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Soft Skills for Students: Top 15 Soft Skills to Develop Early On

A student’s success depends on the skills they possess. The two broad categories are soft skills and hard skills. While hard skills focus on the technical aspects, soft skills for students define their behavioural outcomes. Check out the 15 must have soft skills for students that can get you through various situations.

soft skills for students

Soft skills are stepping stones to a brighter future. Moreover, every individual needs to possess a set of soft skills that comes in handy while seeking a job, preparing for an interview, working in a corporation, or preparing for entrance exams.

Soft skills are a determining factor in the success of a student’s life, who are often expected to be at their best behaviour, obey the rules, and maintain a disciplined lifestyle. During the growing years, a child tends to imbibe certain skills from their surroundings like saying ‘sorry’, ‘please’, and ‘thank you’. But is that enough? Prioritizing soft skills for students is a preparatory step towards shouldering bigger responsibilities.

Also read: Importance of Developing Soft Skills in College

That being said, it’s equally important to know the soft skills that boost overall development in students. Let us take a look at the necessary soft skills for students that will help you excel in different spheres of life.

Soft Skills for Students

1. Teamwork

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School life is probably the first place where we learn to form teams in order to finish tasks, work on projects, go on trips, or perform social work. Developing a habit to work in teams early on comes in handy during the later stages. Teamwork promotes acceptance, understanding, exposure, at the same time, leveraging communication skills. We develop better ways to communicate with our peers, discuss our ideas, and share our beliefs. This helps us formulate plans, execute them, brainstorm, and come up with new ideas.

Working in teams has many advantages, for instance, you get to learn from others’ experiences, you are presented with various solutions for one problem, and you have the scope to get creative. You form new connections and make new friends. Teamwork opens door to fun learning, and a person who can work well in teams is appreciated everywhere.

2. Confidence

Confidence is the key to a better lifestyle. When you’re confident about your goals, the rest falls in place. Having confidence in yourself reflects your ability to trust yourself and your grasp on your life and actions.

A confident person who trusts oneself comes across as mentally stronger and more reliable. They have an idea of their strengths and weaknesses and often knows how to work around their weaknesses. While people lacking confidence, indulging in self-doubt or self-pity face a hard time trusting themselves or even others around them.

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It’s important to nurture confidence from a tender age. Various activities demand confidence such as taking tests, public speaking, even while making new connections, confidence is crucial. Being confident gets you through academics, relationships, and enhances one’s mental wellness. It makes you more vocal and expressive when discussing your ideas, and thoughts.

3. Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is also known as emotional quotient (EQ) is an important soft skill that is in high demand. Another popular term in this regard is intelligence quotient (IQ). While higher IQ represents better understanding, cognitive skills, and cleverness, EQ is more about being emphatic, and sensitive to our surroundings and people. For example, a person who can solve a given set of equations easily but is negligent to the people and their sufferings exhibits a high intelligence quotient but lacks emotional intelligence.

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People having a higher EQ can overcome adverse situations through reasoning and emotions. They can understand and deal with the emotions around them. Studies prove that people have now started valuing emotional intelligence over intelligence quotient (IQ). A person exhibiting high emotional intelligence can recognize the emotional patterns, and perform under high-pressure situations.

4. Creative Thinking

While in school we are often asked to think out of the box. Well, that’s creative thinking, the ability to think differently. It is one of the most sought-after soft skills for students.

The human brain has a certain pattern to it, it’s divided into two halves. While the left side is responsible for reasoning, the right half brims with creativity. There’s an underlying creative temperament in all of us, while some choose to explore others often struggle to bring out their hidden creativity. Creative thinkers are not limited, they believe in exploring and challenging the confines.

5. Stress Management

As a student, one has to be particular about the assignment deadlines, taking classes, writing tests, sitting through long lectures, and what not? In this case, it’s quite obvious to be stressed out at some point, which is why stress management is a crucial soft skill for students. The ability to endure stressful circumstances by staying positive is stress management.

It helps you exercise better control over your body and your thoughts. Over time you can endure highly stressful situations, which would otherwise have drained your energy.

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Stressful situations can disturb your emotional equilibrium and affect your physical health, you often fail to enjoy life to its best and forget to live in the moment. Being able to manage one’s stress not only saves you time but also boosts your health. It is one of the key soft skills you will require later in life when you juggle a family, an important job, and social life/hobbies. You can beat stress by thoughtful reasoning, positive self-talk, diverting your attention, or by simply laughing it out!

6. Decision Making

We make decisions more often than we realize. Whether to use blue ink or black, whether to take the class or skip, it’s a silent but constant crusade on a subconscious level. The ones who can make the right decision in a given time are decisive. Individuals who are decisive edge over the ones who are lost and find the availability of options confusing. After all, who would not appreciate someone who is confident and is sure about different possibilities.

Decision-making reveals their ability to assess given situations and the faith they have in the outcome of their decisions. Making the right decision changes everything, and it is one of the most important soft skills leaders and managers have.

7. Accountability

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In a world where we constantly look for someone to blame, it’s rare to find those who take the accountability. Holding yourself accountable for your actions not only enhances your image but also helps others trust you. Generally, people scare away when it comes to owning up to their mistakes. But the ones who dare to hold themselves accountable for their actions receive appreciation everywhere. It generates trust and displays resilience.

Practising accountability has obvious benefits. For instance, it gives you a chance to learn from your mistakes, be more committed to your responsibilities. It offers you a higher satisfaction level and improves your performance.

8.  Leadership

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Leaders are the ones who set the benchmark and inspire others to follow their lead. You don’t necessarily need to hold a certain position to practice leadership. True leaders are the ones who influence lives around them, be it your friends, classmates, relatives, or even strangers. Humility, courage, flexibility, vision are the key ingredients to become a successful leader.

For developing leadership skills you can participate in teamwork, come up with solutions, imbibe from your surroundings, and help others move forward. Inculcating these values early on navigates your way towards becoming a successful leader.

Also check out: 7 Student Leadership Skills based on Real Life Experiences

9. Organisational Skills

It’s hellaciously difficult to figure things out quickly when everything is a mess, moreover, it plummets your productivity. Having top-notch organizational skills is one of the most helpful soft skills for students. It can not only ease out your workload but also gives you peace of mind. While disorganization harnesses a lack of clarity leading to unfavourable outcomes. Being organised is also closely linked to time management skills. It makes you look more certain of your choices and boosts your confidence.

10. Networking

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Humans are social animals, we feel the need to network. Be it a student or an adult, networking is an important part of our lives. And guess what? Last but an equally important soft skill in the list of soft skills for students is networking. It can help in a lot of places, let’s say when you’re asking for votes to become the class representative, or trying to get a role in your favourite English play.

If you possess good networking skills, the task gets easy. Similarly, strong networking skills are helpful for your go-getter spirit. In later life, networking will become crucial for getting that dream job, finding clients for your business or getting ahead in your career.

11. Analytical Thinking

Analytical thinking is the ability to tackle adverse situations by assessing them, working them out, and acting accordingly to avoid any mishaps. Analytical thinkers are also problem solvers and often come up with impressive solutions to a problem. They are often determined and dare to chase their dreams. You can enhance analytical thinking skills by taking inspiration from minimal things around you, or coming up with original ideas that are capable of making a difference.

12. Anger Management

We often find ourselves in situations where we are likely to lose our temper. Anger management helps us get past these situations. For those who cannot control their anger, its management becomes one of the most important soft skills for students to work on.

Anger management is necessary as uncontrolled anger takes a toll on our physical and mental health. A few ways to tackle anger issues are to take time to think before you act, take a time-out when required, let go of grudges, and practise relaxation skills & meditation.

13. Multitasking

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It’s always a good idea to be nimble-footed to catch up with the fast-paced environment but the ability to multitask gives you an edge. When you can efficiently manage two to three things at the same time, it’s multitasking. It not only saves time but also checks your concentration and prioritizing skills. To be able to multitask, one should know what to prioritize and when.

14. Communication

Communication is yet another one of the important soft skills for students. People having good communication skills have command over how their thoughts flow through their words, writings, art, or actions. They are able to influence others to get their job done. Communication skills are important for almost every stage of life for example interviews, business pitches, group discussions, presentations etc.

Also read: Basic Facial Expressions: How to Recognize People’s Emotions

15. Politeness

Polite behaviour can boost your personality in several ways as it makes you compassionate, caring and responsive. It helps you build better relationships with others and can benefit you in the long term. You can be more polite simply by wishing others, taking out time to listen to them and appreciating them in their success.

Those are some of the most sought soft skills for students. Although a combination of hard skills and soft skills works best for an individual, soft skills often give ground-breaking results. They not only enhance your personality but also add weight to your resume. While building a resume, you can always mention a few skills that can attract positive attention.

They help you in the long run and in mysterious ways. Hence, it is important to develop soft skills from a young age. But it’s never too late to learn new habits. Moreover, it’s always a good time to start cultivating new soft skills. Let us know which soft skill do you think you need to inculcate by tweeting @CareerNuts.

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