5 Important Soft Skills & How You Can Nurture Them (Part-2)

This is a continuation from Important Soft Skills and How You Can Nurture Them Part-1

#3 Be Open Minded

If there's one thing we cannot avoid, it is criticism. This is a universal truth, and so holds true for the professional space as well. There will be times when you might have to face criticism for more reasons than one. Say, for instance, you are an event organizer and it was your first attempt at organizing an event of a particular type. You gave your best, but people had pinned high hopes on you and they approach you with negative feedback.

At such times, responding positively to criticism instead of reacting can bring about an enormous transformation in your attitude, and that this will see you through, both on the personal and professional fronts. While you cannot avoid criticism, you can most certainly filter constructive criticism from flippant opinions, and the objectivity to be able to do this comes from a heightened awareness and understanding that can be achieved through meditation.

"Meditation helps us to respond instead of react, and helps discern whether a comment is simply someone venting—in which case, you can let it go—or is constructive—in which case, meditation helps us operate from the space of how can I improve?" adds Puravi Hegde. Being open to feedback, even if it is uncomfortable and embarrassing, can help us grow.

A quote by H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar only strengthens this view: "Blame is what you call that criticism which you cannot accept. How do you deal with blame? With patience; it needs enormous patience and faith to see that truth will triumph always, and that things will get better."

How important is patience? How can we increase our levels of it? Find out next...,

#4 Be Patient With Yourself & Others

Do we need patience to accept just our mistakes, or even those of others? H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar shares, "When we have to work on a project, everything is not going to be smooth. There is going to be a lot of chaos. Challenges you face test you and give immense scope to utilize your skills and get closer to perfection."

Being patient is a wise way to ensure success. Accepting the mistakes of others can give them space to grow. This means striking a balance between the standards we have to maintain at the workplace and stability of mind. In such cases, meditation has a two-fold benefit.

Since meditation facilitates balance, it helps us keep calm in difficult times; we are able to control our anger, which otherwise might make us lose clarity of mind. At the same time, in a situation where the other person is angry, it helps us keep our cool and be patient until his/her anger subsides before talking things over. It is good to wait until they are back to normal, else they might not fully comprehend what we say and form their own concepts, which are likely to be far from accurate.

#5 Be Realistically Optimistic

Life, as we all know, is a roller-coaster ride with peaks and valleys. And work is an inseparable part of life, after graduation and until retirement. Challenges are inevitable, and while it might not always be possible to look at difficulties with rose-tinted glasses, it's useful to remember that they are not larger than life. "We can still look at the brighter side of things without being blind to reality."

Say you are handling a project for a client that needs to be completed by a given deadline, and one of your team members opts out. What do you think would be the best way to handle this situation? You get stressed, angry, and take it all out on the rest of your team members or you accept this inconvenient development, think things through peacefully, and then deploy new resources or come together even more committed as a team to complete the task on time?

If your choice is the latter, you are sure to agree that the probability of completing the project in time is far higher. "Your anchor at such times can be meditation, which helps you look at the impermanence of situations and feelings, and not be bogged down and reinforce a can-do attitude," adds Puravi Hegde.

Meditation, as a technique to overcome stress while boosting productivity at the workplace, is one of the USPs (Unique Selling Point) of the APEX (Achieving Personal Excellence) program, which has brought about a phenomenal change in the way people and organisations work. Here's what Ms. Madhura M. Rajadhyaksha (Sr. Executive, Cipla Ltd.) has to say:

"The program has helped me become stress free, control anger, be in the present moment, and listen patiently—all of which have made my life better."

If you too want to bring about a positive shift in your organization's work culture, email us at info@apexprogram.org.

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Founded in 1981 by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar,The Art of Living is an educational and humanitarian movement engaged in stress-management and service initiatives. Read More