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Topic: soft skills

The most popular business skills at a glance

There are numerous personal, social and methodological skills that your future or current employer can demand from you. Since this is specifically about soft skills that you need for your career and profession, so-called business skills are also spoken of in this context. The list of desired business skills is long - including skills that are often taken for granted. But what exactly is behind properties such as flexibility? What do HR executives ask of you if you are supposed to be competent? What does your boss mean when he talks about resilience? Here you will find an overview of important business skills, as well as the associated explanation of what exactly HR managers and employers actually expect from you.

Soft skills can usually not be viewed in isolation. You will find that there is a lot of overlap between them. Some business skills are a prerequisite for certain skills, while other skills bring relevant competencies with them. Let yourself be reassured in advance: You do not need to have all the business skills. Each position has its own requirement profile, the desired bundles of competencies are designed depending on the professional field, workplace and situation.

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Every team works in its own way, every boss has different ideas. Even if you have in the meantime acquired a method with which you can work most effectively and get along best with people around you - everything can look very different in your new job. Now you have to be able to adapt to the new situations and behaviors and, if necessary, to change your work behavior.


This does not require you to be on standby day and night and to work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. But there are times, especially today in our fast-paced world, when unforeseen events require drastic measures. Your employer must be able to rely on you being able to cope with increased work demands. Are you robust and can withstand additional stress?


You are a person with charisma and attraction. When you walk into a room, heads turn to look at you. No gray mouse is wanted here, but a person who can cast a spell over others.


If you want something, can you get it? Are you putting your ideas into practice? Do you have the strength to overcome hurdles on your way to your goal? Do you shake off doubters and stand for what you are convinced of? Then you do indeed have assertiveness. This not only includes getting what you want, but also being able to say no at the right moment.

(Self) discipline

A creative chaos can't do any harm, but discipline is an integral part of everyday work. Complete a task without being distracted. Finish them even if all coworkers leave for lunch. Don't mess around, hold on. Don't get distracted. Maintain order in your own life too. Pull yourself together when you are in a bad mood and spare your colleagues, partners and customers.

Commitment and commitment

Your employer expects you to give at least 110%. Show that you identify with your work and that the company's success is your success too. Work longer if necessary, suggesting and bringing in creative ideas. Support your colleagues even if it wasn't actually your job. Show initiative.


If empathy is required of you, you should be able to put yourself in other people's shoes and understand their feelings. Empathy is an important building block for dealing better with other people, avoiding conflicts and misunderstandings and achieving common goals more quickly. Try to really understand your counterpart.


If your boss makes an unusual request to you, don't turn it down straight away just because it does not correspond to the norm or to everyday work. Say goodbye to the “nine-to-five job”, from “working according to regulations”. Be open to new approaches, even if the concept you have developed is almost finished. Our environment is extremely complex, unforeseen changes can occur and your employer expects you to be able to respond to them with agility.


Work carefully and neatly. It costs you more to have to work everything all over again because you were unable to concentrate. Take your assignments seriously and do them thoroughly.

Action competence

Your boss wants you not only to talk, but also to act! Put your visions into practice instead of just waving speeches forever. Be active. Do something to ensure that your ideas are implemented and your goals are achieved. Of course, the ability to act not only includes getting up out of the armchair, but also the ability to behave correctly at the right moment. Act carefully, situation-specific and fair. Make sure you are always able to act appropriately and learn the methods and techniques you need to do so.

Intercultural Competence

In the course of globalization, many companies have to do more and more with international customers and partners. Note that each culture has its own specific behaviors and traditions. Incorrect behavior at a meeting with business partners from India or the Asian region (even if you have mastered etiquette according to German standards) can have fatal consequences. Respect other cultures and familiarize yourself with their customs so as not to make an expensive mistake.

Communication skills

The better you can formulate what you mean and think, the more credible and confident you will appear. Communication skills mean on the one hand to formulate messages in such a way that they arrive as they should. On the other hand, it's about listening and understanding. Don't just talk, pay attention to the facial expressions and gestures of your interlocutor, concentrate and listen carefully. Talk to each other instead of about each other. This also makes small talk easier for you, for example.
Communication skills are probably one of the most important and most desirable business skills and a prerequisite for many other skills that you need in your professional life in order to be successful.

Critical ability

Remember, criticism is important! Do not take criticism personally, but thank you for correcting errors and for suggestions for improvement. Feedback brings you further, you learn from it. Be careful with your criticism yourself. Make it constructive, not hurtful.


The competitive pressure in almost all markets is growing. Come out of your drawer and think outside the box. Learn creativity techniques. Your employer needs employees with imagination and new ideas. Bring your suggestions in an easy-to-understand and creative way, and your chances of being heard will be multiplied.

Conflict ability

Respect other people's opinions and have the strength to admit when you are wrong. Have the courage to face disputes and ensure a fair culture of argument in advance. The ability to deal with conflict is one of the soft skills that are particularly required in connection with teamwork. Be open and try to identify conflict situations early on, avoid them if necessary or resolve them constructively.

customer focus

Do not see customers (in a broad sense this also includes partners, suppliers and colleagues) as disruptive factors that only bring work and trouble. Orient your actions to the needs of your customers and try to recognize and meet them in advance. You will meet people with individual concerns. Advise them accordingly instead of using routine empty phrases. Only those who are satisfied and enthusiastic will remain loyal to your company.

Lifelong learning

As a basic requirement for many other soft skills. Develop yourself further, avoid downtime. Be ready to acknowledge that you do not know everything and that you can learn from others. Only those who are willing to continue their education can develop their personal, social and methodological skills and thus master the most important business skills.

Knowledge of human nature

Knowledge of human nature is, among other things, the basis for business skills in communication and conflict management. The better you can empathize with others and assess your counterpart, the more skillfully you can act in negotiations and discussions. Learn to recognize and interpret the facial expressions, gestures and tone of your conversation partner. Be sensitive and attentive. Your empathy will help you.

(Self) motivation

There are days when you lack all the energy that you would most like to stay in bed. Work calls anyway. Now you need the ability to get yourself going. Activate yourself, think positively and go for it! If motivation is part of your soft skills, you can also get your colleagues carried away or convince customers of an idea.


Can be assigned to soft skills such as lifelong learning and creativity. Only those who are interested in their environment can prevent standstill and boredom. Take a look around, keep your eyes open for something new. If you are curious, stay active and flexible. These are exactly the business skills that your employer is looking for.

Organizational skills

Is your work collapsing over your head? Do you no longer know where up and down is? Organizational skills are one of the soft skills that will save you from situations like these. If you are able to organize, you know where to start, you work with priorities and coordinate tasks. You plan, structure and, above all, have one thing: the overview.


Openness requires other soft skills such as curiosity, knowledge of human nature and lifelong learning. If you are an open person, it will be easier for you to accept criticism and new perspectives. Only those who are open can develop, stay creative and understand other views and cultures.

Presentation strength

You have the talent to inspire others, to give them ideas and suggestions, to introduce new concepts. Your audience listens intently, instead of bored, and understands what you are trying to convey. If you are a professional in the field of presentation, then you also have business skills such as communication skills and action competence. They know the latest techniques and methods and know how to package information in a plausible manner.

Service orientation

If you want to be service-oriented, your employer expects you to advise and support your customers in the best possible way. Be ready to offer your help, even if it is not actually on the agenda. Be kind, attentive, and accommodating. Service orientation goes hand in hand with customer orientation and is one of the most important business skills these days.


Be reflective, recognize your own strengths and weaknesses. Be self-critical and honest about how you act and act in certain situations. The ability to observe and assess yourself enables you to work on yourself, to develop further and to gain sovereignty.

Self management

This includes soft skills such as self-discipline, self-motivation and organizational skills. If you can't get on with yourself, it has a significant impact on the work you do. Learn to plan, structure and control your time and activities.


You know what you are talking about and appear credible and convincing. You approach your tasks confidently and goal-oriented. You act calmly and professionally, which brings you the trust of your customers, partners and colleagues.

Ability to work in a team

The competence that has become an indispensable part of today's job advertisements and is one of the most important business skills. If you cannot get along with your colleagues, it will not help you that you are an absolute expert in your field. Work with your colleagues instead of against them. Your employer expects you to be able to work constructively in a team - stoic soloists are not in demand. Remember: creative solutions are usually found in a team. Without the team skills of communication, criticism and conflict resolution, you will find it difficult to act successfully with your colleagues.


You have the ability to grasp, interpret and classify situations correctly. You are able to choose appropriate action steps. They are vigilant and think logically. They recognize problems when they are there instead of overlooking them or turning a mosquito into an elephant. You have a realistic view of things.

Negotiation skills

Your employer expects you to be skilled in handling the settlement process. They should be able to enforce advantages and at the same time find solutions that make all parties involved satisfied. This is not only about sales, but also about the design of projects and work steps. To do this, you need soft skills such as organizational and communication skills.


You are aware of the effects of your actions and accept all consequences. You think before you act. You decide on solutions that are the best for customers, partners and of course for yourself. You finish your tasks and don't let your colleagues down. You have the courage to admit mistakes instead of brushing them under the table and thereby harming your company.

Time management

Not only one of the most important business skills, but also more than helpful in your private life. Make the most of your time. Make sure you meet deadlines and avoid unnecessary stress due to a lack of organization. The soft skills resilience and organizational skills are important for successful time management - you must be able to coordinate your tasks even in stressful situations.

goal orientation

You can only get there if you know where you want to go. Work efficiently and effectively. Review your activities and correct them when your path is no longer leading you in the right direction. Be aware of the goals of the company you work for. Orientate yourself to them and align your actions with them. Your employer expects you to identify with the company. By pursuing the same goals, you prove it.