Soft skills that every Business Analyst should have

Business Analysis is an evolving field that is keeps growing with each passing day.

But there are some essential skills that makes a good Business Analyst effective.

In addition to a basic understanding of the business domain, an effective business analyst should also have some soft skills such as communication , listening, negotiation, conflict resolution, leadership and influencing skills.

As a Business Analyst, you would have to regularly work with numerous stakeholders.

While I would love to tell you that all stakeholders are nice, polite and helpful, this is simply not true.

For example, You might be asked to be the “face” of a major initiative which would change the way the organization works and this change might not be welcomed by the stakeholders.

While performing your work as a liaison between the business and the solution team, you might end up bearing the brunt of the stakeholders frustrations and this could be a major source of stress to you and the project.

But in order to complete the work, you would need to get the stakeholders cooperation.

So how do you get them to do what they obviously don’t want to do ?

This is where your soft skills would come in handy.

You can use these soft skills to calm ruffled feathers, compromise on various issue and fulfill the business needs.

So what are the soft skills that a business analyst should have ?

Some business analyst’s soft skills include the following:

  1. Communication Skills: Communication is the act of transmitting information to a person or a group of people in a way that delivers the intended meaning.

It can be achieved using a range of delivery methods including verbal, non-verbal, physical, and written.

Most communication methods deal with words, while others use movements and expressions.

Words, motions, and phrases may mean different things to different people.

When information is effectively communicated, both parties involved should have the same understanding of the information being communicated and this would lead to a shared understanding of what is being discussed.

As a Business Analyst, you have to be an effective communicator so that the stakeholders feel heard and understood.

2. Listening Skills: The business analyst should use their effective listening skills to understand the information that is being communicated.

Listening is the act of not just hearing words but understanding their meaning.

Business analysts should use effective listening skills to correctly understand what is being said and show that they understand that what the speaker is saying is important.

Active listening involves both listening and understanding what the other person is trying to say beyond the words used in order to understand the core of the message.

3. Leadership and Influencing skills: Leadership and influencing skills are used by the business analyst to boost unity and inspire stakeholder support and teamwork during change.

Leadership and influencing involves inspiring people to respond in ways that would enable them to work together to attain shared goals and objectives.

Grasping the visions, needs, and abilities of each stakeholder and how these can be successfully conveyed could help the business analysts to meet the shared goals of the organization.

4. Negotiation and conflict resolution: Business analysts might need to intervene in negotiations between stakeholders in order to reach a common understanding or an agreement.

During this process, business analysts may help with conflict resolution with the aim of maintaining and strengthening working relationships among the stakeholders and team members.

Negotiation and conflict resolution involves mediating discussions between participants in order to help them recognize that there might be different views on the topic, resolve any differences, and reach conclusions that would be agreed by all participants.

Successful negotiation and conflict resolution includes identifying the underlying interests of the parties, distinguishing those interests from their stated positions, and helping these parties identify solutions that satisfy those underlying interests.

These soft skills would help you understand the stakeholders concerns and work with them to come to a satisfactory conclusion for all the parties involved.