Soft skills are essential traits and qualities which we all possess, at different levels. They include personality, habits, communication skills, problem-solving skills, negotiation skills, listening skills, time management skills, leadership and many others.
These abilities will vary from one person to another and are basically intra- and inter-personal skills that dictate our abilities to manage ourselves effectively and get along well with others. Ultimately, if you hone these skills and use them to your advantage, they will help you to land a job or get a promotion.
When you are looking for a job, be aware that you are likely competing with countless other applicants who may have similar education and work experience and are as eager as you to get the position. So, being able to stand out from the crowd is going to be very important for a prospective employer to notice you. In other words you need to be the “purple cow” in the group of applicants.
Studies show that the majority of employers put more weight on the following soft skills: communication, collaboration, leadership and persuasion. They believe that a team, and ultimately, the organization, will perform better when these skills are demonstrated and practiced by their people. While technical or professional skills are important and certainly necessary for a person to perform their job, employers also require the soft skills necessary to ensure that a job is performed well, and that will contribute greatly to the organization’s success. Therefore, they always want to hire only those candidates who possess these particular qualities and to avoid those who could prove to be a liability to their organization.
Managers and upper management usually assess the talents, abilities and skills of their people. They are constantly making quiet observations on each one, trying to pinpoint which employee has what it takes to handle the responsibilities of a higher position. In fact, managers think about whom among their people is ready and able to replace them, because they too hope to get promoted.
Among the soft skills that Employers 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 more effective in a position that requires dealing with and leading a team, as well as collaborating with other departments. Conversely, if these skills are not demonstrated by the individual, they will not be as effective as one who has those abilities. In addition, if those skills are not present, gaining the respect and cooperation of the team will be exceedingly difficult and that will impact negatively on the efficiency, productivity and creativity of the team.
Soft skills empower you. No matter what career path you choose, if you possess good soft skills, you can become successful in every pursuit.
A person becomes more confident when he/she knows how to communicate with clarity, honesty, impact and influence, when he/she knows how to socialize and how to deliver presentations. If you know how to manage your time efficiently, take responsibility, or lead a team, it means you are more effective and others will respect your abilities.
Additionally, since these are skills are basic and transferable, you can apply them to any undertaking in all aspects of your life. These most important skills will help you achieve professional growth as well as guiding and assisting you in managing your personal life. Finally when you apply this knowledge, the results will be positive.