Dylan Cornelius Management, LLC

Soft Skills: The Secret to a Happier Life and Career

Hello, are you a technically trained or highly specialized knowledge worker interested in enhancing your soft skills?

Have you reached a point in your career where you’re beginning to realize that further training and specialization outside your technical field might be the key to unlocking your full potential?

Soft Skills - The secret to a happier Life and Career
Soft Skills – The secret to a happier Life and Career

What’s holding you back?

Perhaps you’ve wondered what’s been holding you back.

Could it be that soft skills are the missing piece of the puzzle that will enable you to achieve your most important career goals?

Many individuals eventually realize that unless they want to continue down their current path indefinitely—and don’t get me wrong, many people genuinely enjoy their work, their companies, and their teams—developing soft skills is essential for expanding their options, making a greater impact, and exploring new avenues in their careers.

For some of us, the decision is clear.

Soft skills can help us break away from our current routine.

Soft skills are likely to be the catalyst that propels you toward more choices and opportunities.

They can also help you understand why you might not have been chosen for different or more challenging roles before.

The key takeaway from this conversation is that there are three fundamental soft skills.

When you develop these skills, they can significantly transform how you operate at work and in your personal life. You’ll start achieving results and wielding influence in ways you may not have experienced before.

An example

I can speak from personal experience, as I spent 20 years in my career.

During that time, I was passed over for promotions four times in just three years, and my home life was miserable. My wife and I were distant, and I couldn’t pinpoint exactly where I was going wrong.

Upon introspection, I realized that I was indeed making some mistakes, but I also identified certain skills I hadn’t been using – skills I had learned in graduate school and others that I hadn’t been taught at all. To gain these missing skills, I took the step of seeking help from coaches, counselors, therapists, trainers, and even medical professionals and nutritionists. This was a significant investment beyond my bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and professional certifications.

Through this journey, I discovered three crucial things that had been missing, not just in my life but in the lives of many others. These skills aren’t typically taught in college or even most master’s degree programs.

These are the three most critical soft skills that you need:

1. Soft Skills: Define your purpose

The most important soft skill, which can make a huge difference no matter what you do, is the ability to clearly understand your own purpose and intentions.

It means creating a clear plan for the future and explaining it in a way that others can easily grasp and maybe even decide to follow along. Doing so also inspires others to find and create opportunities and plans for themselves.

To do this, you need some basic skills in facilitating discussions and understanding yourself.

It also helps to know about project management and being adaptable, like in agile management. Continuous improvement is valuable too.

You may notice that these related skills are beginning to sound increasingly like “hard skills” or technical skills.

Regardless, the number one soft skill is about making your purpose clear, setting a good plan, and explaining it effectively to others. Until you have goals and a plan of your own, you’ll always be part of fulfilling someone else’s most important goals.

2. Soft Skills: Build productive relationships

The second crucial soft skill involves building and maintaining positive working relationships, even when faced with stress or differing opinions on priorities and actions.

It’s about nurturing long-term connections and influencing others in a way that benefits both parties, creating a win-win situation.

This skill fosters a sense of unity, where everyone collaborates, gets along, and progresses together. Even if they’re pursuing their own goals separately.

You’ve likely encountered this dynamic in your own work experience, where people are working together but may have distinct roles or priorities.

The most successful people have the ability to coexist with others despite differences, and make progress on their own progress while even facilitating others getting what they want, too.

3. Soft Skills: Master Leadership

The third essential and most important soft skill is leadership skills.

Leadership is something I thought I had mastered after investing nearly $100,000 in graduate school. However, it took me a decade to realize that true mastery was still elusive.

This skill is absolutely crucial.

In graduate school, they told me that they would mold me into a leader with competence, conscience, and compassion. Like many of us, I assumed that once I obtained the degree or took the course, I would magically possess the skill, that it would come naturally.

But in reality, leadership skills are something you need to practice, much like any other skill.

Think about it like learning to ride a skateboard, ski, or even knit or crochet. Initially, it’s tough. You stumble, make mistakes, and it doesn’t feel natural.

However, with consistent practice over dozens, hundreds, and eventually thousands of iterations, you become better. Eventually, these skills become second nature, and you become proficient, even masterful, without conscious effort.

When I came to a realization

Continuing my example story above, eventually I saw that I hadn’t truly embraced leadership; I hadn’t assumed ownership; I hadn’t committed wholeheartedly to making everything work seamlessly. I had yet to fully become the person I needed to be to make a real impact in a leadership role and develop strong soft skills.

But things changed when I made a commitment. I decided that everything was going to work out, and I was going to be the driving force behind it, even when it didn’t come naturally. I pledged to be accountable and responsible for the results, no matter what.

As I began to step into leadership with my teams and colleagues, something remarkable happened. They started to appreciate my involvement, and I was eventually promoted to lead teams myself.

Now, it’s become a regular occurrence to hear from someone each week about the positive impact I’m making within the team and the broader group.

In meetings and conversations, I’ve developed a knack for asking questions that truly bring clarity to our discussions. I offer something unique that others can’t, not because there’s something wrong with them, but because I bring a different perspective. It’s a difference that’s being recognized and acknowledged. It has become a fundamental value for my team.

This feedback is something I hadn’t experienced consistently in my career before, and certainly not in my personal relationships. This isn’t about boasting; it’s about recognizing the skills I’ve developed through hard work.

There was a time when I struggled in my job, and my relationships with team members and family members weren’t always smooth. But now, it’s working, thanks to what I’ve learned, developed, committed to, and who I’ve become each day.

Bringing it all together

Enhancing your soft skills can make a significant difference in both your career and personal life.

The skills you bring or don’t bring with you have a profound impact on every aspect of your journey.

These essential soft skills include:

  1. Defining your purpose and charting your direction.
  2. Mastering relationship-building for sustainable, productive connections.
  3. Honing your team-building and leadership abilities.

Let’s meet and discuss

If you’re eager to learn more, simply click on the link down below. 👇

Join me for a Free 45-minute Clarity Call.

Click to schedule your session: https://letsmeet.io/dylancornelius/45-minute-consult 👈

Remember, the results you achieve are directly proportional to the effort and time you invest. I look forward to meeting you soon and being a part of your strategic plan. Take care, and see you soon!

Soft skills.

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The Author
Dylan Cornelius
Dylan Cornelius

Hi, I'm Dylan Cornelius.

I help mid-career knowledge workers and entrepreneurs execute their strategic plans using the career acceleration blueprint, even if they don't know where to start, they've never been a manager, and don't have a team. I'm the creator of the Career Acceleration Academy.

I've led small and large collocated and remote teams, delivering more than $40 million in revenues and cost savings. My teams and I have delivered ground-breaking products and services that still power successful businesses today.

I've worked as a recruiter, manager, and team leader in Silicon Valley and around the world. I have more than 30 years of experience in business management and leadership, plus psychology and business degrees from top universities.

I'm glad you're here! Take a look around and let me know what help you need.

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