If you find yourself at home with more time on your hands due to the COVID-19 crisis, you can use this as an opportunity to brush up on your soft skills. They are, after all, the building blocks of running a successful business.
While your technical development may have be put on hold during this current situation, you could use this time to get a better grasp of your soft skills. By doing so, you should become better at connecting with clients and customers, sharing ideas, and taking your brand in the direction you’ve dreamed of. In this article, we list the top soft skills that every entrepreneur or business owner needs to succeed. We also suggest some brilliant resources that can help you hone these skills. The good news is, lots of the resources have discounts or are available free of charge.
Hard skills and soft skills – what’s the difference?
Hard skills refer to technical abilities or skills sets that are needed to perform a specific job and are easy to quantify, for example getting a degree, computer programming or mixing drinks. On the other hand, soft skills are part of your personality, but they can also be learned. They are known as ‘people skills’ or ‘interpersonal skills’ and are harder to quantify. For example, communication and flexibility.
Now we’ve clarified how the two terms differ, let’s get started with exploring the soft skills you need to develop as a successful entrepreneur or business owner, along with pointing out some excellent resources.
1. Time management
As you have to balance many different responsibilities and jump between tasks, time management skills often separate the highly successful entrepreneurs and business owners from the bad ones. The great news is, you can improve your time management capabilities quite easily.
There are lots of great time management courses online, with over 9,000 on reed.co.uk alone. Many are offering huge discounts too. Take for example, the ‘Time Management level 2 Endorsed by ABC Awards’ course, which is £10 until the 28 April – and should have been £360! On this course you will learn about everything from setting goals to planning wisely.
Once you have mastered time, you will understand how true it is that most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year – and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade! – Tony Robbins, a highly successful life coach.
At the heart of being a successful leader is motivating other people and facilitating them in becoming their best selves. As you can imagine, this means you have to be understanding of your team’s needs and delegate roles appropriately.
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There are lots of courses on the American online learning platform, Udemy, that can help improve your leadership skills. ‘Leadership, management & entrepreneurship in the 21st Century’ is popular, and is currently 73% off at £19.99. The course includes access to videos, articles and lots of other handy resources that will help you succeed in today’s rapidly changing world.
To be an entrepreneur or business owner that motivates and inspires others, you need to believe in yourself. If you don’t, how can you expect others to believe in you? You should also be comfortable with being uncomfortable, in other words, inclined to take risks that can help grow your business and make you stand out from competitors.
Skillshare is another online learning community, where you can watch educational videos. Simply search for confidence-related videos, and there’s a wealth of free content at your disposal. A few examples of topics include how to increase your confidence, build your self-esteem and discover your life’s purpose. You can start a free trial, which offers 14 days of unlimited classes.
Being a more effective communicator will work wonders in both your personal and professional life. Communication skills including speaking, writing, listening and presenting. Let’s look at some of the resources that help you share information in a way people will understand and relate to.
ALISON is a free online-education platform that helps people improve workplace-based skills. Learn how to write with style and confidence, become a confident public speaker and approach difficult conversations – all for free.
As an entrepreneur, it’s likely that you are pursuing something that really excites you. This is an incredible opportunity, so some gratitude is in order here. You should find all other aspects of starting and running a business easier to navigate if you are grateful for the position you’re in.
PositivePsychology has some fantastic gratitude exercises and activities that should help improve your health, increase empathy, reduce aggression, enhance self esteem and more. You can access all of the exercises for free.
It’s important to be aware of your personality traits, including your strengths and weaknesses. Being more self-aware should help you have better control and be less easily persuaded into non beneficial partnerships.
Again, reed.co.uk has some fantastic courses for this topic. There’s the ‘Increasing Self-Awareness – Online CPD Accredited Training Course’ for £16.49 (saving 17%) and the ‘How to Develop Your Self Awareness’ course for £29 (saving 81%).
Throughout your entrepreneurial journey you’re going to experience your fair share of setbacks and challenges. You need to be resilient in order to weather the storm and come out on top. As well as building your credibility, doing so will empower your employees.
The Wellbeing Project is a great resource for resilience training and support. Pick from topics like personal resilience, team resilience, and supporting emotional resilience. Highly experienced facilitators deliver sessions through virtual classrooms and webinar events.
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Hone your soft skills with these resources
As you can see there are lots of courses out there to help you brush up on your soft skills, and these only scrape the surface. Using these resources and any others you can find should help further both your personal and professional growth. And with lots of them being free or offering fantastic discounts, why wait?
You might also be interested in the top 11 podcasts that can help you master the art of working from home. Or, if you’re thinking about starting a franchise, you can browse lots of fantastic opportunities in our UK Franchise Directory.
Becky Martin, Point Franchise ©