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Productive team meetings distill the insights and expertise of each member, allowing for stronger solutions and more in-depth problem solving.
But sometimes, they don’t.
When a team meeting toes the line between fair critique and unwarranted criticism, it is important that you know exactly how to respond.
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Article • 10 min read
Case Study-Based Learning
Enhancing learning through immediate application.
By the Mind Tools Content Team
If you've ever tried to learn a new concept, you probably appreciate that "knowing" is different from "doing." When you have an opportunity to apply your knowledge, the lesson typically becomes much more real.
Adults often learn differently from children, and we have different motivations for learning. Typically, we learn new skills because we want to. We recognize the need to learn and grow, and we usually need – or want – to apply our newfound knowledge soon after we've learned it.
A popular theory of adult learning is andragogy (the art and science of leading man, or adults), as opposed to the better-known pedagogy (the art and science of leading children). Malcolm Knowles , a professor of adult education, was considered the father of andragogy, which is based on four key observations of adult learners:
- Adults learn best if they know why they're learning something.
- Adults often learn best through experience.
- Adults tend to view learning as an opportunity to solve problems.
- Adults learn best when the topic is relevant to them and immediately applicable.
This means that you'll get the best results with adults when they're fully involved in the learning experience. Give an adult an opportunity to practice and work with a new skill, and you have a solid foundation for high-quality learning that the person will likely retain over time.
So, how can you best use these adult learning principles in your training and development efforts? Case studies provide an excellent way of practicing and applying new concepts. As such, they're very useful tools in adult learning, and it's important to understand how to get the maximum value from them.
What Is a Case Study?
Case studies are a form of problem-based learning, where you present a situation that needs a resolution. A typical business case study is a detailed account, or story, of what happened in a particular company, industry, or project over a set period of time.
The learner is given details about the situation, often in a historical context. The key players are introduced. Objectives and challenges are outlined. This is followed by specific examples and data, which the learner then uses to analyze the situation, determine what happened, and make recommendations.
The depth of a case depends on the lesson being taught. A case study can be two pages, 20 pages, or more. A good case study makes the reader think critically about the information presented, and then develop a thorough assessment of the situation, leading to a well-thought-out solution or recommendation.
Why Use a Case Study?
Case studies are a great way to improve a learning experience, because they get the learner involved, and encourage immediate use of newly acquired skills.
They differ from lectures or assigned readings because they require participation and deliberate application of a broad range of skills. For example, if you study financial analysis through straightforward learning methods, you may have to calculate and understand a long list of financial ratios (don't worry if you don't know what these are). Likewise, you may be given a set of financial statements to complete a ratio analysis. But until you put the exercise into context, you may not really know why you're doing the analysis.
With a case study, however, you might explore whether a bank should provide financing to a borrower, or whether a company is about to make a good acquisition. Suddenly, the act of calculating ratios becomes secondary – it's more important to understand what the ratios tell you. This is how case studies can make the difference between knowing what to do, and knowing how, when, and why to do it.
Then, what really separates case studies from other practical forms of learning – like scenarios and simulations – is the ability to compare the learner's recommendations with what actually happened. When you know what really happened, it's much easier to evaluate the "correctness" of the answers given.
When to Use a Case Study
As you can see, case studies are powerful and effective training tools. They also work best with practical, applied training, so make sure you use them appropriately.
Remember these tips:
- Case studies tend to focus on why and how to apply a skill or concept, not on remembering facts and details. Use case studies when understanding the concept is more important than memorizing correct responses.
- Case studies are great team-building opportunities. When a team gets together to solve a case, they'll have to work through different opinions, methods, and perspectives.
- Use case studies to build problem-solving skills, particularly those that are valuable when applied, but are likely to be used infrequently. This helps people get practice with these skills that they might not otherwise get.
- Case studies can be used to evaluate past problem solving. People can be asked what they'd do in that situation, and think about what could have been done differently.
Ensuring Maximum Value From Case Studies
The first thing to remember is that you already need to have enough theoretical knowledge to handle the questions and challenges in the case study. Otherwise, it can be like trying to solve a puzzle with some of the pieces missing.
Here are some additional tips for how to approach a case study. Depending on the exact nature of the case, some tips will be more relevant than others.
- Read the case at least three times before you start any analysis. Case studies usually have lots of details, and it's easy to miss something in your first, or even second, reading.
- Once you're thoroughly familiar with the case, note the facts. Identify which are relevant to the tasks you've been assigned. In a good case study, there are often many more facts than you need for your analysis.
- If the case contains large amounts of data, analyze this data for relevant trends. For example, have sales dropped steadily, or was there an unexpected high or low point?
- If the case involves a description of a company's history, find the key events, and consider how they may have impacted the current situation.
- Consider using techniques like SWOT analysis and Porter's Five Forces Analysis to understand the organization's strategic position.
- Stay with the facts when you draw conclusions. These include facts given in the case as well as established facts about the environmental context. Don't rely on personal opinions when you put together your answers.
Writing a Case Study
You may have to write a case study yourself. These are complex documents that take a while to research and compile. The quality of the case study influences the quality of the analysis. Here are some tips if you want to write your own:
- Write your case study as a structured story. The goal is to capture an interesting situation or challenge and then bring it to life with words and information. You want the reader to feel a part of what's happening.
- Present information so that a "right" answer isn't obvious. The goal is to develop the learner's ability to analyze and assess, not necessarily to make the same decision as the people in the actual case.
- Do background research to fully understand what happened and why. You may need to talk to key stakeholders to get their perspectives as well.
- Determine the key challenge. What needs to be resolved? The case study should focus on one main question or issue.
- Define the context. Talk about significant events leading up to the situation. What organizational factors are important for understanding the problem and assessing what should be done? Include cultural factors where possible.
- Identify key decision makers and stakeholders. Describe their roles and perspectives, as well as their motivations and interests.
- Make sure that you provide the right data to allow people to reach appropriate conclusions.
- Make sure that you have permission to use any information you include.
A typical case study structure includes these elements:
- Executive summary. Define the objective, and state the key challenge.
- Opening paragraph. Capture the reader's interest.
- Scope. Describe the background, context, approach, and issues involved.
- Presentation of facts. Develop an objective picture of what's happening.
- Description of key issues. Present viewpoints, decisions, and interests of key parties.
Because case studies have proved to be such effective teaching tools, many are already written. Some excellent sources of free cases are The Times 100 , CasePlace.org , and Schroeder & Schroeder Inc . You can often search for cases by topic or industry. These cases are expertly prepared, based mostly on real situations, and used extensively in business schools to teach management concepts.
Case studies are a great way to improve learning and training. They provide learners with an opportunity to solve a problem by applying what they know.
There are no unpleasant consequences for getting it "wrong," and cases give learners a much better understanding of what they really know and what they need to practice.
Case studies can be used in many ways, as team-building tools, and for skill development. You can write your own case study, but a large number are already prepared. Given the enormous benefits of practical learning applications like this, case studies are definitely something to consider adding to your next training session.
Knowles, M. (1973). 'The Adult Learner: A Neglected Species [online].' Available here .
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44 soft skills examples to advance your career
My writing skills don't pay the bills on their own—my people skills pull their weight, too. While I'm always trying to become a better writer, there's way more that goes into managing work than technical skills alone. The same is true for almost every other job on the planet.
You can't entirely separate your job performance from who you are outside of work, and you shouldn't have to. Showing up with human-ness is the reason we haven't all been replaced by robots yet, and there are non-job-specific skills you need to grow in your career.
But the number of soft skills in the universe is basically infinite, so which ones matter most in the workplace? I asked people what traits they look for when hiring teammates and what they appreciate in their peers. These are the important soft skills at the top of everyone's list.
Table of contents:
Soft skills vs. hard skills
44 examples of soft skills
How to improve soft skills
How to choose soft skills for your resume
How to assess soft skills in candidates and employees
What are soft skills.
Soft skills are personal strengths that help you collaborate, lead, create, and grow in your role. They're the perspectives, reactions, and mental frameworks you use that aren't exclusive to your job. Don't confuse the word "soft" with weak: you can lead with empathy and curiosity instead of ego and cruelty.
You can't be successful in a job without soft skills. The most competent IT manager in the world won't be good at their job if they can't communicate processes clearly to their team. The best copywriter on the planet won't get anything done if they can't manage their time and end up spending three weeks on a low-priority project that could have been done in a day.
Megan Kao, an investor at Contrary Capital, points out that technical and soft skills exist together, not as one or the other.
Incredible that in this day and age, I still hear people say that women aren’t as technical because they have good soft skills. Like it’s a zero sum game. The most successful people are technical AND great people leaders. Neither has to come at the expense of the other. — Megan Kao (@megankao_) October 17, 2022
No matter how much you've honed your craft, it's nothing without soft skills to support it. And employers know that.
While hard skills refer to the technical abilities you've acquired through some sort of training, education, or experience, soft skills are the less tangible personal qualities that help you succeed on the job. If hard skills are the base of your career pizza, soft skills are all the delicious toppings (and yes, that includes pineapple).
If all I had were hard skills like SEO writing, I'd basically be a robot—and in the age of AI , we have plenty of hard-skill-only robots to go around. To be a human, you need more. I know how to manage my time well and communicate empathetically—the soft skills that make me a well-rounded professional—and (hopefully?) tolerable to work with.
44 examples of soft skills you need to be successful at work
Here are the soft skills you need on your resume—and in action—in order to get hired and then be successful in your role.
Collaboration without communication is impossible. What does it mean to be an effective communicator, though? Everyone has different preferences, so part of the skill is being able to adapt your communication skills to the environment. How you speak to a strategic partner will be different from how you speak to your peer, for example. It's all about reading the room.
But there are a few things that are pretty relevant across the board. For starters, get to the point quickly. Stephen Levin , Head of Business Operations at Zapier, shared:
"I can't count how many presentations I watch in interviews that set up 10-15 minutes of context in a 25-minute presentation before giving any important information. Business communications isn't telling a narrative like literature or academic writing with context > argument > big reveal. You have to state the most important conclusion in the first minute/slide/paragraph. Then rebuild the narrative and justification."
Nick Polyushkin, the co-founder of Ofirio , similarly values open and direct dialogue.
"Discussing a subject directly rather than skirting it is essential in time-sensitive situations when an urgent response is required. A poor communicator will slow down your process and cause you to waste time."
If (and only if!) you have something valuable to say, say it quickly.
Communication isn't just about interviews , meetings, and video calls. The same rules apply to writing:
Take time to self-edit your writing , down to your emails and Slack messages.
Ask yourself, "Why should they care?" The more succinct you can be, the better. (And remember, no email should take more than five minutes to write .)
Especially if you're communicating asynchronously, offer all the necessary information upfront , so people don't have to ask you a bunch of questions to get what they need.
Being able to communicate effectively in writing—in a concise, clear, and engaging way—is a huge boon in a professional setting. No one wants to read a rambling treatise on Slack or sift through a nonsensical email to understand the actual ask.
3. Public speaking
While you may never need to deliver an organization-wide motivational speech, being able to confidently lead a presentation or speak on a call is an important skill, whether you interact with customers and clients or just your coworkers.
Don't be the coworker that takes five business days to respond to a simple message. Just rip the Band-Aid off and reply in a timely fashion .
Just because you're a clear communicator doesn't mean you have to be curt in your interactions. Yes, cold and self-centered people do sometimes get ahead, but more and more, empathy is winning. One of Zapier's values is "Empathy over ego"—the value is taken into consideration during the hiring process to be sure all teammates can live that value. Plenty of other organizations agree.
"Individuals who listen actively, show respect and empathy toward others, and collaborate well in a team setting make for great coworkers. Understanding where others are coming from and considering different perspectives will help improve team dynamics and problem-solving abilities," Caitlyn Parish, the founder and CEO of Cicinia , shared.
Mike Nemeroff, the CEO and co-founder of Rush Order Tees , adds that empathy is helpful in every kind of business interaction. "Being empathetic can help you become more compassionate and patient when dealing with challenging coworkers. Empathy also helps you relate to people better, which helps you form deeper and more meaningful connections with coworkers and managers," he noted.
One of the best ways to be more empathetic in your role is to talk to diverse people across teams. Ask them to tell you more about their experiences, what they're struggling with, and what they want to achieve.
Read more : How calls with random coworkers make remote work better—and more productive
6. Emotional intelligence
While you might spend hours imagining the nasty email you want to send to your boss, it's not the best career move. Emotional intelligence helps you manage your emotions (and keep your job).
If you want your jokes to land, you have to know your audience. So before you launch into your workplace standup routine, put your listening ears on.
8. Cultural intelligence
You know Michael Scott? Do the opposite. Spend time developing your cultural intelligence, so you can foster a more inclusive workplace.
9. Growth mindset
A growth mindset views failure as a catalyst for improvement, not as a personality trait. And while getting constructive feedback might sting, it's how you react to it—and learn from it—that will make or break your success at work.
Amy Gray , a business coach, wrote an article on accepting constructive feedback . She shared that feedback can help you gain confidence through self-awareness, earn trust from those around you, and become better at what you do. One of Amy's tips for listening to feedback without feeling defensive is to ask questions:
"You might be tempted to just listen, say thank you, and go on about your day. But if you can be truly open to what you are hearing and ask questions to help you understand the criticism more deeply, you are more likely to fully digest it and put it to positive use. Saying 'Tell me more about that' is a great way to open up the feedback to understand the other person's perception and feedback."
Related to growing through feedback is the ability to handle a straight-up "no." Paola Accettola, Principal and CEO of True North HR , shared that getting back up when knocked down is critical.
"So many people face rejection after rejection during the job search, and those who are resilient are more likely to be able to pivot and keep moving forward. This translates to being successful once you start your career, as you can be adaptable and face challenges head-on without the overwhelming fear of failure. Fortunately, resilience is a skill that can be taught. Unfortunately, however, it is best learned through experiencing failure."
You'd be hard-pressed to interview for a job and not get a question related to how you give or receive feedback, or how you handle adversity. Being able to show your skills in these areas can be a huge benefit when applying to new jobs.
Read more : Reframing rejection—3 ways to deal with it
If your first shot at a new project is a huge success, kudos to you, but not all of us can be superheroes. For most people, persistence is necessary to see growth.
If you've got your eye on that corporate ladder, you're going to have to produce some results. Even if the results aren't what you'd expected, showing that you're learning from them is just as good.
If you can set your own relevant goals and develop a plan to achieve them, you'll always stay a step ahead. You can't be put on a PIP if you put yourself on one first.
13. Time management
I know this sounds like something a high schooler would say when applying for their first job, but let's face it: most adults also have trouble managing their time. It's even more true as people progress in their careers. When your workload grows but the number of hours in a workday stays the same, you have to find a way to work smarter.
Instead of a broad "time management" soft skill, you can break this one down further to be able to demonstrate how you manage your time. For example:
Determine when and how you work best
Focus by eliminating distractions
Track your time to better understand effort versus impact
Automate tedious tasks so you can focus on important work
In the end, time management is all about prioritization . Mark Pierce, CEO of Cloud Peak Law Group , shared: "There will always be a few things going on at once, and it's important to prioritize the most important tasks without sacrificing work on the others as well. With good time management, you can split your time wisely between tasks and not drop the ball."
Read more : Hack your calendar, to-do list, and work environment for optimal productivity
If your desktop is a dumpster fire of files, I hate to imagine what the inside of your brain looks like. Clean up your work, so you can boost your productivity and improve your time management.
Pretend you're the older sibling of your family, and learn how to plan. Speed matters, but if you go into something without a plan, it's hard to explain when results are less than stellar.
It's scary to ask for help. But you know what else is scary? Crying hunched over a pint of Ben & Jerry's, watching Gilmore Girls for the 20th time because you feel the need to do the job of five people. Delegation isn't passing the buck—in the end, it'll make your entire organization more productive.
You'll always have restrictions, like limited time, budget, or staffing—so, you have to figure out how to work within constraints. And with the pace of change in the workplace (and the world more broadly), you need to be able to show that you're adaptable.
"Adapting to change and having a positive attitude about change go a long way to being successful throughout your career," David Watkins, the Director of Customer Experience at EthOS , shared. "Some examples could be a shift of strategic company priorities, a change in your role and responsibilities, or even a change in who manages you. While nobody can guess what's next, someone who's collaborative, empathetic, and organized will thrive when change inevitably comes—and that's the kind of employee companies want to work with and hire."
Read more: 3 ways to communicate like a leader in a changing workplace
Training? Onboarding? Support systems? Those things are non-existent in some workplaces. The ability to get crafty and still see results in not-so-ideal situations is the difference between "meets expectations" and "exceeds expectations."
There are going to be times you don't agree with the decisions your team makes. Unfortunately, no one appreciates the "I told you so" person. I know you're right, you know you're right, but no one else cares. So disagree and commit.
When you're presented with change, do you lean into it, or do you go into it kicking and screaming? Being able to go into new situations with an open mind shows that you're open to growth.
Many of the soft skills here involve asking questions—and that's all rooted in curiosity. Asking the right questions will allow you to see projects from a new perspective, which will help you contribute better to your team. Eric Doty , the Content Lead at Dock , shared:
"Asking 'why' and 'how' in every new situation opens so many doors. You'll learn how things work and how decisions are made. You'll look for new ways of doing things. You'll have more interesting conversations. You'll have more sources of inspiration. You'll have a better reason to say yes or no to projects or opportunities."
Curiosity is easy to demonstrate during the interview process. Learn as much as you can about the company you're applying to, and then ask questions . Not only will it show off your curiosity and interest in the company, but it can also demonstrate some of those "hard" skills (and an understanding of your role in particular) while you're at it.
Read more : How bad idea brainstorms have helped me get braver—and better—at work
22. Willingness to learn
Employers understand that you can't possibly know everything going into a job. As long as you're willing and able to learn, you're an asset.
If you find a process that could be better, do you scramble to your boss for a solution, or do you brainstorm a way to improve it yourself?
Figuring out how to navigate complex issues is a massive benefit for a team. On the flip side, sometimes the best kind of problem-solving is asking someone who knows the answer, so keep that in mind.
It's easy to go with the flow and assume the folks around you know what they're talking about. They usually do—but that doesn't mean there's no room for improvement. The best workers are ones that observe what's happening and then push back if they think something should change.
This can mean everything from challenging outdated workplace norms to saying no to a request from your manager to pushing back against a strategy idea.
It's not an easy thing to do, but this kind of communication is massively important for you and your company:
It shows that you're invested. You're not just along for the ride; you want to make things better.
It demonstrates a deep understanding of company goals, if you're able to show how your thoughts are aligned with them.
It demonstrates your autonomy (another soft skill!) and shows off your expertise.
Of course, don't push back just for the sake of pushing back. That's the opposite of a soft skill and can indicate ego and a lack of empathy. Instead, start by observing, listening, and gathering context (there's that curiosity we talked about). Then, if you truly think something is off course, it's time to speak up respectfully: ask tough questions, provide evidence for your opinion, and offer alternative solutions.
If you work somewhere that doesn't value this kind of input, it might be time to put this soft skill to work for another company.
It takes confidence to challenge office norms or speak up for yourself. If you strengthen this skill, everything (and I mean everything ) else will come a little bit easier.
27. Critical thinking
The old trick of pretending to be frozen on Zoom doesn't really work anymore (did it ever?), so you have no choice but to process information on the spot. Use those critical-thinking skills your grade school teachers tried so hard to teach you.
Integrity means standing firm that you're Team Jacob even when you know your boss is Team Edward. Stand by your man—and your workplace convictions.
29. Work ethic
Work ethic is a broad term, but it boils down to doing your job consistently and doing it well. This soft skill reflects an individual's commitment to their job and their ability to produce quality work.
Nesha Frazier , SHRM-CP certified recruitment consultant with 10 years of in-house and agency experience, believes it's not enough to have a good work ethic—you must also be able to demonstrate your work ethic.
"Work ethic can be subjective. I think it's vital to be able to understand how your role fits into the organization's goals and objectives so that you can clearly communicate your value, whether you're in a direct or indirect revenue-generating role. You need to be able to show that your activity actually produces value."
Embody a micromanager, and kick yourself into gear. Managers love a direct report who can run their own ship.
Aim to be someone your team can rely on to get things done on time—and done well. Just be sure you don't overdo it and end up taking on more work than you can manage.
32. Attention to detail
Don't be the person who hits send on a major project with a glaring spelling error. Instead, be the person who catches mistakes others miss, making you an invaluable asset to the team.
There are two kinds of people: those who played team sports growing up and those who have "jobs where I don't have to talk to anyone" in their search history. Teamwork doesn't come naturally to everyone.
"Candidates who position themselves as team players are incredibly valuable. Good teamwork involves being able to work well with various personalities, as well as different organizational, work, and communication styles. The ability to adapt well and collaborate with a diverse group of teammates is essential to the growth of any organization," shared Kayla Colbert, hiring specialist at Siege Media .
Are you the kind of person to hold the elevator door or desperately push the close button while avoiding eye contact? Lending a hand even when you haven't been asked to will make you a standout team player.
35. Conflict resolution
You have two options: a) learn how to resolve conflict or b) continue to avoid Patty in the break room for the rest of time. It's your choice, really.
Workplaces are just a grown-up version of playground sandboxes. If you haven't figured out how to play well with others yet, it's time to learn .
Being professional might mean something different in each work setting, but the overall idea is to act in a way that reflects on the company well. This means being respectful, positive, and trustworthy.
It may also mean building a professional image for yourself. How do you present yourself to your colleagues or clients? For some, this might mean throwing on a blazer, and for others, it might mean bringing your emoji usage down 20%.
As Yamini Rai , soft skills trainer and HR head at The Viral Pink , believes:
"Professionalism is vital as it sets the tone for how employees represent themselves and the company. Candidates with professional demeanor can help build trust and credibility with clients, customers, and colleagues."
Nobody likes that one coworker who's always complaining that they'd rather be sipping a piña colada in the tropics right now. A positive attitude sets the tone for a harmonious work environment, which can only lead to more job satisfaction and success in your role.
There's a wide gap between imposter syndrome and someone who took "fake it 'til you make it" way too far. Find some happy middle ground and establish yourself as a credible source.
Although it may seem obvious, being polite goes a long way. Mind your P's and Q's, and practice gratitude whenever you can.
A leader may be someone who manages a team, but it could also be a colleague who takes charge of a project or initiative. Regardless of position, effective leaders create a shared vision and inspire others to work toward achieving it.
Sean Stevens, director of Immerse Education , says, "Strong leaders are comfortable with making difficult calls and are experts at keeping things and people on track. They have the ability to plot a course of action and inspire their team to work together to achieve it. You may improve your company's output and morale, and prepare the next generation of managers by prioritizing individuals who have good leadership abilities in their job applications."
Don't gatekeep how you created a stellar meeting agenda in two and a half minutes. Share your knowledge with the rest of your team wherever you can.
While I also wish someone could just tell me what to do at all times, being in the corporate world requires showing a little initiative. Don't spiral—just pick something you could reasonably do, and try to make an impact on your team.
Great leaders can make great decisions without breaking a sweat. But this doesn't mean acting impulsively—you have to know how to quickly take in context and feedback to make the best possible choice.
How to improve soft skills
The good news is: you already have soft skills. In fact, you've been learning them since preschool . But you can continue to practice the ones you have and hone the ones you struggle with. Here's how.
Talk to your peers and managers . Ask them about your strengths and areas of improvement. They may notice things you don't or have advice on what skills your organization needs right now.
Think about what skills leave a positive impression on you . Who do you like to work with? What is it about those people that makes them easy to work with or leads to them being valued members of the team? How can you embody those traits?
Look at job descriptions in your industry . Most employers will list soft skills in their job postings. See if you can find patterns or trends in these descriptions to help you prioritize which soft skills matter the most for your role.
Target one skill at a time . Honestly, growing soft skills can be exhausting. That's why I recommend targeting one at a time, so you don't burn out on self-improvement.
How to choose soft skills for your resume
Let's say you're an overachiever, and you've checked off quite a few of the soft skills on this list. Which ones do you choose to highlight on your resume?
First, you should consider the specific needs of the job and company you're applying to. Review the job description to identify skills the ideal candidate would have to be successful in the position. For example, if the position requires collaboration with a diverse team, you may want to highlight your interpersonal and cultural intelligence skills.
Of course, you should also focus on soft skills you truly excel at. The soft skills you include might also pop up during an interview. Could you tell a story about how you've put this soft skill into practice in the workplace? If not, it may not be your strongest skill to include.
Similarly, the best way to include your soft skills in your resume is to naturally weave them into your experience bullet points. Show potential employees how you exemplify that skill—don't just pile them all into a meaningless list.
Assessing soft skills in job candidates and current employees is an important part of the hiring and performance evaluation process. Here are some tips on how hiring managers and other HR professionals can assess soft skills effectively:
Use behavioral interview questions: Behavioral interview questions prompt candidates to provide specific examples of how they've demonstrated a particular soft skill in the past. For example, you could ask a candidate to describe a time they had to deal with a stressful situation. Pay attention to the candidate's response, and look for evidence that they possess the soft skill you're assessing.
Conduct skill assessments: Skills assessments can help evaluate a candidate's ability to perform specific tasks related to the desired soft skill. You could ask the candidate to complete a project requiring collaboration, communication, or problem-solving. Review their performance based on the soft skill.
Seek feedback from others: Asking for feedback from a candidate's or employee's supervisors, colleagues, or clients can provide valuable insights into their soft skills. Consider using a 360-degree feedback approach that collects feedback from multiple sources.
Whether you learn new skills to impress your boss or figure out which existing soft skills to list on your resume to land your dream job, developing these soft skills can help you become more successful in your career and build stronger professional relationships.
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This article was originally published in October 2022. The most recent update was in April 2023 with contributions from Cecilia Gillen.
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Steph Knapp is a freelance B2B + SaaS content marketer that loves educating and empowering curious humans. When she's not typing away, you'll find her volunteering at the animal shelter and obsessing over a new hobby every week.
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What Are Soft Skills?
Whereas hard skills describe what you do, soft skills describe how you do it.
Soft skills are the attributes and behaviors that describe how a person approaches their tasks. You likely use soft skills across all areas of your life— communication , critical thinking , problem-solving, and other interpersonal skills are some examples of soft skills—but they’re particularly valued in the workplace.
In fact, soft skills are commonly referred to as workplace or human skills. These alternative names can be a bit more descriptive when you’re thinking about and discussing your skill set.
In this article, we’ll go into more detail about the high-value soft skills employers look for and offer some tips for improving yours.
Hard skills vs. soft skills
Hard skills describe what you do, while soft skills describe how you do it.
Your hard skills are your technical skills , relating to the types of tasks you know how to do. Some examples of technical skills are data analysis, computer programming, writing, and UX design. When you complete a task, you often use a combination of hard and soft skills—technical skills to guide your process and workplace skills to encourage effective outcomes.
Read more: Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills: What’s the Difference?
What workplace skills are employers looking for?
Workplace skills can offer insight into a person’s approach to work beyond the technical aspects of their role. For many employers, how you do something is just as important as what you are doing—especially when it comes to long-term learning, growth, and success.
According to the US Department of Labor, employers consider workplace skills more important to work readiness—or the minimum qualifications necessary for a given occupation—than technical skills [ 1 ].
In particular, employers are broadly looking for:
Teamwork and collaboration
Critical thinking and problem-solving
Employers may consider workplace skills to forecast a person’s future potential. This type of character analysis may come into play when choosing the leads for a new project or deciding whether an employee is ready for a promotion. Hiring managers also assess workplace skills to determine whether a job candidate will be a good fit for a specific team.
Soft skills examples
Different employers will value workplace skills differently. Here are some examples of desirable workplace skills:
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Ways to improve your workplace skills
Since workplace skills are largely tied to behavior, improving them may involve shifting your regular patterns, approaches, or thought processes. This type of work tends to require practice and patience, but over time, you’ll likely notice more ease as you tap into your workplace skills.
Although they’ve traditionally been seen as harder to learn than technical skills, there are several ways to build upon your existing workplace skills. If you have a specific skill in mind that you’d like to improve, think about ways you can implement that skill into your daily life. You can also consult a life coach for help developing a personalized plan of action.
Here are some ideas for improving your workplace skills:
1. Practice different communication styles.
People tend to prefer different communication styles, whether that’s delivery methods—such as conversation, email, or text—or the manner of the delivery, like passive, aggressive, or assertive communication . In addition to your communication skills, considering how you might approach communicating in different situations can be an opportunity to practice adaptability, critical thinking, and strategic thinking.
To practice different communication styles, you might try to express the same idea in various ways, by writing it down, describing it aloud, and putting it into a presentation, or to various audiences.
Read more: 22 Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills in the Workplace
2. Join a group project.
Beyond demonstrating your ability to take the initiative, joining a group project can offer opportunities to practice several workplace skills, such as teamwork, time management, and active listening. As a bonus, group projects can enable you to bring your technical skills into a collaborative environment.
To join a group project, take an interest in what colleagues are working on and offer your help where it may be beneficial, or look for opportunities within your local community.
3. Learn something new.
Learning something new can expand your typical way of thinking and encourage growth. There are strong links between learning and creativity, so whatever you decide to learn, you stand to gain technical knowledge and enhance your creative thinking and problem-solving skills.
To learn something new, check out the class offerings at your local community college or art center, or browse popular free courses on Coursera.
4. Socialize with teammates.
You use workplace skills in every interaction you have. Simply getting to know your teammates can be an effective way to practice your communication and active listening and can create opportunities for future collaboration.
If it feels appropriate, approach socializing with your teammates with an interest in their lives, as well as a willingness to share about your own.
5. Suggest improvements to processes.
As you build your technical and workplace skills, you may notice some opportunities to improve how things are done in your workplace. Thinking critically about processes, recognizing problems, and finding viable solutions are all valued workplace skills.
To suggest improvements to processes, you may want to ask your manager about their preferred process and what type of information they’ll need in order to assess your suggestions.
6. Ask for feedback.
Many workplace skills have an element of interactivity, and sometimes an outside perspective can help illuminate things you are doing well and areas you may want to focus on improving. Similarly, offering feedback to others can be an opportunity to practice active listening, leadership, and teamwork.
To ask for feedback, turn to your manager, recent project collaborators, or other colleagues you’ve built relationships with.
How to include workplace skills on a resume
Including your workplace skills on your resume can be less intuitive than including your technical skills, but there are opportunities to do so within your summary , objective , or in a special skills section . Additionally, you can select action words that align with the skills you want to demonstrate within your work experience section. Then, you can use your cover letter to share further details.
Remember that workplace skills are reflected in how you approach your work, so when you discuss your successes, share what you did, how you did it, and your impact.
Read more: What Skills Should I Include on My Resume?
Continue working on your workplace skills with Coursera. Browse popular workplace skills courses from top institutions and industry leaders, or check out IBM’s People and Soft Skills for Professional and Personal Success Specialization . Sign up for a free seven-day, all-access trial and start learning today.
Give your team access to a catalog of 8,000+ engaging courses and hands-on Guided Projects to help them develop impactful skills. Learn more about Coursera for Business .
US Department of Labor. “ Soft Skills: The Competitive Edge , https://www.dol.gov/agencies/odep/publications/fact-sheets/soft-skills-the-competitive-edge.” Accessed May 18, 2023.
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This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.
Customer Service Case Studies: Real-Life Examples Of Service Scenarios.
Are you looking for real-life examples of customer service scenarios that can help you improve your own customer service skills? Look no further!
In this article, we will explore a series of case studies that highlight different aspects of effective customer service. These case studies will provide you with valuable insights into how to handle challenging situations, resolve issues, and create positive experiences for your customers.
Customer service plays a crucial role in the success of any business. It is not just about answering phone calls or responding to emails; it is about building relationships and exceeding customer expectations. By studying real-life examples, you can gain a deeper understanding of the importance of effective customer service and learn strategies to enhance your own skills.
In each case study, we will delve into different scenarios and examine how businesses successfully handled them. From resolving product quality issues to dealing with difficult customers, these case studies will showcase various approaches and solutions that you can apply in your own work.
Get ready to dive into these insightful stories that demonstrate the power of exceptional customer service!
Table of Contents
- Effective customer service is crucial for the success of a business.
- Empathy and proactive customer service are essential aspects of providing excellent customer service.
- Prompt resolution of product quality issues, with notification and compensation for affected customers, helps maintain customer satisfaction and loyalty.
- Handling difficult customers with a calm and empathetic approach, offering alternatives, and empowering them to make choices can build trust and loyalty.
The Importance of Effective Customer Service
You can’t underestimate the impact of great customer service – it’s like a warm cup of coffee on a chilly morning, instantly making you feel valued and appreciated.
In today’s competitive business landscape, providing effective customer service is more important than ever. Customers have numerous options at their fingertips, and one bad experience can send them running to your competitors. That’s why empathy plays a crucial role in customer service.
When customers feel understood and cared for, they’re more likely to become loyal advocates for your brand. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. In customer service, this means putting yourself in the shoes of your customers and genuinely listening to their concerns.
By showing empathy, you demonstrate that you value their emotions and are committed to finding a solution that meets their needs. This not only helps resolve issues effectively but also builds trust and strengthens the relationship with your customers.
Proactive customer service is another essential aspect of providing exceptional support. Instead of waiting for customers to come to you with problems or complaints, proactive customer service involves anticipating their needs and addressing any potential issues before they arise.
This approach shows that you’re dedicated to delivering an outstanding experience from start to finish. By taking the initiative, you can prevent problems from escalating and create positive interactions that leave a lasting impression on your customers.
The importance of effective customer service cannot be overstated. Empathy allows you to connect with your customers on a deeper level by understanding their emotions and concerns. Proactive customer service demonstrates your commitment to going above and beyond expectations by anticipating needs before they become problems.
By prioritizing these aspects in your approach to customer service, you can foster loyalty, build strong relationships with customers, and ultimately drive success for your business.
Case Study 1: Resolving a Product Quality Issue
Resolving a product quality issue can be challenging, but did you know that 86% of customers are more likely to repurchase from a company that resolves their complaint? When faced with a product quality issue, it’s important for companies to take immediate action and address the problem effectively.
One notable case study involves a product recall due to safety concerns. The company promptly notified customers about the recall through multiple channels such as email, social media, and website announcements. This proactive approach not only ensured customer safety but also demonstrated the company’s commitment to resolving the issue.
To further enhance customer satisfaction during this challenging time, the company offered compensation to affected customers. The compensation included a full refund for the recalled product as well as additional discounts on future purchases. By going above and beyond in compensating their customers, the company not only mitigated any potential negative feelings but also showed genuine concern for their customers’ wellbeing.
In addition to addressing individual complaints, the company took steps towards preventing similar issues in the future. They implemented stricter quality control measures throughout their production process and conducted thorough inspections before releasing any products into the market. This proactive approach reassured customers that their concerns were taken seriously and instilled confidence in the brand’s commitment to delivering high-quality products.
By resolving a product quality issue promptly and ensuring customer satisfaction through compensation and preventive measures, companies can not only retain existing customers but also build trust with new ones. It’s crucial for businesses to recognize that effective customer service goes beyond simply resolving complaints; it requires taking responsibility for failures, implementing meaningful solutions, and continuously improving processes to prevent similar issues from arising again in the future.
Case Study 2: Handling a Difficult Customer
Navigating through challenging interactions with clients can be a test of your company’s ability to handle difficult situations. Dealing with angry customers requires a delicate balance of empathy, patience, and problem-solving skills.
One real-life example of a company successfully managing a difficult situation involved an irate customer who had received a damaged product.
In this case, the customer contacted the company’s customer service department immediately after receiving the damaged product. The representative on the phone remained calm and empathetic throughout the conversation, acknowledging the customer’s frustration. They apologized sincerely for any inconvenience caused and assured the customer that they would resolve the issue promptly.
The representative then offered several options to address the problem, including sending a replacement or providing a refund. By presenting these alternatives, they empowered the customer to choose what solution best suited their needs. This approach helped defuse tension and created an atmosphere of collaboration rather than confrontation.
Ultimately, by effectively managing this difficult situation and prioritizing customer satisfaction, the company not only resolved the issue but also built trust and loyalty with their client base.
Case Study 3: Going Above and Beyond for a Customer
Exceeding expectations and leaving a lasting impression, one company went the extra mile to ensure a memorable experience for a dissatisfied client. The customer, let’s call her Sarah, had purchased a high-end laptop from this company but encountered numerous technical issues soon after receiving it. Frustrated with the product’s performance and the lack of support she received initially, Sarah reached out to the company’s customer service department for assistance.
To address Sarah’s concerns promptly, the customer service representative assigned to her case took immediate action. Recognizing that resolving her technical issues alone would not suffice in restoring Sarah’s trust and satisfaction, they decided to go above and beyond what was expected. The representative personally followed up with Sarah daily to provide updates on their progress in fixing her laptop. They also offered additional compensation for the inconvenience caused by sending her a complimentary accessory package.
In addition to their exceptional level of communication, this company created a personalized experience for Sarah through small gestures that left an indelible mark on her overall perception of their brand. One example was when they surprised her by upgrading her laptop’s warranty without any additional cost. This unexpected act not only demonstrated their commitment to providing quality products but also highlighted their dedication towards ensuring customer satisfaction.
By going above and beyond in addressing Sarah’s concerns and surpassing her expectations at every turn, this company exemplified outstanding customer service. Their proactive approach not only resolved technical issues efficiently but also left a lasting impression on Sarah concerning how much they valued her as a loyal customer. Through personalized attention, generous compensation, and unexpected upgrades, they not only ensured Sarah’s satisfaction but also fostered a long-term relationship based on trust and loyalty. This case study serves as a powerful reminder that going the extra mile can make all the difference in customer satisfaction and retention.
Case Study 4: Turning a Negative Review into a Positive Experience
If your business has ever received negative feedback, it’s important to know how to turn that experience into a positive one.
In this case study, we will explore how a business addressed a customer’s concerns and transformed their perception from negative to positive.
By taking the necessary steps and going above and beyond, the business not only resolved the issue but also improved their reputation in the process.
The negative feedback received by the business
Despite your best efforts, your business was bombarded with a barrage of scathing feedback that left you reeling. Customers expressed their dissatisfaction with the quality of your products and the poor customer service they received.
These negative reviews not only affected customer retention but also posed a threat to your brand reputation. The negative feedback highlighted areas where improvements were needed. It pointed out flaws in your product design, manufacturing processes, and communication channels.
While it may be disheartening to receive such criticism, it presents an opportunity for you to address these issues and enhance the overall customer experience. By acknowledging the shortcomings and taking immediate action to rectify them, you can regain customers’ trust and loyalty while rebuilding your brand’s reputation.
The steps taken to address the customer’s concerns
After receiving the negative feedback, we quickly took action to address the customer’s concerns and improve our products and services. We understand that addressing customer complaints is essential for maintaining a positive reputation and ensuring customer satisfaction.
Our first step was to reach out to the customer directly, expressing our apologies for any inconvenience caused and assuring them that their concerns were being taken seriously.
To resolve the customer’s issues, we implemented a thorough investigation into the matter. This involved examining the specific details of their complaint, evaluating our internal processes, and identifying any areas where improvements could be made. By conducting this analysis, we were able to pinpoint the root cause of the problem and develop an effective solution.
Once we identified areas for improvement, we promptly made necessary changes to prevent similar issues from occurring in the future. This included updating our training programs for staff members involved in customer service interactions and enhancing quality control measures throughout our production process. We also communicated these updates transparently with all relevant stakeholders to ensure everyone understood our commitment to resolving customer issues.
Addressing customer complaints is not just about solving individual problems; it is about continuously improving our overall products and services. By taking immediate action upon receiving negative feedback, we demonstrate our dedication to providing exceptional experiences for every customer.
We remain committed to resolving any issues promptly while striving to exceed expectations in delivering high-quality products and top-notch service.
The transformation of the customer’s perception and improved reputation
Now that the steps have been taken to address the customer’s concerns, let’s discuss the transformation of their perception and the improved reputation of your business.
By promptly addressing the customer’s issues and providing a satisfactory resolution, you’ve demonstrated your commitment to customer satisfaction. This level of responsiveness not only resolves the immediate problem but also leaves a lasting impression on the customer.
As a result, their perception of your brand is likely to improve significantly. They’ll appreciate your willingness to listen, understand, and take action to rectify any issues they may have faced. This positive experience can lead to increased brand loyalty as customers recognize that you value their feedback and are committed to delivering exceptional service.
To further enhance customer satisfaction and foster brand loyalty, consider implementing these strategies:
Personalized follow-up: Reach out to customers after resolving their concerns with personalized messages or phone calls. This gesture shows that you genuinely care about their experience and want to ensure their ongoing satisfaction.
Proactive communication: Keep customers informed about any changes or improvements related to the issue they encountered. Sharing updates showcases transparency and builds trust in your ability to continuously improve.
Loyalty rewards program: Offer incentives or exclusive benefits for loyal customers who continue choosing your brand despite any initial challenges they may have faced. Rewarding their loyalty encourages repeat business and strengthens long-term relationships.
By investing in improving customer satisfaction and building brand loyalty, you can create a positive reputation for your business while fostering long-term success in an increasingly competitive market.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the key elements of effective customer service.
Effective customer service requires several key elements.
One interesting statistic is that 86% of customers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience. This highlights the importance of providing exceptional service.
Effective communication plays a crucial role in customer service as it allows you to understand the needs and concerns of your customers, while also conveying information clearly and concisely.
Empathy and understanding are equally important, as they enable you to connect with customers on an emotional level, showing them that their satisfaction is your top priority.
By incorporating these elements into your customer service approach, you can create positive experiences that leave a lasting impression on your customers.
How can companies measure the success of their customer service efforts?
To measure the success of your customer service efforts, you can utilize various customer satisfaction metrics and conduct thorough customer feedback analysis.
Customer satisfaction metrics, such as Net Promoter Score (NPS) or Customer Effort Score (CES), provide valuable insights into how satisfied your customers are with the service they received. These metrics allow you to quantify customer sentiment and identify areas for improvement.
Additionally, analyzing customer feedback through surveys or social media monitoring enables you to understand specific pain points and address them proactively.
By consistently measuring these indicators and taking action based on the results, you can continuously enhance your customer service performance and ensure a positive experience for your customers.
What are some common challenges faced by customer service representatives?
Handling difficult customers and managing high call volumes can be incredibly challenging for customer service representatives. Dealing with irate customers can feel like trying to calm a hurricane with a feather, as their frustrations can reach astronomical levels. It requires an extraordinary level of patience and empathy to navigate through their anger and find a resolution that satisfies both parties.
Additionally, managing high call volumes can feel like juggling flaming swords while walking on a tightrope. The constant influx of calls puts immense pressure on representatives to provide quick and efficient assistance without compromising the quality of service.
However, despite these Herculean tasks, customer service representatives rise above the challenges by employing exceptional communication skills, problem-solving abilities, and an unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction.
How can companies improve their customer service skills and knowledge?
To improve their customer service skills and knowledge, companies should invest in comprehensive training programs that provide employees with the necessary tools and techniques to handle different scenarios. These programs can include modules on effective communication, problem-solving, and empathy to ensure that representatives are equipped to handle any customer interactions.
Additionally, implementing feedback systems that allow customers to provide their input and suggestions can also be beneficial. This feedback can help identify areas for improvement and enable companies to make necessary adjustments in their processes or training programs.
By prioritizing ongoing training initiatives and actively seeking customer feedback, companies can continually enhance their customer service skills and knowledge, leading to improved overall customer satisfaction levels.
What are some best practices for handling customer complaints and resolving issues?
When it comes to handling customer complaints and resolving issues, think of yourself as a skilled navigator guiding a ship through stormy waters. Customer feedback is like the wind, sometimes gentle and other times fierce, but always pushing you towards improvement.
Conflict resolution is your compass, helping you find the right path to address concerns and turn unhappy customers into satisfied ones. Actively listen to their grievances, empathize with their frustrations, and offer swift solutions that demonstrate your commitment to their satisfaction.
By taking ownership of the problem and going above and beyond to resolve it, you can transform a dissatisfied customer into a loyal advocate for your brand.
In conclusion, effective customer service is crucial for businesses to thrive in today’s competitive market. As demonstrated by the case studies discussed, handling product quality issues, difficult customers, and negative reviews with empathy and proactive solutions can turn potentially negative experiences into positive ones.
One interesting statistic that highlights the impact of great customer service is that 86% of consumers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience (Source: PwC). This statistic evokes an emotional response as it emphasizes the value customers place on exceptional service. By investing in providing top-notch customer service, businesses not only create loyal customers but also have the potential to increase their revenue.
To ensure success in customer service scenarios, it is essential for businesses to empower their employees with proper training and resources. By equipping them with problem-solving skills, effective communication techniques, and a genuine desire to help customers, companies can build strong relationships and foster trust. Additionally, embracing technology solutions such as AI-powered chatbots or self-service options can streamline processes and provide faster resolutions.
In summary, delivering exceptional customer service requires a proactive approach that focuses on resolving issues promptly while exceeding expectations. By prioritizing the needs of customers and going above and beyond to provide personalized solutions, businesses can create memorable experiences that result in increased customer satisfaction and loyalty. Remember, investing in superior customer service is not just about satisfying your current customers; it’s about attracting new ones who’re willing to pay more for an outstanding experience.
The eSoft Editorial Team, a blend of experienced professionals, leaders, and academics, specializes in soft skills, leadership, management, and personal and professional development. Committed to delivering thoroughly researched, high-quality, and reliable content, they abide by strict editorial guidelines ensuring accuracy and currency. Each article crafted is not merely informative but serves as a catalyst for growth, empowering individuals and organizations. As enablers, their trusted insights shape the leaders and organizations of tomorrow.
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The Case for Soft Skills Training and Best Practices for Delivery
Soft skills—buzz phrase or something you should be focused on? There’s debate floating around about whether or not soft skills training is valuable.
The Value of Soft Skills
Consider this research regarding the value of soft skills:
A Salesforce study showed that of all new hires who fail at their position within the first 18 months, for 89 percent it’s due to issues.
Today’s recent graduates and employees just beginning their careers have the highest level of formal education of all time, yet they’re lacking when it comes to soft skills. The development of interpersonal and communication skills isn’t something colleges focus on. For past generations, there were a lot of opportunities to develop these skills through job and life experience. Older generations also relied less on technology as a form of communication, so it was natural to hone interpersonal skills.
What employers are finding is that while they have a bright, well-educated Millennial and even Generation X talent pool, they do have trouble tapping into talent that has the necessary interpersonal skills.
Which is why it can be advantageous for employers to invest in training.
Most employers agree soft skills are just as valuable and crucial as technical and “how-to” skills. SalesForce reports 77 percent of employers say these skills are just as important as hard skills.
Something else worth noting?
According to research from the Mitchell Communications Group, miscommunication costs businesses a staggering $37 billion in the U.S. and the U.K. every year. That means $26 thousand per employee. 86 percent of business executives say ineffective communication and collaboration are two of the major causes of failure.
Still need to be convinced?
● Research has demonstrated that 60 – 80 percent of all problems or issues within an organization are the result of difficult relationships between employees.
● A study looking at 500 global organizations showed when people scored highest in terms of emotional intelligence the business was also a top performer.
● Personality “conflicts” result in about 85 percent of all U.S. dismissals.
Soft Skills in the Digital Age
One of the reasons cited as to why today’s employees lack soft skills ? The digital age and the rise of social media.
In reality, these are elements making soft skills even more important in many ways.
Companies can face total disaster if an employee miscommunicates via email or on a social media channel. Poor communication is on display for the world to see and can be recorded and used as a reference forever. Soft skills may refer to interpersonal communication, but that certainly extends to online channels.
Looking at social media in another way: if your employees don’t have strong in‐person interpersonal skills and there’s an adverse interaction between an employee and a client that can end up splashed all over social media as well.
Spotlight On: DuPont’s Emphasis on Soft Skills
DuPont is a company known for being a leader in corporate training and a trailblazer in the development of corporate universities.
The company created a white paper highlighting the importance of soft skills and named the following as skills where training is most important:
● Communication: Communication is perhaps the number one most important soft skill in which to train employees. DuPont points out that for effective workplace communication, employees must be able to identify a message and its purpose, choose the best means of delivery, deliver the message and then ask for and respond to feedback.
● Conflict Resolution: The DuPont white paper points out the inevitability of conflict in the workplace, but also says that given the right skill set, employees will be able to constructively and effectively address conflict that will lead to more successful outcomes.
● Coaching for Performance: This is an area of soft skills aimed directly at company leaders. To promote better employee performance , leaders must be able to motivate employees, and they must also be able to deliver feedback in the right way.
Other soft skills highlighted by DuPont include decision making and meeting effectiveness.
Some other soft skills areas gaining attention? Work ethic was emphasized within the Workforce Readiness Survey conducted by Instructure. Personal and culture alignment was the center of focus in the Talent Trend Report from Hyper Island. In The State of Corporate Training Programs in America survey from Udemy for Business, it was management, leadership and mentorship that were seen as the most critical skills for employees to maintain.
The Role of Today’s Learning Management System and Soft Skills Training
Despite the importance of soft skills, and the seeming shortage amongst the talent pool, there is hope for employers. It comes in the form of eLearning and learning management systems.
The technology and delivery style of today’s LMS are inline with Millennial and Generation X desire for technology, self-paced training, and on-demand availability. These are just a few of the features of eLearning that make it the number one way to provide soft skills training that’s effective, engaging and impactful.
The minds of younger employees are often described as “nonlinear” meaning rather than reading training from top to bottom, start to finish, Millennials and Generation X employees tend to want to jump around, hone in on key information, and skip back and forward within learning content. eLearning offers the ideal medium to address the needs of the nonlinear mind.
The most important tip for soft skills LMS training?
Create an emotional connection. Soft skills are driven by a sense of emotional intelligence, and the more emotionality you can evoke in training, the more effective it will be. Draw employees into training with the development of complex characters and case studies that not only show what soft skills are, but why they’re imperative to employees’ success or failure in the workplace.
It’s crucial to build robust situations that mimic the real world since soft skills are inherently situationally dependent.
It’s also valuable to integrate an abundance of feedback into LMS-based soft skills training. Consider doing this by implementing elements of collaboration within training. Other options include forums or webinars in which employees can discuss and receive feedback after completing an eLearning module.
So let us know your thoughts—do you find there’s a lack of soft skills amongst today’s talent pool and if so, what are you doing to address it within your organization?
Writing A Case Study
Case Study Examples
Brilliant Case Study Examples and Templates For Your Help
15 min read
Published on: Jun 26, 2019
Last updated on: Nov 29, 2023
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A Complete Case Study Writing Guide With Examples
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It’s no surprise that writing a case study is one of the most challenging academic tasks for students. You’re definitely not alone here!
Most people don't realize that there are specific guidelines to follow when writing a case study. If you don't know where to start, it's easy to get overwhelmed and give up before you even begin.
Don't worry! Let us help you out!
We've collected over 25 free case study examples with solutions just for you. These samples with solutions will help you win over your panel and score high marks on your case studies.
So, what are you waiting for? Let's dive in and learn the secrets to writing a successful case study.
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An Overview of Case Studies
A case study is a research method used to study a particular individual, group, or situation in depth. It involves analyzing and interpreting data from a variety of sources to gain insight into the subject being studied.
Case studies are often used in psychology, business, and education to explore complicated problems and find solutions. They usually have detailed descriptions of the subject, background info, and an analysis of the main issues.
The goal of a case study is to provide a comprehensive understanding of the subject. Typically, case studies can be divided into three parts, challenges, solutions, and results.
Here is a case study sample PDF so you can have a clearer understanding of what a case study actually is:
Case Study Sample PDF
How to Write a Case Study Examples
Learn how to write a case study with the help of our comprehensive case study guide.
Case Study Examples for Students
Quite often, students are asked to present case studies in their academic journeys. The reason instructors assign case studies is for students to sharpen their critical analysis skills, understand how companies make profits, etc.
Below are some case study examples in research, suitable for students:
Case Study Example in Software Engineering
Qualitative Research Case Study Sample
Software Quality Assurance Case Study
Social Work Case Study Example
Ethical Case Study
Case Study Example PDF
These examples can guide you on how to structure and format your own case studies.
Struggling with formatting your case study? Check this case study format guide and perfect your document’s structure today.
Business Case Study Examples
A business case study examines a business’s specific challenge or goal and how it should be solved. Business case studies usually focus on several details related to the initial challenge and proposed solution.
To help you out, here are some samples so you can create case studies that are related to businesses:
Here are some more business case study examples:
Business Case Studies PDF
Business Case Studies Example
Typically, a business case study discovers one of your customer's stories and how you solved a problem for them. It allows your prospects to see how your solutions address their needs.
Medical Case Study Examples
Medical case studies are an essential part of medical education. They help students to understand how to diagnose and treat patients.
Here are some medical case study examples to help you.
Medical Case Study Example
Nursing Case Study Example
Want to understand the various types of case studies? Check out our types of case study blog to select the perfect type.
Psychology Case Study Examples
Case studies are a great way of investigating individuals with psychological abnormalities. This is why it is a very common assignment in psychology courses.
By examining all the aspects of your subject’s life, you discover the possible causes of exhibiting such behavior.
For your help, here are some interesting psychology case study examples:
Psychology Case Study Example
Mental Health Case Study Example
Sales Case Study Examples
Case studies are important tools for sales teams’ performance improvement. By examining sales successes, teams can gain insights into effective strategies and create action plans to employ similar tactics.
By researching case studies of successful sales campaigns, sales teams can more accurately identify challenges and develop solutions.
Sales Case Study Example
Interview Case Study Examples
Interview case studies provide businesses with invaluable information. This data allows them to make informed decisions related to certain markets or subjects.
Interview Case Study Example
Marketing Case Study Examples
Marketing case studies are real-life stories that showcase how a business solves a problem. They typically discuss how a business achieves a goal using a specific marketing strategy or tactic.
They typically describe a challenge faced by a business, the solution implemented, and the results achieved.
This is a short sample marketing case study for you to get an idea of what an actual marketing case study looks like.
Here are some more popular marketing studies that show how companies use case studies as a means of marketing and promotion:
“Chevrolet Discover the Unexpected” by Carol H. Williams
This case study explores Chevrolet's “ DTU Journalism Fellows ” program. The case study uses the initials “DTU” to generate interest and encourage readers to learn more.
Multiple types of media, such as images and videos, are used to explain the challenges faced. The case study concludes with an overview of the achievements that were met.
Key points from the case study include:
- Using a well-known brand name in the title can create interest.
- Combining different media types, such as headings, images, and videos, can help engage readers and make the content more memorable.
- Providing a summary of the key achievements at the end of the case study can help readers better understand the project's impact.
“The Met” by Fantasy
“ The Met ” by Fantasy is a fictional redesign of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, created by the design studio Fantasy. The case study clearly and simply showcases the museum's website redesign.
The Met emphasizes the website’s features and interface by showcasing each section of the interface individually, allowing the readers to concentrate on the significant elements.
For those who prefer text, each feature includes an objective description. The case study also includes a “Contact Us” call-to-action at the bottom of the page, inviting visitors to contact the company.
Key points from this “The Met” include:
- Keeping the case study simple and clean can help readers focus on the most important aspects.
- Presenting the features and solutions with a visual showcase can be more effective than writing a lot of text.
- Including a clear call-to-action at the end of the case study can encourage visitors to contact the company for more information.
“Better Experiences for All” by Herman Miller
Herman Miller's minimalist approach to furniture design translates to their case study, “ Better Experiences for All ”, for a Dubai hospital. The page features a captivating video with closed-captioning and expandable text for accessibility.
The case study presents a wealth of information in a concise format, enabling users to grasp the complexities of the strategy with ease. It concludes with a client testimonial and a list of furniture items purchased from the brand.
Key points from the “Better Experiences” include:
- Make sure your case study is user-friendly by including accessibility features like closed captioning and expandable text.
- Include a list of products that were used in the project to guide potential customers.
“NetApp” by Evisort
Evisort's case study on “ NetApp ” stands out for its informative and compelling approach. The study begins with a client-centric overview of NetApp, strategically directing attention to the client rather than the company or team involved.
The case study incorporates client quotes and explores NetApp’s challenges during COVID-19. Evisort showcases its value as a client partner by showing how its services supported NetApp through difficult times.
- Provide an overview of the company in the client’s words, and put focus on the customer.
- Highlight how your services can help clients during challenging times.
- Make your case study accessible by providing it in various formats.
“Red Sox Season Campaign,” by CTP Boston
The “ Red Sox Season Campaign ” showcases a perfect blend of different media, such as video, text, and images. Upon visiting the page, the video plays automatically, there are videos of Red Sox players, their images, and print ads that can be enlarged with a click.
The page features an intuitive design and invites viewers to appreciate CTP's well-rounded campaign for Boston's beloved baseball team. There’s also a CTA that prompts viewers to learn how CTP can create a similar campaign for their brand.
Some key points to take away from the “Red Sox Season Campaign”:
- Including a variety of media such as video, images, and text can make your case study more engaging and compelling.
- Include a call-to-action at the end of your study that encourages viewers to take the next step towards becoming a customer or prospect.
“Airbnb + Zendesk” by Zendesk
The case study by Zendesk, titled “ Airbnb + Zendesk : Building a powerful solution together,” showcases a true partnership between Airbnb and Zendesk.
The article begins with an intriguing opening statement, “Halfway around the globe is a place to stay with your name on it. At least for a weekend,” and uses stunning images of beautiful Airbnb locations to captivate readers.
Instead of solely highlighting Zendesk's product, the case study is crafted to tell a good story and highlight Airbnb's service in detail. This strategy makes the case study more authentic and relatable.
Some key points to take away from this case study are:
- Use client's offerings' images rather than just screenshots of your own product or service.
- To begin the case study, it is recommended to include a distinct CTA. For instance, Zendesk presents two alternatives, namely to initiate a trial or seek a solution.
“Influencer Marketing” by Trend and WarbyParker
The case study "Influencer Marketing" by Trend and Warby Parker highlights the potential of influencer content marketing, even when working with a limited budget.
The “Wearing Warby” campaign involved influencers wearing Warby Parker glasses during their daily activities, providing a glimpse of the brand's products in use.
This strategy enhanced the brand's relatability with influencers' followers. While not detailing specific tactics, the case study effectively illustrates the impact of third-person case studies in showcasing campaign results.
Key points to take away from this case study are:
- Influencer marketing can be effective even with a limited budget.
- Showcasing products being used in everyday life can make a brand more approachable and relatable.
- Third-person case studies can be useful in highlighting the success of a campaign.
Marketing Case Study Example
Marketing Case Study Template
Now that you have read multiple case study examples, hop on to our tips.
Tips to Write a Good Case Study
Here are some note-worthy tips to craft a winning case study
- Define the purpose of the case study This will help you to focus on the most important aspects of the case. The case study objective helps to ensure that your finished product is concise and to the point.
- Choose a real-life example. One of the best ways to write a successful case study is to choose a real-life example. This will give your readers a chance to see how the concepts apply in a real-world setting.
- Keep it brief. This means that you should only include information that is directly relevant to your topic and avoid adding unnecessary details.
- Use strong evidence. To make your case study convincing, you will need to use strong evidence. This can include statistics, data from research studies, or quotes from experts in the field.
- Edit and proofread your work. Before you submit your case study, be sure to edit and proofread your work carefully. This will help to ensure that there are no errors and that your paper is clear and concise.
There you go!
We’re sure that now you have secrets to writing a great case study at your fingertips! This blog teaches the key guidelines of various case studies with samples. So grab your pen and start crafting a winning case study right away!
Having said that, we do understand that some of you might be having a hard time writing compelling case studies.
But worry not! Our expert case study writing service is here to take all your case-writing blues away!
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Barbara P (Literature, Marketing)
Dr. Barbara is a highly experienced writer and author who holds a Ph.D. degree in public health from an Ivy League school. She has worked in the medical field for many years, conducting extensive research on various health topics. Her writing has been featured in several top-tier publications.
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