What are soft skills?
Soft skills are a combination of multiple skills, which include social skills, people skills, communication skills, attitude, career attributes, emotional intelligence, social intelligence, among others. These are the basic skills that help people in their careers, enable them to work well, perform well, and achieve their goals. In simple words, they are your behaviors and personality traits. The two most important skills that employers look for in candidates are communication skills and interpersonal skills.
However, there are multiple other skills that you could list in your resume. Some of them are integrity, work ethic, research, creativity, problem-solving, teamwork, conflict resolution, leadership, flexibility, and adaptability. In addition to these, soft skills are divided into five broad types, which are problem-solving, communication, creativity, work ethic, and adaptability. Let's look into details of these soft skills.
One of the major personality traits that score is your communication skills. Effective communication skills will help you get through interviews and careers. The ability to speak with other people in different situations and settings is a skill that can be mastered with time. However, it is also very important to know where to speak, how to speak, and how much to speak. You don't want to come across a talkative.
For, eg, if you are working with a team on a project, you may want to communicate about how you about a particular topic or idea. It is important to put across your point cleanly and comfortably. Similarly, it is equally important to find a way to tactfully disagree on specific ideas that you feel would not work out. Employers look out these qualities the most. In addition to communication, comes active listening, confidence, conflict resolution, and organization.
Recruiters highly value individuals who know how to resolve problems or conflicts. That being said, it involves any work-related issues like fixing an issue that obstructs the way of work or doing your research and development to find a suitable and effective way to issues. In an organization, there are bound to be problems and issues that keep occurring, and it is very important to clear them out for work purposes.
Hence, problem-solving skills are quite an important skill that one must achieve. Similarly, other skills go hand in hand with problem-solving, which include creativity, risk management, teamwork, research, and development.
Creativity is yet another broad skill that incorporates multiple other skill sets like technical skills and other soft skills. Creative individuals will find better ways to get the work done. Similarly, creative people can use these skills at any level of work. They can improve processes, explore new business options, and create exciting avenues.
In addition to creativity, an individual must also have skills like open-mindedness, curiosity should be open to learning from others, and should dare to take calculated risks. When an individual is free to learn from others, they also gain ideas from others point of view and incorporate them into learning more.
This is one skill that should be learned by every individual. How easy is it for you to adapt to multiple changes? Individuals often get uncomfortable in different settings or if placed in an out of comfort zone. As a result, this makes them less compatible with their surroundings, which can impact their work.
In other words, with the modern advancement of technology, there are rapid changes with the way work is done, or the processes, tools, clients, or resources may change overnight. Hence, it is important to adapt according to the changes in the molds. In addition to adaptability, comes other skills like consistency, organization, flexibility, and optimism.
The definition of work ethic is the ability to follow and complete all your tasks on a timely basis with good quality. As a result, this enables you to be a good performer and excel in all fields. A good work ethic will help you develop positive relationships with your colleagues and employer, likewise. However, work ethic is a skill that builds with time. In case you are in a new job, your work ethic can help build a positive image of yourself.
Similarly, it can help you build trustworthy relationships. A majority of recruiters would love to work with an employee with a good work ethic rather than a person who seems unmotivated. In addition to work ethic, there other skills that go around with it are integrity, persistence, time management, and attention to detail.
Can soft skills be learned?
Of course, soft skills can be learned with the right determination and hard work. Social skills, for instance, can be learned when you hang around with people more. Similarly, leadership qualities build up with you are given more of those opportunities. These opportunities help you learn different aspects of these skills. In other words, every set of skills can be mastered with practice and patience. There are multiple soft skills courses you can do, which will give you an insight into these skills.
Importance to soft skills
Have you ever wondered why soft skills are important? Let's gain an insight as to why soft skills are gaining importance over time.
1. Hard skills are nothing without soft skills
In the majority of jobs, it isn't only practical to survive with technical skills. For, eg, a salesperson with only knowledge about products won't be able to perform well if he/she isn't able to close deals and retain clients. Similarly, a person with simple knowledge isn't any good for a company if he/she does not know how to apply them or put the knowledge into use. Every career has hard skills that require soft skills to go with it.
2. Soft skills are practically harder to learn
Hard skills can be learned quickly as compared to soft skills. They can be perfected over time. But that isn't the case with soft skills, as they are closely related to an individual's traits or with a person's character. In other words, it may really take a long time to teach soft skills and requires patience, determination, and efforts to learn them. Hard skills might make your resume look attractive, but it is your soft skills that will set you apart from other applicants.
3. Customers demand soft skills
In today's world of the market, it is the soft skills that count more than any other skill. Consumers today have a wide option of technologies from the internet to smartphones. Hence, for these customers, it is pretty easy to buy products at a conveniently low price. But the thing that sets you apart is how you win the customer's trust to purchase the product from you. Therefore, your soft skills are the only ones that will help you gain customers and retain them.
Soft skills can obviously be learned with time. You can do simple things regularly to work on building your soft skills. E.g., Build your communication skills, maintain eye contact when conversing with clients or customers. Similarly, keep a check ok your body language. For eg., A salesperson can sell a product while leaning on a wall. These are some small aspects that are of great importance. You can also practice speaking in front of a wall to monitor your body language and see how you speak. Soft skills are the trend, and you can undoubtedly build them with time.