When it comes to to succeeding in the workplace, a college degree isn’t necessarily enough. Nor is years of experience on the job.

That’s because the most in-demand skills that employers crave are the elusive “soft skills”—the intangible but important qualities that enable you to work and interact with the people around you effectively.

These traits include leadership, self-awareness, communication skills, and emotional intelligence. In fact, an important criteria during the hiring process at Google is screening for “learning ability.

  1. Listening: Make it Your Secret Communication Weapon

People often associate good communicators with excellent public speaking. But the best communicators do something that most others fail at. They listen.

The easiest way to build trust with someone is by showing interest in him or her. You can accomplish this by listening more than you talk. Good listeners don’t think about what they’re going to say next when the other person is speaking. Good listeners ask follow-up questions. Good listeners make it all about the person they’re with—not about them.www.iibmindia.in

When in doubt, provide guiding cues like “Tell me more about that.” The most valuable thing that you can give someone is your attention.

  1. Take Accountability: Do What You Say You’re Going to Do

When something goes wrong and you’re responsible for it, don’t make excuses, ignore it, or blame someone else. Instead, take full accountability and responsibility for the role that you played in it. Even better, learn from it.

Further, when working on a project, it’s easy to hit send on a message or email and assume your job is done. It’s even easier to agree to something in a meeting and then not follow through on it. However, being accountable also means making no assumptions, it means holding others accountable and following-up to confirm tasks have been completed, and it means keeping the agreements that you make.

When in doubt, this skill’s all about doing what you say you’re going to do. This is the core of integrity and it builds trust.

  1. Teamwork

Why you need it: A company’s success is rarely dependent on one person doing something all by him/herself. Success is the result of many people working toward a common goal. When employees can synthesize their varied talents, everyone wins. (Bonus: Having friends at work can also boost your job satisfaction, a Gallup poll found.)

Why employers look for it: Employers look to team players to help build a friendly office culture, which helps retain employees and, in turn attracts top talent. Furthermore, being able to collaborate well with your co-workers strengthens the quality of your work.

How to gain it: To generate goodwill, lend a hand when you see a co-worker in need. (“Hey, I know you have a ton on your plate. How can I help?”) Another way to build rapport is to cover for a colleague while she’s on vacation, says business etiquette and career coach Karen Litzinger.

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