Soft skills refer to non-professional talents related to how you operate. They include how you connect with the people you interact with, especially in a workplace, handle problems, and manage your workload. These are basically character qualities and interpersonal skills that describe a person’s relationships with others. Soft skills and hard skills (pertain to a person’s knowledge and occupational abilities) are considered to be complementary in the workplace. Soft skills, as opposed to intelligence quotient (IQ), are a phrase used by sociologists to define a person’s emotional intelligence quotient (EQ).
Some important soft skills are-
1. Adaptability– Adaptability is defined as the ability to modify something, or even oneself, when needed, in response to changing circumstances. In most companies, especially in fields that a considered ‘faster’ or where situations are often flipping (for example finance, cinema, medicine, etc.) adaptability is considered to be an important soft skill to have.
2. Dependability and Reliability– Dependability directly echoes your work ethic. A company’s most valuable asset is a dependable employee. One of the most crucial qualities a company looks for in new hires and current employees is dependability. Things are done, and they’re done correctly, when there’s a pattern of dependability.
3. Communication– Employers expect you to have good written/vocal communication regardless of the position you’re applying for in your career. You should be able to communicate successfully with the people that you work with, the people that you work under, and customers in person, and online, over text or over call, depending on your role in the company. Your ability to write effectively is an important part of your professionalism. Communication is one of the most important Soft skills you need to develop to advance fast, jump positions, and for a better salary.
Many gifted individuals struggle to write properly. Not only does poor writing slows down the interchange of ideas and information, making you less efficient and productive, but it also makes you look stupid, for the lack of a better word. Hence, good communication, both written and verbal, is an important soft skill.
4. Creative Thinking– The ability to evaluate things in a fresh light is known as creative thinking. It could be a previously unthought-of approach to a problem or a solution to an employee conflict. Employees who are able to think creatively and bring a fresh viewpoint to the workplace are sought after by employers across industries.
Thinking creatively entails thinking outside the box. Often, creativity necessitates lateral thinking, or the capacity to see patterns that aren’t immediately apparent. Using creative thinking, you can come up with innovative approaches to complete tasks, solve issues, and overcome obstacles which is one of the important Soft skills. It entails approaching your task from a new, and sometimes unconventional, perspective. This kind of thinking can aid in the productivity of departments and organizations.
5. Leadership qualities– The ability of an individual, group, or organization to “lead,” influence, or direct other individuals, or even entire organizations is referred to as leadership. Some leadership qualities are authenticity, assertiveness, self-awareness, intelligence, listening skills, etc.
6. Listening skills– In the communication process, listening refers to the ability to accurately receive and analyze communications. Effective communication necessitates the ability to listen. Messages are readily misunderstood if you don’t know how to listen well. It is complementary to good communication skills, and is as essential as good writing and speaking.
7. Negotiation- A negotiation is a dialogue that aims to resolve an issue in a way that works for all parties involved. In a negotiation, all parties seek to persuade the other to agree with them. By bargaining, the parties concerned aim to avoid disputing and instead agree to find a solution. A good negotiator is able to reach an efficient solution, one that is also profitable to them, instead of just a compromise.
8. Conflict resolution– Conflict resolution is a process that allows two or more parties to work out a peaceful solution to a problem. The conflict could be personal, economic, political, or emotional in nature. When a conflict emerges, the best course of action is frequently to negotiate a solution. To have an edge over other employees, one must not just be able to solve their own conflicts, but also conflicts among other employees.
9. Critical Thinking– Critical thinking is the process of evaluating available facts, evidence, observations, and arguments in order to reach a conclusion. The issue is complicated; numerous definitions exist, but the main idea is that it involves a reasonable, skeptical, and unbiased investigation or evaluation of factual information. It is an important skill to possess, as it doesn’t just go hand in hand with creative thinking and negotiation, but also with problem-solving. Read more here https://www.skillcamper.com/how-to-develop-critical-thinking.html/
10. Problem-solving– Problem-solving refers to the ability to, well, solve problems. It is generally a five-step process. The steps are-
- Analyzing the reasons that contribute to it
- Working on brainstorming possible solutions to it. It is generally recommended to brainstorm and shoot ideas in a group
- Evaluate possible solutions to sort of figure out what the best and most viable route to take, and consider all the consequences of possible actions to solve this
- Implementing the plan and trying to determine important aspects, and overlooking its working
- The last step, but a very important one, nonetheless, is to assess if the solution is effective and is working out according to plan. This step also involves trying to understand if there are any hitches in the plan, if any modifications need to be made to it, or if the plan needs to be completely abandoned in the favour of another, even if it might you might be halfway through it.
Soft skills are generally sought by hiring managers since they contribute to a person’s success in the workplace. Someone can have strong technical skills, those pertaining specifically to one’s job or industry at large, but they may struggle in the workplace if they can’t manage their time or function in a team. Another reason hiring managers and companies look for applicants with strong soft skills is because soft skills are considered to be transferable- meaning that they turn out to be important in any position in any industry.
As a result, job candidates with soft skills are more adaptable and flexible. Hence, in order to have a winning edge in a competitive job market, one must work on their soft skills too while they work on developing their technical skills. Also listen to Accenture CEO Julie Sweet on the Most Important Skill Job Seekers Need Today here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGY6KssjGNQ
You can also Subscribe to Think Fast, Talk Smart YouTube videos, or Podcasts on Spotify to keep updating your knowledge and skills https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAnw168huqA
SkillCamper Bootcamp dedicates one entire module to Developing soft skills for the candidates in its courses. Explore at https://www.skillcamper.com/digitalmarketing/