The essential soft skills to succeed in the professional world

Soft skills, or behavioral skills, are personal and interpersonal skills that are not directly related to technical knowledge (hard skills), but rather are skills that enable individuals to communicate well, work effectively in a team, manage time and priorities efficiently, resolve conflicts, show empathy, or adapt to change. They have become essential to success in the professional world, where employers are looking for candidates who are not only technically qualified, but who also have sustainable skills to invest in, as these skills are often necessary to work in teams and manage projects effectively.

In this article, we will examine the most important soft skills for success in the professional world and how you can develop them to give you a competitive edge in the job market.

The 5 essential soft skills to succeed in the professional world


Communication is an essential skill for success in the professional world, as it allows for the effective transmission of ideas, information and opinions. There are different types of communication in a professional environment, such as verbal, non-verbal and written communication, each with its own benefits and challenges.

The different types of communication

Verbal communication is the most common form of communication in a business environment. It includes oral conversations, meetings, presentations and phone calls. Verbal communication can be effective in conveying information quickly, but it can also be a source of misunderstanding if the parties involved are not clear on objectives or expectations.

Non-verbal communication, on the other hand, refers to communication through body language, facial expressions and gestures. This form of communication is important because it can help reinforce the verbal message and build strong professional relationships. However, it is important to note that non-verbal communication can also be confusing if it is misinterpreted.

Written communication is another common form of communication in a business environment. It includes emails, reports and written presentations. Written communication is useful for conveying information clearly and concisely, but it can also be misinterpreted if not written appropriately.

How to improve your communication skills

Improving your communication skills can help you build stronger professional relationships, avoid misunderstandings and effectively convey your ideas and opinions. Here are some tips for improving your communication skills:

  • Listen actively: When you are in a conversation with someone, make sure you give them your full attention and understand their point of view before you share yours.
  • Be clear and concise: When communicating, be as clear and precise as possible to avoid misunderstandings and mistakes.
  • Tailor your communication to your audience: Be sure to consider the knowledge level and interests of your audience when communicating to ensure they understand your messages.
  • Rephrase: If you are not sure you understand something, don’t hesitate to ask questions to clarify.
  • Be respectful: It’s important to respect everyone’s views and opinions, even if they don’t match your own.
  • By developing your communication skills, you significantly improve your ability to work with others and achieve your professional goals successfully.

Problem solving

Problems can arise at any time and it is important to know how to resolve them quickly and effectively to avoid negative repercussions. Problem solving involves identifying the source of problems, investigating possible solutions, evaluating options and implementing the best solution.

The steps of problem solving

Problem solving can be divided into several steps. Here are the main steps:

  • Identify the problem: It is important to clearly understand the problem and determine the possible causes.
  • Collect information: It is important to collect as much information as possible about the problem to understand its impact and identify possible solutions.
  • Analyze the information: By analyzing the information, you can determine possible solutions and assess their feasibility and effectiveness.
  • Develop a plan: Once you have identified possible solutions, you need to develop an action plan to implement the most appropriate solution.
  • Implement the plan: By implementing a problem-solving plan, you can solve it effectively and efficiently.
  • Evaluate the results: After implementing your plan, it is important to evaluate the results to determine if the problem has been satisfactorily resolved.

How to improve your problem solving skills

Improving your problem-solving skills can help you make more informed decisions and solve problems effectively. Here are some tips for improving your problem-solving skills:

  • Develop a proactive attitude: It is important to take the initiative to solve problems as they arise rather than waiting for them to escalate.
  • Collect information: It is important to collect as much information as possible about the problem to understand its impact and identify possible solutions.
  • Evaluate possible solutions: By evaluating possible solutions, you can determine the best option to solve the problem.
  • Be creative: Thinking outside the box and looking for alternative solutions can help solve problems in innovative ways.
  • Work in a team: By working with others, you can gain additional ideas and a different perspective on the problem.

By developing your skills in this area, you will be more effective at solving problems quickly and avoiding their potential repercussions.

Collaborative work

In most work environments, it is necessary to collaborate with colleagues to achieve desired goals and results. Teamwork involves sharing ideas and responsibilities, solving problems, and working effectively to achieve a common goal.

The benefits of collaborative work

Working in teams has multiple benefits, including:

  • Combine skills and talents: By working as a team, you can combine the skills and talents of each team member to achieve better results and be more effective.
  • Solving problems: Working in a team allows you to have several perspectives on a problem, which can facilitate its resolution through collective intelligence.
  • Distribute tasks: Collaborative work allows for the distribution of tasks among team members, which can increase the overall efficiency and productivity of the group.
  • Unite teams: Working as a team strengthens professional relationships by creating better cohesion, which leads to a more positive work environment.

How to improve your collaborative skills

Improving your collaborative skills will help you communicate more effectively and achieve more positive results. Here are some tips for improving your collaborative work skills:

  • Develop a positive attitude: It is important to have a positive attitude towards other team members and to work together to achieve a common goal.
  • Respect others: It is important to respect the opinions and ideas of other team members to maintain a good work dynamic.
  • Communicate effectively: Communication is essential to working as a team. Make sure all parties involved are aware of the latest developments and responsibilities.
  • Use active listening: Active listening allows team members to better analyze and understand different points of view and to solve problems more effectively.
  • Set clear goals: Setting clear goals can help maintain focus on desired outcomes and improve team cohesion.

By developing your collaborative skills, you will work more efficiently and achieve results quickly. Teamwork is an important skill to succeed in the professional world and to have a significant impact on your career.

Time and priority management

Professionals are often forced to manage many tasks simultaneously, so it is important to know how to effectively manage time and priorities to be more productive and achieve your goals.

The challenges of time and priority management

Managing time and priorities is a daily challenge due to the many tasks and responsibilities professionals must manage at work and in their personal lives. The main challenges of time management include:

  • Procrastination: Professionals may be tempted to put off difficult or boring tasks, which can lead to delays or mistakes.
  • Lack of organization: Without careful planning and proper organization, it can be difficult to manage time effectively.
  • La mauvaise gestion des priorités : Si les professionnels ne définissent pas clairement leurs priorités, ils peuvent passer trop de temps sur des tâches moins importantes et négliger les tâches plus urgentes ou importantes.

How to improve your time management skills

Improving your time management skills can help you be more productive and achieve your goals faster. Here are some tips for improving your time management skills:

  • Establish clear goals: Setting clear and measurable goals can help you define your priorities and determine the most important tasks.
  • Plan and organize your work: Planning your time can help you maximize your time and minimize disruptions in completing your tasks.
  • Avoid procrastination: Avoiding procrastination on difficult or boring tasks can help you stay focused and maintain your productivity.
  • Set time limits: Setting time limits for tasks can help you focus and avoid distractions.
  • Develop a proactive attitude: Taking the initiative to manage your time effectively can help maximize efficiency and productivity.

By developing your time management skills, you will be able to better manage your priorities and be more productive and efficient. You will then be able to reach your professional goals quickly and successfully. Time management is a key skill for success in the professional world that will have a significant impact on your career.


Business environments are constantly changing, with new challenges and opportunities arising regularly. It is therefore important to know how to adapt quickly and effectively to change in order to maintain productivity and achieve goals.

The need for adaptability

Adaptability is necessary in the professional world and is illustrated by different abilities:

  • Managing Change: Professionals who are able to adapt quickly to change are more effective in their work and more resilient during times of transition.
  • Flexibility in approach: Adaptable professionals are also more flexible in their approach to work, which can help them adapt to unexpected or difficult situations.
  • Innovate: Adaptable professionals can also be more innovative, as they are open to new ideas and new ways of working.

How to improve your adaptability

Here are some tips for improving these types of skills:

  • Being open-minded: Being open-minded and curious helps you learn new things and adapt to change more easily.
  • Be flexible: Being flexible in your approach to work can help you adapt to changing situations.
  • Être flexible : Être flexible dans votre approche du travail peut vous aider à vous adapter aux changements de situation.
  • Be proactive: Taking proactive steps to anticipate changes can help you adapt more easily when changes occur.
  • Learn from experience: Learning from experience can help you avoid mistakes and be better prepared for future changes.

By developing your adaptability, you will be more effective in your work, more flexible, and more resilient in times of change. Adaptability is a key skill for success in the professional world that has a significant impact on your career.

How to develop your soft skills

Here are some tips for improving your soft skills through professional training:

  • Identify your skills: Identifying your soft skills allows you to be more successful in your career and to find training programs that match your current skills.
  • Look for quality training programs: Look for quality training programs offered by reputable institutions to ensure that you have the expertise, knowledge and experience of the best coaches in the business.
  • Participate in seminars and workshops: Soft skills seminars and workshops can provide shorter, more specialized training opportunities to improve specific targeted skills.
  • Apply what you’ve learned: Apply the skills you’ve learned in Soft Skills training to your work to improve your efficiency and performance.

By developing your soft skills through professional training, you will be more efficient in your work, collaborate more effectively, help you solve problems faster, and allow you to adapt to change more effectively.

ITTA has created a range of professional soft skills training to help you or your employees succeed in the professional world and make a significant impact on your career. Please feel free to browse through them and contact us if you have any questions about them; our experts will be happy to help you and answer your questions.

About The Author

ITTA is the leader in IT training and project management solutions and services in French-speaking Switzerland.

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