Not everything in business is about technical expertise.
Most businesses and organizations look for leaders who also possess soft skills. These have to do with how you relate and work with others and usually include a mix of people skills, social skills, communication skills, character or personality traits, attitudes, career attributes, social intelligence and emotional intelligence quotients.
Unlike hard skills that are learned, soft skills are similar to emotions or insights that allow people to “read” others. These are much harder to learn, at least in a traditional classroom. They are also much harder to measure and evaluate.
Because most work places are still filled with more humans than robots, employers place considerable value on soft skill abilities since most require employees to engage with others in some way.
Another reason hiring managers and employers look for applicants with soft skills is because soft skills are transferable skills that can be used regardless of the job at which the person is working. This makes job candidates with soft skills very adaptable employees.
People with soft skills are often seen as having unique and broad backgrounds that can diversify a company and help it run more efficiently.
Soft skills are particularly important in customer-based jobs. These employees will typically be in direct contact with customers. It takes a number of soft skills to be able to politely listen to a customer and provide helpful service – all of which contributes to a company’s bottom line.
Even if you don’t possess a polished skill set when it comes to relating well to others, with training you can improve in these areas:
- Teamwork – working productively with peers and co-workers
- Personality – encouraging others with a positive attitude
- Social skills – handling yourself well in all types of business situations
- Conflict resolution – de-escalating disagreements between others
- Speaking – delivering impactful speeches in small or large groups
- Selling – presenting compelling reasons for taking all kinds of action (not just buying!)
- Persuading – convincing someone to adopt a new viewpoint
By far the most important soft skill to hone is simply learning how to listen better. Understanding and empathizing with others’ points-of-view is often the launching point for developing meaningful soft skills.
There’s much more to learn about soft skills. Tonex offers a dozen different course in Soft Skills training.