How can we develop our soft skills?

That was one of the questions I was asked at the end of my BP19 talk about the ‘Power of Soft Skills in a Digital Age’ last Friday 3rd May. At the time, I suggested the book “Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman as a good resource for upskilling some of the soft skills I mentioned.Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

Looking back at the good times we had in Bologna, we can still gain insights on how our soft skills flourished during BP, and on how we can improve some of those skills by joining in the presentations listed below which will be available at BP virtual conference next week.

This is a skill set that can help us in our careers and lives and some tips on how to enhance those soft skills required for effective Business Practice.

Empathy:

In order to become more empathetic, I would advise people to practise active listening. Active listening demands concentration and engagement during a conversation. It means that you will not be thinking on what to say next while another person is speaking and that you’d open up to understand how the other person is feeling.

Personally, I experienced a great sense of empathy during the whole conference, but mainly during the fringe events, where everyone felt relaxed about networking. I loved meeting my colleagues in person (rather than behind a screen), sharing drinks with friends and going on a trip to Ravenna with a wonderful group of people.

For empathy in business, I would advise you to listen to Caroline Alberoni’s talk on ‘How to impress clients and make them fall in love with you.’

Decision Making:

If you are generally indecisive about what will be the best course of action or option amongst a number of alternatives, you may be losing important opportunities. Perhaps, you may need to think about the reasons why you feel hesitant about taking a decision. If you are afraid of their consequences, think about what you may be losing if you do not take that decision. Weighing the potential results from the YES and NO in a decision making situation may help you gain clarity.

The following talks may help you in the decision making process regarding certain aspects of your business:

– Learn to work less, under better conditions, making more money. By Alessandra Vita.

– Are you really a professional? By Vasiliki Prestidge.

– How to raise your rates (and still keep your clients) by Susanne Prasent-Winkler.

– Strategies to get more translation clients in a non-spammy way, by Olga Jeczmyk Nowak.

Flexibility:

12I loved seeing how flexible everyone was when I asked the audience to join in the stretching exercise during my presentation. Initially, I thought that no one would move, but after a few stretches it seemed everybody had fun and were waiting for more.

 

In terms of flexibility in business, I recommend the following two talks:

– Do you diversify your business, by Francesca Manicardi.
– Can retainer models work for translators? By Jo Rourke.

Creativity:

The level of creativity in each presentation at #BP19Conf was outstanding and the post-conference inspiration is still perceived in the online dialogue between the attendees. Creativity allows us to be versatile in our business. It is an important ingredient of our marketing and sales strategy.

If you need inspiration for marketing your services as a freelancer with a creative flair, you should follow Tess Whitty ‘s great tips. Tess is a marketing expert and has been sharing her advice with translators through books, podcasts, webinars and seminars since 2003.

One of the presentations that explored the idea of creativity at BP was: ‘Right your writing for the sweet sound of translation success’ by Oliver Lawrence.

Another creative outlook about the way we work, was ‘Run a translation business as a restaurant: ‘Tips for a balanced Menu’ by Carlos la Orden Tovar.

Collaboration:

If collaboration is not one of the results from a great conference such as BP, I wonder what is it? I think this quote by Maria Montessori will be remembered by many.

Softskillscollaboration

Annina Pfenning and Peter Oehmen explored the idea of collaboration in their joint seminar: ‘The benefits of team work in two approaches’ and Magda Phili also made reference to this idea during her talk ‘Bucking the trend of Self-Promotion’ and still obtain the results you want.

Self-management:

From my point of view when we experience intense emotions such as excitement, nervousness, and nostalgia (as we did during and after BP) it is more challenging to keep our focus and be efficient at work. img_20190503_150300

However, while we go back to our routines, the talks by Sherif Abuzid on ‘Productivity hacks for translators’ and by Iwona Piątkowska ‘Effective Time Management for Translators’, remind us on how to keep our self-management skills under control.

Now it is time for us to appreciate the perks of our profession and to put into practice all we have learned during BP. Let’s keep in touch until we meet up again in April next year at BP20 in Nuremberg!!!

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Muchas gracias #BP19Conf!!! Auf wiedersehen!

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