7 Signs You Have Terrible People Skills

Posted July 12, 2013 by
Dawn Dugan

Dawn Dugan, Salary.com contributing writer

As your career progresses one of your goals is to ensure that your “hard” skills — tangible, teachable skills and abilities that allow you to perform your job — are up to snuff. But in your effort to hone your hard skills, don’t ignore your “soft” skills.

Soft skills, sometimes called “people skills” or “emotional intelligence,” are less tangible qualities that determine how you manage your own behavior, as well as interact with and get along with others. While soft skills are more difficult to measure than hard skills, they are just as important when it comes to job prospects and advancement.

We spend years mastering on our hard skills. We should spend a comparable amount of time proactively improving our soft skills. This article explores 7 ways lack of soft skills can kill your career.

7. Emotion Overload

Are you quick to anger, or easily frustrated? If you can’t control your emotions and keep a cool head when the going gets tough, you’ll be perceived as a hothead who can’t think clearly.

According to the Penn Behavioral Health Corporate Services, emotional outbursts are threatening to co-workers and colleagues, and can result in low productivity. Learn how to cool it, or expect to cool your heels on the bottom rungs of the ladder.

6. Lack of Self-Confidence

It’s normal to feel challenged as you make the larger transitions throughout your career. But it’s one thing to feel nervous, quite another to let them see you sweat.

If you don’t have belief in yourself, you can be sure that no one else will. Figure out what’s causing your lack of confidence — lack of training or experience, for example — and address it head on. Start by pretending you believe in yourself. Sooner or later, you’ll convince yourself you do. And once that happens, others will be convinced as well.

5. Poor Communication Skills

Are you considered a good listener? Can you articulate your own thoughts and ideas in a way that others understand and appreciate?

Good communication skills — and that means on both the giving and the receiving side — are necessary to develop the strong interpersonal skills that are so integral to an organization’s success. A study done by Rice University showed that communication occupies up to 90 percent of a typical manager’s day, so it makes sense that poor communication would be a total career killer. Continue reading . . .

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