What Soft Skills Are and Why They Are Important

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In this increasingly globalized world, the path to success is not just luck. To be successful in all aspects of your life there are skills you need that can help deal with ever-increasing demands on both personal and professional levels. Soft Skills ranked first among those necessary abilities!

To understand what soft skills mean we must define them more clearly before moving forward into their significance for business and the workplace.

What Are Soft Skills?

Soft skills are a combination of multi-disciplinary social, interpersonal, and positive behavioral abilities that comprehensively nurture balanced personalities. These define the approach adopted by individuals for their personal and professional affairs in today’s world where emotional intelligence is paramount to success.

Soft skills are a crucial part of the workforce. Nevertheless, unlike hard skills that can be measured easily on assessment metrics; it is relatively difficult to evaluate soft skill effectiveness through these methods. But some companies have been able to measure how effective employees who exhibit strong interpersonal and communication abilities are by measuring their ability in problem-handling and relationship building!

What are examples of soft skills?

Soft skills are the non-technical abilities that allow people to interact with others, and they can include communication, self-confidence, problem solving, emotional intelligence and more.

Communication Skills:

Communication skills are at the top of essential soft skills you need at work. To excel in your career, it’s important to have these skills.

Communication is our way of interacting with others, using spoken, written or listening to process information.

Communication is a fundamental part of human life that would be easier if people could always understand what others were trying to say.

“Nowhere is effective communication more important than at work. Vital information needs to be given, received, exchanged and understood hundreds of times in every working day. Many business transactions go wrong simply because of poor communication between people concerned.”  Ann Dobson.

The communication process involves a sender who transmits a message to the receiver through one of many channels.

Communication process model

Communication process model

 

There are three key elements in the communication process. They are: you, your audience and your message.

There are four basic tools of communication:

  • Listening.
  • Speaking.
  • Reading.
  • Writing.

 

Leadership Skills.

Leadership skills are one of the many soft skills employers value. One way to hone these leadership traits is by practicing and developing them over time with various people in different scenarios.

Leadership can be applied at any point during your career, from applying for jobs all the way up to seeking a promotion or raise (or even getting ahead!). A person’s abilities as an effective leader often depend on personality type–but that doesn’t mean you have to settle into just being one kind of leader! There are numerous aspects worth exploring when it comes down designing what makes somebody relatable enough so they’re seen as someone who genuinely cares about their team members’ well-being while also possessing great organizational and motivational qualities.

Teamwork Skills.

Working as a team player can help you work more effectively and efficiently with others. Collaborating on projects is an important part of the workplace, but there are ways to show that you have these skills in order to get ahead at your company without being too pushy or assertive.

Problem Solving Skills.

Problem-solving skills are critical in every job and on soft skills resumes. If you want to impress an employer, using your knowledge to find answers to pressing problems will demonstrate that you can handle – and excel in – the position they’re hiring for. It is important not only how well a problem was solved but also what happened while solving it: did anything go wrong? What were some of the stumbling blocks along this journey? When discussing mistakes on a resume, be sure talk about what lessons were learned from them so employers know just how prepared someone like yourself would be should any bugs arise at work!

Work Ethic.

The one thing that will make you stand out in the workplace and get promotions is your work ethic. There are many things companies expect from their employees, including punctuality, meeting deadlines, not making mistakes on assignments- but going above expectations shows commitment to excellence.

Adaptability and Flexibility

In today’s competitive marketplace, companies need to make rapid changes in order to remain relevant. They want employees who can shift gears or change direction as needed and are less hierarchical so they have more flexibility with their workflows. This is becoming even more important now that organizations have been moving away from being agile over the last decade–employees should be able handle many different tasks outside of their area of expertise for a company if necessary!

Critical Thinking Skills

Critical Thinking Skills are the ability to identify and solve complex problems by breaking them down into smaller, more manageable parts.

Critical thinking skills are the primary skill for making informed decisions in any type of business or professional setting. Critical thinkers are able to analyze various aspects of a problem before moving forward with options.

Positive Attitude

Employers want employees with good attitudes and the ability to work well in a fast-paced atmosphere, so it’s important for people in such workplaces to be able to maintain their positivity.

Collaboration Skills

Collaboration is a key skill in the workplace because it’s imperative to work together with colleagues and other employees. Collaborative skills are also important for team sports, or when you’re working on projects where multiple people need input before any progress can be made.

Time Management Skills

It is great for any employee who has strong time management skills as they can handle everything related to his or her job and also work well with other people in the office. Time management skills can be divided into 3 categories: time planning, time utilization and time evaluation.

-Time Planning. It is very important for individuals to plan their work and schedule it properly so they can manage their time well. They must not overbook themselves with tasks or make too many appointments because this will only result to having a lot of unfinished tasks and assignments.

-Time Utilization. This involves managing the time well with regards to job activities, personal life and other things that people must do such as taking care of the family or doing house chores. It is necessary for employees to manage their work schedule so it will not affect them when doing other activities, especially during weekends. It is also necessary to have proper communication with other people, especially those who are close to you. This will only be effective if both parties understand each other and can communicate properly at all times.

-Time Evaluation. Evaluating time means continuously checking one’s performance. You should always ask yourself whether what you did was effective or not. It is also necessary to check the time you wasted so you can be more productive in your work.

Goal Setting Skills

Goal setting may seem simple and straightforward but actually it is a very complex and sophisticated skill. Psychologists, motivational specialists, career counselors, and business coaches all want to help people set effective goals that will enhance their performance.

People who don’t have goal setting skills or think they can do without them are doomed for failure in the long term. That’s because setting goals is a crucial step in achieving success. It takes more than good intentions to set goals and accomplish your dreams, but that doesn’t mean that it is hopeless.

Decision Making Skills

Decision making is a task of deciding the best possible action to take in the circumstance. As an individual’s work is a chain of tasks, the skills that help to take best possible decision at any point are crucial for success.

Decision making involves taking into account all the relevant information and then thinking about which solution will solve the problem in hand or achieve one’s goal. Any job role requires some level of decision-making skill, as there will always be things that cannot be predicted or seen in advance. Achieving the desired outcome depends on using one’s experience and knowledge to decide between a range of alternatives.

Creative Thinking Skills

Creativity Skills are essential for success and fulfilment in both our personal and professional lives.

Here, we share seven ways you can do this for yourself or your business:

1. Create pictures in your mind of the results you want to accomplish – along with all the steps it will take to bring those results into reality. A great way to do this is through Daily Success Visualization at www.BrainTracy.com

2. Create a great environment in which to work – one filled with people who have great ideas and encourage you on your path, and where there are plenty of challenges along the way to keep you motivated and inspired. In other words, try to create the kind of environment that motivates you to be creative.

3. Spend time with people who are doing something more exciting than you are. Spending time around people like this can provide you with a lot of inspiration for your own life and career!

4. Seek out people who express the courage and confidence that you wish you could have. Being around people like this can be a great source of inspiration for your own life and relationship to creative thinking.

5. Spend less time in front of the television, computer or smartphone – and more time interacting with other human beings! The best way to stimulate creativity is through interaction.

6. Read more books, especially those that will expand your mind and help you learn to see things in different ways. If nothing else, reading is a great way to exercise both sides of your brain!

7. Seek out life-changing experiences – like taking time off from work to travel the world or spend time with people from other cultures. These experiences can be an amazing source of inspiration to both your creativity and your perspective in life!

More Soft Skills Examples

Here are a few soft skills for resumes, cover letters, job applications, and interviews.

  • Assertiveness
  • Appreciative Inquiry
  • Business ethics
  • Business storytelling
  • Business trend awareness
  • Contribution
  • Customer service
  • Decision making
  • Emotion management
  • Ergonomic sensitivity
  • Following instructions
  • Following rules
  • Integrity
  • Knowledge management
  • Meeting deadlines
  • Motivation
  • Optimism
  • Perform efficiently in a deadline oriented workplace
  • Performance management
  • Positive work ethic
  • Process improvement
  • Quick-witted
  • Results oriented
  • Safety conscious
  • Scheduling
  • Self-awareness
  • Self-esteem
  • Self-supervising
  • Stress management
  • Technology savvy
  • Technology trend awareness
  • Tenacity
  • Time management
  • Tolerant
  • Trainable
  • Willing to accept feedback
  • Willingness to learn
  • Working well under pressure
  • Work-life balance

 

How to improve your soft skills

There are many benefits to improving your soft skills, including relationship building with coworkers and career development. Here are 11 steps you can take in order to improve your soft skills:

  • Be open to feedback.
  • Communicate often.
  • Emphasize teamwork.
  • Build positive relationships.
  • Step outside of your comfort zone.
  • Get ready to learn.
  • Adapt to workplace changes.
  • Observe others.
  • Work through conflict.
  • Take on a leadership role.
  •  Arrive to work on time, and more…!

The importance of soft skills in the workplace

Soft skills are particularly desirable in any company, and include a variety of advantages such as:

More interactions with coworkers

Working on your soft skills and developing them means that you might have more interactions with your coworkers. This is good for a collaborative work environment because it improves relationships between team members

Developing soft skills in the workplace can decrease a company’s cost of doing business.

Developing soft skills, like increased efficiency, may allow for better customer service and an open door to more work from existing clients.

Less Formal Training

Many soft skills can be developed with on-the-job experience, and this means that job training might not be necessary when someone needs to refine these abilities.