It’s no secret that interpersonal skills are the next big thing in HR. In layman terms, soft skills will most likely define the future. In a 2018 LinkedIn worldwide survey of over four thousand professionals the results have revealed that “training for soft skills is the number one priority.”
Soft skills are often referred to as transferable skills. As this term implies, these are skills which are less specialised on one specific vocation and which are more aligned with the personality of a candidate. Soft skills usually relate to a person’s various attitudes and intuitions. Given the fact that soft skills are linked with personality, it is important for each candidate to assess and understand what their soft skills are and for the employer to have reliable objective data to validate the required soft skills.
Unlike hard skills, which can be measured, soft skills are intangible and difficult to quantify. Among the examples of soft skills may include analytical thinking, verbal and written communication, and leadership.
Nowadays, employers care more about soft skills than they do technical abilities like reading comprehension and mathematics.
Among soft skills one of the more important ones is emotional intelligence (EQ). From a 2015 LinkedIn survey it has been discovered that people with high EQ earn on average $29,000 more.
Why do Soft Skills Matter?
A constructive example of the difference between people with or without soft skills are medical doctors and dentists. Doctors and dentists are obligated by their work field to have an extensive array of hard skills. But a doctor or a dentist who does not have emotional intelligence, trustworthiness and approachability (i.e. soft skills) is not likely to be very well perceived by their patients.
Employers value soft skills because they enable people to function and thrive in various teams and in numerous types of organisations. Here are a few of the most important soft skills:
Written and verbal communication skills are of utmost importance in the workplace because they set the tone for how people perceive you. They also improve your chances of building relationships with co-workers. Communication skills boost your performance because they help you to extract clear expectations from your manager so that you can deliver excellent work. Workers are more productive when they know how to communicate with their peers. If you can clearly express the who, what, when, where, why, and how of a project, you’ll be seen as a top talent.
The success of a practice is rarely dependent on one person doing something all by themselves. Success is the result of many people working toward a shared goal. When employees can synthesise and use their varied talents, everyone wins. If you work alongside friends, then productivity simply sores through the roof. Employers look to team players to build a friendly culture, which helps retain employees and, most importantly, top talent. Furthermore, being able to collaborate well with co-workers enhances the quality of their work.
Obviously, things don’t always go as planned, and instead of digging in your heels, you need to be able to swivel and find appropriate solutions. Consequently, employers need workers who can adapt to industry shifts and keep the company current. Push yourself to be an early adopter of change. Explore the possibility of joining training sessions and offer to teach your co-workers what you have learned.
When something goes wrong, the difference between people is that some complain, and others simply act. Undoubtedly, the latter will get you noticed. People who know how to think on their feet can make employees indispensable to an employer. Nothing is a given. Companies rely on problem-solvers—top performers—to manage unexpected arisen challenges. It is best to approach the manager with a solution, not a problem. So, when an issue springs up, think about an alternative solution and how you are going to present it to your boss.
5. Conflict resolution
Being able to resolve issues with co-workers will help people maintain relationships with their peers and work more effectively and efficiently. Being able to work through office politics and disagreements with people is a clear sign of maturity, as well as leadership. Someone like this helps promote a collaborative workplace. The best way to resolve disagreements between co-workers is to address issues directly but in a delicate, humane manner. Therefore, if someone is stepping in as a mediator, he or she should let both parties air their grievances in a judgment-free zone and then work together to find a compromising solution.
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About Directions Unlimited:We are a specialist provider of customised people solutions and services to local and international clients. We provide state of the art assessment and development solutions to help you select, match, on-board, manage, develop, engage and retain top talent.
David Leahy, Director Directions Unlimited M: 0405-691-845