What are Soft Skills?

There are many factors that affect a person’s chances of building a successful career. This includes mental abilities, hard work, and soft skills. A person who is intelligent can win the admiration of future employers or superiors; a person who works hard can gain other people’s respect; and a person who has good personal attributes can win the admiration and respect of anyone.

Soft skills are essential traits and qualities which we all possess, at different levels. These include personality, refinement, habits, communication skills, problem-solving skills, negotiation skills, listening skills, and many others. Some people have better soft skills than others. For example, a person may be better at social interaction than the one beside him; this same person may be able to work well with colleagues, while the other is not. Ultimately, it is honing these skill sets and using them to your advantage that will land you the job or get you that promotion.

Soft Skills Needed to Get Hired

When you are looking for a job, you should be aware that you are competing with countless other applicants who are just as eager to get hired as you. Although you are smart and driven, there are many others with the same qualifications, and being able to stand out is very important for prospective employers to notice you.

Studies show that majority of employers put more weight on the following soft skills: communication, collaboration, leadership, and persuasion. They believe that a team, and subsequently, the organization, will perform better when these skills are manifested in their people. While technical skills are important and certainly necessary for a person to perform their job, employers are also looking into soft skills to ensure that a job is performed well, and contribute largely to the organization’s success. Thus, they always make sure they hire only those who possess these qualities and avoid those who will only be a liability to their organization.

Soft Skills Needed to Get Promoted

Managers and upper management often assess the talents, abilities, and skills of their people. They are constantly making quiet observations on each one, trying to pinpoint which among them have what it takes to handle the responsibilities of a higher position. In fact, managers think about which among their people is ready and able to take their place, because they too will eventually get promoted.

Among the soft skills that your bosses look for are: leadership and management skills, adaptability, drive and energy, motivational skills, communication skills, and interpersonal skills. These skills are necessary in making a person become more effective in a position that requires dealing with a team and leading it, as well as collaborating with other departments. On the contrary, if such skills are not embedded in the individual, this person will not be able to carry out his work as effectively as the one who has them. It will also be difficult for him to earn the respect of his team members, which will all the more contribute to the downfall.

Honing Your Soft Skills

As mentioned, we all possess soft skills; however, some have more of it than others. If you happen to be one of those who need to improve their skills, the good news is that even at this point, you can still do something about it. Yes, you can develop soft skills, and use it to your advantage.

To do this, you need to have the right mindset. Understand and accept the reasons why you need to develop these skills. Then, discover which skills you lack and work on it. For example, if you are often afraid to speak up, then muster the courage to do so, one day at a time.

Practice is the mother of all skills, and by constantly putting to practice your communication skills, you will eventually improve. You can also attend soft skills training and workshops where you will be able to learn from the experts how to develop these skills in person.

Soft skills are very important in today’s world. If you want to get ahead of the game, you should not underestimate the power of these competencies because your success in the workplace could depend on it.

Editorial Team at Geekinterview is a team of HR and Career Advice members led by Chandra Vennapoosa.

Editorial Team – who has written posts on Online Learning.

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