Importance Of Soft Skills
Soft skills have a misleading name—there’ is nothing ‘soft’ about them. It’s however the blanket term used for skills that…
May 13, 2021 | 4 mins read
Soft skills have a misleading name—there’ is nothing ‘soft’ about them. It’s however the blanket term used for skills that aren’t ‘hard’, quantifiable or measurable such as numeracy or literacy. The importance of soft skills–which covers everything from communication to innovative thinking–applies to all facets of life. Our work lives, personal lives and even our student lives. Skills we learn in one arena help us in another. Let’s look at how we can acquire and develop soft skills through our lives and how they can help us soar.
Though it’s possible to build and develop our soft skills through life, the earlier we start the better. The importance of soft skills for students can’t be overstated. Let us look at some of these:
The sooner we realize knowledge isn’t a destination but a journey, the better off we’ll be. This attitude of continuous learning grows through our school years. Curiosity, asking questions and researching are all skills we develop from an early age. If we don’t lose sight of them, they hold us in good stead as lifelong learners.
The ability to puzzle through a problem and weigh all the relevant factors is a skill we work on throughout our lives, including as students. Just think of a child with a Lego set. Now think about organizing and cleaning the office: you need to know about the various parts of the office, the furniture, how it will be used and then organize the space accordingly. We can nurture analytical thinking in many ways.
As young people progress through school and college, they have to juggle so many tasks and responsibilities. While the amount of pressure students face might be far from ideal, it teaches powerful lessons in time management—whether it’s completing an exam paper on time or choosing which activity to prioritize over others. It’s a hard but important lesson that’s valuable whether you need to make it to a job interview in time or meet friends for a movie.
Charisma, a sense of humor and the ability to display empathy while communicating make for an appealing job candidate. It also makes for a great friend! It isn’t always easy—especially for the introverts among us—but developing some soft skills in our personal lives can be useful professionally, too. Here’s are a few:
Being open, authentic and honest are values that come from within. By this we don’t mean they can’t be learned—just that they take a lifetime to practice. All relationships benefit when we know how to communicate truthfully, respectfully and openly. Speaking out with your ideas and thoughts, listening actively and respecting the opinions of others are as important to our personal lives as they are to our professional ones.
It is not just important for one’s professional life, but also extremely important for one’s personal life. With the actual hard skills needed for work changing so fast, more and more employers are looking for soft skills while hiring. If you are adaptable, you’ll be able to adjust your expectations and cope with these changes in life and work far better.
How we handle our own emotions and how we relate to those of others is a critical aspect of how we navigate the world. Empathy is the bedrock of emotional intelligence, and it’s what allows us to be kind in the face of our own troubles. It isn’t easy, but this personal soft skill comes into play in our professional lives for teamwork and leadership.
We’ve looked at the importance of soft skills in our personal and student lives. When it comes to the importance of soft skills in professional life, there are several that are critical to employees across levels. To rise through the ranks, here are a few skills to master:
Leadership is all about influence. Senior managers and team heads set the tone, work ethic and values of the organization. While we consider it a soft skill, it’s actually a composite of several skills—communication and emotional intelligence being key amongst them.
When we look at a problem, we tend to focus only on one of its angles. We make assumptions and act on faulty information which can often backfire. Conflict resolution is about remaining objective, looking at a problem from all sides and suggesting solutions based on that. Once again, it combines communication, analytical thinking and interpersonal skills.
This is a core skill whether you are a student or a professional. But at the higher management levels, creative thinking is key. Innovation and big picture thinking all rely on our creative faculties.
If you think about it, the importance of soft skills in the workplace becomes clear. They make all the difference between stagnancy and growth. Harappa’s Compelling Communication Program is a great way to boost soft skills in any phase of a career. It’s never too late to improve upon the ability to communicate clearly and persuasively in the workplace. The program tackles communication theories such as the Power of Three and the Pyramid Principle, presentation skills, storytelling tips and so much more. With this self-paced online program, learn how to make an impact wherever you go!
Explore Harappa Diaries to learn more about topics such as What Are Soft Skills, Best Soft Skills For Resume, Most Important Soft Skills & Difference Between Soft Skills And Hard Skills that will help organizations tap into their employee’s potential.