7 Important Soft Skills for Business Professionals

Whether you hope to start your own successful company or want to get your foot in the door with a prestigious business career, technical skills are always useful. However, it’s often your polished soft skills that will make all the difference whether you’re looking for business success, to land the career of your dreams, win clients over, get promotions and more. Soft skills refer to a range of personal traits such as personality, work ethic, social skills, communication skills, your attitude to decision-making and other processes, and other personal attributes that are both desirable and crucial for your ongoing success in the business world. They are sometimes known as interpersonal skills or people skills, and can improve your chance of building good relationships with employers and clients, boost your job performance, and help you become more employable.

Here are some of the key soft skills to improve if you want to achieve a lucrative business career.

Communication Skills

Research has consistently shown that poor communication is often the most common barrier to success in both careers and personal relationships. If you’re not listening to what other people say and aren’t asking the right questions, it’s all too easy for misunderstandings to arise and communication breakdowns that could lead to trouble for your career. Make a point of listening to others and asking questions. By being a good listener, you’re not only making sure that you understand the information that you’re being given, but you are also letting others know that you value them and what they have to say.

Today more than ever, communication skills are not only important in-person, but also online using multiple communication channels. You can improve these and more by furthering your education. An online DBA from Aston University, for example, will certainly help you develop this crucial soft skill since you’ll need to become skilled at communicating well with tutors and peers online in order to succeed.

Relationship Management

This skill involves using your awareness of your own feelings and emotions along with those of others to successfully manage your interactions. When you become more aware of and accepting of your own feelings, it will be easier for you to empathise with others about how they are feeling in certain situations, allowing you to become a colleague, employee, manager or employer that others like and trust. People like to work with other people that they feel understand them. And with today’s workplaces increasingly more stressful, good relationship management skills are important to ensure that you and the team you work on or manage are able to effectively navigate stressful situations together.

Team Work

Today, business is all about working as a team. Even if you are working as a freelance contractor, chances are that the work you do is in some way connected to your client’s in-house work and you’re still a key team player. Being able to work well with others as well as on your own is crucial in today’s business world, ‘we’re all in this together’ is an attitude that is appreciated by employees at every level. With work becoming increasingly more team-oriented, employees with a strong teamwork ethic and ability are becoming more and more sought-after in all industries. Good team players increase a business’s productivity levels with their ability to work together to achieve the desired outcome. Being on a team requires flexibility and excellent communication skills, especially in a fast-paced environment.


Confidence is an important trait for any future business professional or entrepreneur to have. It’s the most attractive attribute of your personal brand and shows others that you’ve taken the time to really improve your knowledge and skills so that you can be sure of what you do and your ability to get results. Of course, your confidence will naturally grow with the more that you achieve, but avoid falling into the trap of doubting yourself and holding yourself back. People are more likely to want to work with and follow the lead of others who show confidence in themselves. Employers will be more likely to trust you with projects and if you’re self-employed, and clients will also feel more at ease working with somebody who is confident in what they do.


As you move up the ranks in business, a key soft skill to develop is that of delegation. This is especially true if you are considering starting your own business in the future. Entrepreneurs often end up wearing multiple hats and taking on various different tasks in order to get their business off the ground and achieve success, which sadly can end up having the opposite effect when it leads to burnout and exhaustion. Being able to effectively determine where you are better off delegating work to others by being aware of your own strengths and weaknesses and able to make the right decision regarding who would be the best choice for the job can seriously improve your success rates.


Negotiation might be one of the least favourable skills that a business professional will have to develop, but it is also one of the most important. The ability to negotiate is the ability to have conversations with the goal of reaching agreements with others, even when their interests are not completely aligned with your own. The importance of good negotiation skills cannot be underestimated in business. To be able to negotiate effectively with others, you will not only have to develop strong communication skills but also be able to listen well and put yourself in the other party’s shoes to understand where they are coming from.

Positive Attitude and Mindset

Finally, many business environments today can be tough and there will always be challenges that you will have to overcome. A positive, optimistic mindset and attitude towards any situation is valued in any business setting whether you are an employee or a business leader. Real positivity in business is all about the resilience that you bring to problem-solving and your ability to create a can-do culture no matter what.

No matter what your specific business career goals are, being able to demonstrate these key soft skills will help you achieve them.