages them, gives them hope, Andreea explains. 
2. Being an active listener is one of the most wanted skills in this busy world where people don’t have time anymore for listening, and she stresses that people should practice listening with an “empty mind”. That means you’re not constantly thinking about the next thing you’re going to say while you’re listening to a co-worker or superior talk. Instead, listening with an empty mind allows you to truly process all that you’re hearing and then respond intelligently and reflectively. 
3. Assertive communication comes along. More than being a fashionable factor, this means to have the ability to express both positive and negative opinions in an active way that shows respect for the other people’s  opinions or rights. This implies to take  responsibility for your own facts without blaming or judging others, without being aggressive or avoidant.  
4. Another important soft skill for those seeking a higher likeability factor is emotional intelligence, recognizing emotions in oneself and others and expressing empathy. It’s also okay to be vulnerable yourself and show your own emotions, not in an aggressive way but in a way that keeps open a constructive line of communications between you and your co-workers. 
5. Being authentic is also desirable. It’s easy to feel when someone is being “fake”, she notes. You see it in their face, their inflections, their tone of voice. Working on being natural and comfortable with others goes a long way in verifying your authenticity, Andreea adds.
These are skills that companies are viewing as more and more essential in the workplace, often placing training in these skills above training in “hard” or technical skills etc.

Indeed, employers are spending more dollars each year for coaching like that which is provided by professionals like Andreea, both one-on-one and in a group corporate setting.
It’s money well-spent. For most people, achieving likeability is do-able, explains Andreea, and her job is to help the client discover and hone their soft skills by, first, self-evaluation and then through a series of steps that involve goal-setting and facilitating one’s own options for learning. 
Mostly, however, the learner needs to be personally committed to that which she/he wishes to achieve. 

“I help [the client] acknowledge what strength and talents owns already and show him how those current resources will help him accomplish one’s goals,” Andreea emphasises. “That’s the role of a coach.”

Interview for Savvy

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