Friday, August 21, 2015

6 Important Soft Skills

By Kitty Bice, ACP

Last month I had the opportunity to attend the National Association of Legal Assistants and Paralegals’ (“NALA”) 40th Annual Convention and Exhibition in Tulsa, Oklahoma.   It was a tremendous event with wonderful educational institutes, sponsors from companies which paralegals depend on to do their jobs well, great speakers and presentations and fellow paralegals from across the country.  At the Convention, members and candidates from the Executive Board introduced themselves and shared six important soft skills that were essential to being a successful paralegal. 

We all know how important our education and experience is when looking for a job and doing our jobs well, but soft skills, which are not listed on a resume, are also very important.  These soft skills include:
  1. Communication – Three aspects of effective communication include speaking appropriately, listening effectively and writing clearly and concisely.
  2. Critical Thinking – thinking clearly and reasonably when making judgments, observing, evaluating, and reflecting on all issues when making a decision.
  3. Teamwork – a cooperative, coordinated effort of a group of people acting together in the interest of a common cause or goal.
  4. Time Management – consciously planning and exercising control in the amount of time spent on specific activities; setting priorities to allow you to complete a task in a set amount of time.    
  5. Adaptability – the ability to be flexible and resilient; being ready for different situations and conditions.   
  6. Conflict Resolution – Using soft skills to resolve conflicts
Keep these in mind when you describe yourself and the way you do your job. 

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