Soft skills are all those interpersonal skills, social skills, and leadership skills needed for a winning career. Working in the 21st century calls for a blend of both your social intelligence and technical competence. Merely possessing job-specific skills is not going to be enough. There are a bunch of other people skills to be learned too.
Here you get an insight into what are soft skills, their types, and how to develop them..
What are Soft Skills?
Soft skills are certain interpersonal skills that improve your relationships and habits at your job. They are directly related to workplace success. To name a few, these skills include your people skills, social skills, interaction skills, emotional intelligence, time, and resources management.
They are all the buzz in the corporate and business world. Soft skills are important as they lead to better workplace relationships, by developing a positive attitude towards fellow colleagues, employers, managers and your overall career.
What Are The Types Of Soft Skills?
The term "soft skills" is a broad umbrella. Many valuable components combine together and contribute to it. These include
- Emotional intelligence
- Time and Resource Management
- Creative thinking
- Critical thinking
- Stress management
These are the top 10 soft skills to develop.
However, a peculiar thing about all soft skills is that they cannot be passed down. Unlike technical skills, all soft skills develop from observation, introspection, and self-improvement.
Like any other skill, you can develop these communication skills with practice but they cannot be outright quantified.
Why Are Soft Skills Important?
Developing soft skills is important as it results in superior workplace relationships and more productive output. They help you associate with your colleagues, form relationships, and "read people" to get the desired output. In a nutshell, they are a bunch of mind tools that help you communicate for a thriving career.
The modern workplace comes with its own set of challenges. Your soft skills help you overcome these obstacles easily. Knowing how to communicate, developing the best teamwork strategy, how to adapt to the changing environment, time management is some of the many gains of having these mind tools.
Employers understand the urgency of such social skills and actively seek those candidates who display them. For their assessment, interviewers may present hypothetical situations and scenarios to record your response. Your reaction to such hypothetical situations speaks of your soft skills maturity.
Benefits of Soft Skills
Soft skills being mind tools are obviously not industry-specific. They are required regardless of your organization type or position at the workplace. Recruitment boards and managers are exceedingly seeking candidates with such skills because they help in-
#1 Clear and Smooth Communication
Employees with good communication skills can efficiently put across their thoughts, ideas, and feedback. This builds a clear two-way communication channel, needed for brainstorming ideas and conflict resolution. These are vital for interpersonal and organizational success.
#2 Improve Work Delegation
People with good communication and leadership skills can delegate work and manage their job much better, leading to increased time management and efficiency. This is the greatest advantage of having soft skills.
#3 Developing Team Spirit
All successful employers look forward to nurturing a spirit of teamwork and belonging in their workplace. It is only in the presence of a job atmosphere that employees work with combined strengths, irrespective of the differences, and contribute to the greater good. This productive team spirit is strengthened with people who have sharp soft skills.
#4 Building a Conducive Work Environment
It is people who build an office ambience. This ambience is an intangible asset of an organization. Places with people, who are emotionally intelligent and have a positive attitude will always be more productive and amiable.
#5 Increasing Your Likeability
Your soft skills not only allow you to adapt to new or changing work settings but will also boost your likability. Who doesn't like a friendly, helpful, and empathetic colleague? Therefore, soft skills have the potential to strengthen your interpersonal skills and make you more desirable.
#6 Employee Retention
Since soft skills promote a healthy work climate and employee retention gets positively affected too. With the right mind tools, your workers are more prepared and stable.
#7 Establishing a Work Ethic
Employees' soft skill set builds their outlook towards their career, work, and the organization at large. Such people who are emotionally mature, have a positive attitude and are inclined to learn and grow, successfully build a prolific work ethic. Nonetheless, they convey this positive learning attitude to their peers too.
#8 Strengthening Workplace Relationships
Soft skills allow you to bond better and establish many loyal relationships with your colleagues and employers at a job.
#9 Producing Finer Results and Sales
People with phenomenal communication skills lead to high community interaction and networking. They are an organization's asset when it comes to producing fine results with combined efforts. These people make the best managers with their leadership attitude that comes from soft skills.
#10 Reducing Stress Levels
Soft skills greatly contribute to your confidence, thereby allowing you to produce appropriate results. Good results and success considerably reduces stress and helps find a balance.
These soft skills go hand in hand with various other skills to produce unequalled organizational results.
Soft Skills vs Hard Skills
Soft skills speak of your personality traits and hard skills refer to job-related technical understanding. Both these personal and professional traits must work together for workplace success. However, soft skills are highly understated. Most people don't care to develop such skills, as they are falsely deemed non-competitive and unnecessary.
It would be futile to pin soft skills vs hard skills as both skillsets have their own significance.
Hard skills or technical skills impart your job proficiency, while soft skills allow better workplace adaptability and exchange. They target two separate domains of work - social and professional. Your hard skills reflect your job-related knowledge on the forefront, while soft skills work simultaneously to build your social and workplace persona.
A powerful strategy to showcase your skills is to improve both these cognitive and non-cognitive skill sets. A healthy mix of these skills forms a wealthy tolls club. Following this, it is worthwhile to include both with a special emphasis on soft skills in your job resume. Moreover, back them up with impressive examples.
How to Get Soft Skills?
The brief soft skills vs hard skills analysis above, speaks of their inherent differences and significance. Both these skill sets are poles apart. Consequently, their learning or acquisition patterns also differ.
● You cannot develop soft skills through traditional learning methods.
● Soft skills need to be personally analyzed, and mindfully developed.
● Since they are not quantifiable, soft skills success is indicated through unconventional methods.
For example, there might be one person at your office who is extremely likeable and brings happiness to the team. It is only desired that you realize his "likeable qualities" and aim to imbibe them in your routine.
Working to develop soft skills in this manner will be highly useful. To actively work on the development of these mind tools, it is advised to research and meditate on your personality. This way, you find a grip over your social and emotional intelligence at your job and evolve accordingly.
Soft Skills Training
Organizations have begun to understand the associated benefits of soft skills. HR professionals highlight their importance and look for these soft skills as a necessary qualification. For the same, they have structured training programs to include both soft skills and hard skills. After successfully onboarding an employee, training proves greatly beneficial. Although soft skills training cannot be conducted in a traditional classroom manner, employers aim to induce their fresh recruits with the desired communication skills.
While you can formally train to enhance your soft skills, there is always a better alternative - to learn in the company of fellow like-minded people. Engage in a community of skilled individuals and learners who enrich your learning with fresh and authentic knowledge. Download Kool Stories - Social Learning Platform to begin your social learning and networking journey today.
Your soft skills contribute to your workplace success and build your social image. Today, these skills have become highly sought after and you must include them in your CV. Soft skills need practice and regular implementation. These mind tools are massively profitable for personal and career growth.
Frequently Asked Queries
Q1. What is one of the best ways to learn soft skills?
Soft skills are non-technical skills that help you communicate better at workplaces and help build cordial relationships. Since these traits fall under personal attributes, developing soft skills is a subjective experience for which you can adopt the following channels of learning:
1.Attending an online course or workshop for learning soft skills.
2.Getting in touch with an online coach or a mentor.
3.Being expressive and speaking any chance your get.
4.Practising with a friend or in front of a mentor.
5.Asking for prompt feedback from others as a means to know your strengths and weakness.
Q2. What are examples of soft skills?
Soft skills are interpersonal skills that supplement your hard skills and make you operate better as a professional. As much as they are valued in an office atmosphere, soft skills are equally important in personal life. Some examples of soft skills include:
Q3. What are the benefits of soft skills?
Organisations not only headhunt people with good technical or hard skills but also seek people who are good team players with impressive soft skills. These soft skills like communication, problem-solving, critical thinking, organisation and leadership add to your personality as a professional. Developing soft skills will benefit you on both the professional and personal front in the following ways:
1.It makes communication more effective and conveys your point of view, thoughts, and ideas better.
2.It helps to recognise problems, give better solutions and achieve goals.
3.Improves teamwork, productivity, and teamwork by making people collaborate in a conducive environment.
4.It brings out the best creative ideas, divergent thinking combined with critical thinking.
Q4. What are professional soft skills?
Such skills which help in relationship-building in a professional environment are called professional soft skills. These include communication, teamwork, problem-solving, conflict resolution, leadership and adaptability.
Q5. Is critical thinking a soft skill?
Yes. Critical thinking is an essential soft skill that employees look forward to in the candidates they hire. Critical thinking is a soft skill that helps solve a problem logically, considering all possible circumstances, thereby solving problems faster and more effectively, with better solutions.