Soft skills refer to both character traits and interpersonal skills that will influence how well a person can work or interact with others. The term soft skills covers a wide range of skills as diverse as teamwork, time management, empathy and delegation.
The World Economic Forum Future of Jobs report suggested that by 2020, complex problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, people management and emotional intelligence would be among the most important skills required in the workplace.
The importance of these soft skills is often undervalued, and there is far less training provided for them than hard skills such as coding. Organizations seem to expect people know how to behave on the job and the importance of skills such as taking initiative, communicating effectively and listening, which often is not the case.
What are Soft Skills?
Soft skills are personal attributes that influence how well you can work or interact with others. These skills make it easier to form relationships with people, create trust and dependability, and lead teams. In essence, they are essential for your success in the workplace, your company’s success and your personal life.
Why are Soft Skills Important?
Most interactions with other people require some level of soft skills. At a company you might be negotiating to win a new contract, presenting your new idea to colleagues, networking for a new job, and so on. We use soft skills everyday at work and developing these soft skills will help you win more business and accelerate your career progression.
On the other hand, a lack of soft skills can limit your potential, or even be the downfall of your business. By developing strong leadership, delegation, teamwork, and communication abilities, you can run projects more smoothly, deliver results that please everyone, and even positively influence your personal life by improving how you interact with others.