The Key Soft Skills Required to Be a Bus Driver

See also: Self-Motivation

Soft skills are a mix of interpersonal communication abilities, social and communicative abilities, emotional intelligence, and personal characteristics that help you to cooperate and work effectively with others.

These abilities can be learned, but they are often not as easy to learn as hard or technical skills – the particular professional talents that can be precisely defined, taught, and tested to achieve success in the workplace.

The bus driver profession can be one of the most dangerous and stressful professions. Driving a bus is not just as simple as transporting passengers from one place to another. A highly qualified driver must have in-depth knowledge of various fields of science, from physics – in the case of driving a vehicle at different times of the year and in different weather conditions, to medical - in the case of providing proper medical care in an emergency situation. After all, the driver has to take full responsibility for the passengers who are in the cabin when it is moving.

However, often when choosing products or services, or when renting a bus charter, in particular, we expect something more than just a technically savvy specialist. Soft skills, which are so necessary now in almost every field, are just as necessary for professions such as bus drivers.

Every career requires interaction with people, whether co-workers or clients. As a result, employers are constantly concerned with the level of improvement of the applicant's effective communication, which contributes to successful dialogue, cooperation, and effective conflict resolution as well.

Let's look at how and why bus drivers need well developed soft skills.

Bus driver.

Communication abilities

Communication is more than just speaking in a language that is understood by the listener. Communication abilities include connected constructive dialogue, clear thinking presentation, and active listening. On extended excursions, neither the driver nor the passengers should have any difficulty communicating to make the journey a safe and pleasant one.


Self-management abilities indicate that you know how to conduct yourself, take responsibility for your activities, and accomplish everything that is within your control. Simply expressed, it is the opportunity to be your own boss. The capacity to plan and manage your own time is a critical self-management ability.

Thinking abilities

Driving a bus is not just a physical task but one that always requires well developed cognitive ability. A bus driver with excellent thinking skills will be more organized and productive. These and other soft skills will help you to effectively negotiate challenging situations and road conditions. Cognitive ability includes analytical thinking as a way of solving problems based on experience, external sources, and reasoning, as well as critical thinking, the ability to examine information and data and make good decisions.

Research abilities

You can easily get answers to common queries using Google or other search engines. Nonetheless, firms still look for people who can assess and analyze circumstances, find several opportunities, and gather more unique information. If you are a driver, you should be able to negotiate changing road circumstances, such as traffic jams and road accidents, swiftly and effortlessly.

Problem-solving abilities

This is the capacity to solve issues using creativity, situation analysis, the perspective vision of outcomes, previous experience, knowledge, and any available resources.

A busy bus depot with multiple SBS Transit busses.

Accepting feedback

Whenever we are speaking about our job in the office, transparency and the capacity to get feedback on progress are crucial to working success, especially in a new workplace. Consider this: positive feedback will help you execute your work better, but if you take any negative feedback personally, you will not be able to hear input and adapt it to your existing approach.

Try to realize that the person providing you with constructive comments does not dislike you personally, but simply wants you to provide the best performance you are capable of. If you have a really bad situation with criticism, try the so-called immersion therapy. How? Make feedback a priority by asking coworkers for direct comments on your work every day. The more frequent and extensive the feedback the better as this will help you to hone your receptivity to information.


Regardless of your function or sector, the capacity to adapt to improvements as well as have a positive attitude to change is important to a successful career. It is critical not only to embrace changes as a reality of life in the ever-changing business environment but also to experiment with new strategies for success in the face of change. In case you are dissatisfied with regular improvements in your team or the organization as a whole, note down your sentiments and responses instead of dumping a torrent of negative emotions on colleagues and superiors. By putting on paper (or in your laptop notes) what exactly you feel and the reason why you do it, you will be able to differentiate between problems and complaints that are not worth talking about with your staff.

Emotional intelligence (EQ)

Emotional intelligence is a well-known skill that is related to your social competence, social-awareness and self-management skills. Emotional intelligence is typically demonstrated in real-life interactions with coworkers, clients, and managers, as well as in tact and timeliness when responding. The important thing to remember here is that you cope with emotions, not that they control you. Emotional intelligence comes down to a few key abilities:

  • Whether you can detect and cope with emotions and behaviors at work

  • Will you be able to foster mutual respect and positive connections with others?

  • Can you relate to others?

  • Can you provide and receive productive feedback?

Because soft abilities are intangible, i.e. they can not be recorded, consider what specific instances you can provide to illustrate to an employer the benefits of applying these skills. While professional knowledge is required to perform work such as driving a bus, strong soft skill competencies will make you an attractive applicant for any position as well as a productive employee whom employers will want to advance through the ranks. It is vital to focus on developing your soft skills during a job search and to continue to strengthen them even after you have found your ideal job.

About the Author

Ellie Yantsan is a digital marketer with more than 10 years of experience. She is a contributor to the Content Marketing Institute and is regularly quoted as an expert by large media outlets.