Which soft skills did you have the most difficulty developing?

“The following soft skills are not only the most difficult skills to develop, but also the ones that require constant “gut checks” to determine if you actually have them, or are able to exhibit them not only in every situation, but also those most difficult ones. Teamwork, patience/empathy for others, time management, and effective communication are the most difficult soft skills to have and to develop. The reason is that each and every one of us come to the table with our own set of experiences that influence our perceptions of ourselves and each other. For example, the soft skill of teamwork was a difficult soft skill for me to develop, because I find it very difficult to work with colleagues who I perceive to be “users” who cannot or do not want to do their part of the work. Therefore, as a defense mechanism, I found myself “sizing” up my colleagues on a given project looking for signs that would indicate whether the colleague was a “user.” This resulted in me missing out on the experience of exchanging ideas and finding a common purpose with others. Although teamwork is a soft skill that I may not have mastered, I am constantly evaluating my perceptions to make sure that I am not permitting my experiences to hinder both my personal and professional growth that comes with having and applying the above-mentioned soft skills.”

Kezia Cook-Robinson
Senior Privacy Counsel Verily Life Sciences

Ask An Expert