Soft Skills Starter Kit
8 mins read

Soft Skills Starter Kit

Take your soft skills to the next level with materials, resources and programming from Plano Public Library.

Plano Public Library offers everything you need to learn a new skill, develop a new hobby, and pursue a new career. This month’s Starter Kit is all about those soft skills that are so important in the modern job market. Whether you’re just getting started in your career or trying to develop new skills, the resources below might be just what you need!

Upcoming Events

Join us for these upcoming library programs to develop and show off your skills.

Building Your Brand (adults)

Identify the key needs of building a brand such as developing a style guide, marketing tools and audience needs

This program is held virtually on Tuesday, January 31 at 3pm. Register in advance or view the program recording starting a week later.

Essential Soft Skills (adults)

When conducting a job search or advancing your career, soft skills remain vital to success. Learn how to assess, develop and demonstrate your soft skills at any experience level.

This program is held virtually on Thursday, February 2 at 3pm. Register in advance or view the program recording starting a week later.

Winning Resumes & Interview Skills (adults)

HR professionals from Capital One will review best practices for creating a resume and discuss interviewing using the SAR Method. Learn tools for answering interview questions and tips for following up after the interview.

This program is held virtually on Friday, February 10 at 2pm. Register in advance to participate.


Think on Your Feet: Tips and Tricks to Improve Your Impromptu Communication Skills on the Job by Jen Oleniczak Brown: Develop the confidence and poise needed to take your communication skills to the next level Preparing for a presentation, interview, or salary negotiation can instill a sense of dread and fear in many people. Part of the fear comes from the risk of being caught off-guard and having to improvise on the spot. This is where the tools associated with improv come into play. While improv is traditionally associated with acting, it can also be a useful tool for effective workplace communication. Improv by definition forces us to be put on the spot, so we can practice our fear and work on our soft workplace skills. Drawing from cognitive and social psychology, behavioral economics, and actual improv activities, Think on Your Feet offers a fresh approach designed to increase your confidence and communication skills. | Print |

Compassionate Leadership: How to Do Hard Things the Human Way by Rasmus Hougaard: Leadership is hard. But how do you balance compassion for your people with effectiveness in getting the job done? A global pandemic, Depression-level unemployment, civil and political unrest. From New York to Barcelona to Hong Kong, it feels as if the world as we know it is faltering. Economies are unwinding; jobs are disappearing. Through it all, our spirit is being tested. Now more than ever, it’s imperative for leaders to demonstrate compassion. Compassion is the quality of having positive intentions and real concern for others. Compassion in leadership creates stronger connections between people. It improves collaboration, raises levels of trust, and enhances loyalty. In addition, studies find that compassionate leaders are perceived as stronger and more competent. | Print |

Competing in the New World of Work: How Radical Adaptability Separates the Best from the Rest by Keith Ferrazzi: The #1 New York Times bestselling author and longtime leader in the discussion of the future of work provides research-based insights and best practices for leading change in the ever-evolving post-pandemic world of work. The pandemic forced your organization to shed antiquated systems, processes, and procedures and to make a bold leap into an even more digitally enabled, technology-driven future. After months of adapting, your teams have settled into new, often better, ways of doing things. But there isn’t yet a shared base of knowledge of what’s worked, what hasn’t, and what could work better as companies reinvent everything they do-or how they can emerge stronger and leap ahead farther coming out of the pandemic and beyond. | Print |

Conflict Without Casualties: A Field Guide for Leading with Compassionate Accountability by Nate Regier: Most organizations are terrified of conflict, seeing it as a sign of trouble. But conflict isn’t the problem, says Regier. It’s all about how we use the energy. When people misuse conflict energy, it becomes drama- they struggle against themselves or each other to feel justified about their negative behavior. The cost to companies, teams, and relationships is staggering. The alternative, says Regier, is compassionate accountability- struggling with others through conflict. | Print |

The Serious Business of Small Talk: Becoming Fluent, Comfortable, and Charming by Carol A. Fleming: Carol Fleming wants to show you that small talk is not as “small” as you might think. It’s the foundation of every relationship, professional and personal. It is the sound of people reaching out to each other, searching for similarities, shared interests, goodwill, connections, and friendship. And it’s something we all do every day with people we know. It’s just the one little bit about strangers that throws some people off. Graceful social conversation can be learned, even by those requiring the smallest of baby steps. | Print |

Online Materials
LinkedIn Learning

Master In-Demand Professional Soft Skills [Learning Path] – What does every hiring manager look for in an employee? Set yourself apart from the pack by getting the essential soft skills–abilities that help people interact effectively with others–that employers value most, from communication fundamentals and being a team player to advancing your critical thinking skills.

Develop Your Communication Skills and Interpersonal Influence [Learning Path] – Learn how to clearly convey information and ideas in an engaging manner. Explore how to build trust, communicate effectively, and be heard in all parts of your organization. Learn important interpersonal communication skills and strategies for igniting curiosity, attention, trust, and respect.

Develop Conflict Management and Resolution Skills [Learning Path] – Learn how to deal effectively with others in antagonistic situations. Discover how to reduce tension or conflict. Review how to effectively settle disputes by focusing on solving the problems at hand—without offending egos. Evaluate the feasibility of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.

Plano Public Library Program Recordings

Ten Best Practices for Customer Service Workshop – Learn specific, solid customer service techniques that you can apply right away. The ten techniques introduced are based on world-class customer service best practices and will empower you to professionally deal with some of the most common customer interactions. Presented by Debra Austin, Chaos2Results Business Coaching & Consulting.

Job Seekers’ Toolkit – From finding the right opportunity to crafting your resume, job searching can be complicated. Learn how to break down the steps of your job search and find tools to get started with these four virtual sessions.

Other Online Resources

Leadership & Management – GALE One File – Search authoritative periodical content covering topics like organizational dynamics, adult learning, and more

Vocations & Careers – Gale One File – Research a vocation, find an appropriate institution of learning, and get assistance on job searches and maintaining a career

We hope this resource list is beneficial to your personal and professional goals. View other Starter Kit blog posts to explore more ways to enrich your life. You can find all of this and more at your local Plano Public Library

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