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5 Soft Skills That Will Help You Negotiate a Promotion

Caroline Gray  |  November 15, 2019

Developing good soft skills can help you succeed in the workplace. We asked an expert to name the top five soft skills necessary to negotiate a promotion.

While hard skills are job-specific skills and knowledge needed to do the job, soft skills aren’t always easy to define. Soft skills typically characterize how you interact with others. These skills are just as important as your hard skills, and they can help you succeed in life and your career. 

In the workplace, having a high emotional intelligence, or EQ, will set you apart from the crowd. People respond well to people who can communicate effectively. Typically, that means they are strong in speaking well, actively listening or providing a boost of inspiration at a much needed time.

We asked Joel Garfinkle, executive coach and author of “Getting Ahead: Three Steps to Take Your Career to the Next Level,” to list the top five soft skills that are important in the workplace. These soft skills will help you successfully negotiate a promotion.


“Great communication skills are critical in every aspect of your career. Whether it’s communicating with your superiors, fellow team members or those you’re directing, effective and efficient communication will help ensure you’re seen as a valuable asset.”


“Being a great and active listener is a skill that will serve you well, at all stages of your career. Without this soft skill, you’re missing half of the communication equation and likely won’t be on the list for that promotion.”


“Being seen as a great team motivator is typically key to moving up any company’s organizational chart. Great leaders don’t tell people what to do, they inspire them to do their best.”


“Learning how and when to delegate tasks maximizes the efficiencies of your team. As you garner more responsibilities within your organization, chances are, delegating is going to be an increasingly important skill to have.”


“If you really want to lock-in that promotion, before the negotiation even begins, hone your innovation skills. Whether you’re developing innovations within your industry, your company or just within your specific job duties, showing that you can think outside the box, to help take your organization to the next level is going to really make a good impression on those who’ll be determining the fate of your promotion.”

 A version of this article was originally published on Glassdoor. It is adapted with permission.

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