Soft Skills – What’s it all About?
You may have heard the term “soft skills” being used in recent years and many of us aren’t quite sure what soft skills are so today we have a full explanation for you. Basically, soft skills are the personal attributes that enable somebody to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people. Hard skills are the job-specific skills and knowledge necessary to perform a job and are achieved through education, training programmes, certifications and on the job training.
However, soft skills (or people skills as they are often known) are more difficult to define and evaluate. Soft skills include such skills as communication skills, listening skills and empathy, all necessary for dealing with other people and they’re especially valuable for those who are expected to manage other people. Soft skills are vital to the success of employers as nearly every job requires employees to engage with others in some way so being able to interact well with others can lead to increased productivity.
Soft skills are transferable skills which are acquired over time and can be used regardless of the type of work being undertaken. People with soft skills are having a broad and unique attitude that can help a company to diversify and be more efficient.
Soft skills are particularly important for those who must deal with customers or clients as part of their job. Anybody who is in direct contact with customers will need many soft skills to be successful – they will need the ability to listen carefully to each customer and provide the customer with a helpful and polite service.
Soft skills are desirable and helpful in all types of work as they combine people skills, social skills, communication skills and character traits or attitudes and enable somebody to have the social intelligence and emotional intelligence that allows them to successfully work with others.