What are Soft Skills and why are they useful?
Have you heard the term Soft Skills, both in academia and business, but don’t know what exactly they are? Do not worry! In the following article you will learn everything you need about Soft Skills and why they will be useful in your life.
In this article we will see:
What are the Soft Skills
The term Soft Skills was coined in the late 1960s by the US Army. The original interpretation of the term referred to any skill possessed by a person that did not require the use of machinery. In the context of military training, it was understood that social skills played an important role and were considered necessary for team leadership, motivating soldiers and by extension the positive outcome of a war.
The meaning of the term today refers to skills that refer to interpersonal communication skills, a person’s approach to life and work, and emotional intelligence. In addition to Soft Skills, these skills are also called ‘social skills’, ‘people skills’ and in Greek the term is translated as ‘soft or horizontal skills’. Accordingly, there are also hard skills, which we will analyze later in the article.
What are the Soft Skills
In recent years, Soft Skills are directly linked to education, professional rehabilitation and personal success. Because of their importance, the teaching of Soft Skills has infiltrated schools and universities, on a global scale.
So let’s see what these 6 basic skills are called Soft Skills:
- Communication Skills
Communication skills are a person’s abilities to communicate effectively with those around them. In the workplace, communication extends to both spoken and written language. It is important for an employee to have the ability to express himself according to the situation he is experiencing, to be able to convey a message clearly, to give correct instructions and information, as well as to be able to write a report or a professional e-mail . In addition, empathy, active listening, and the ability to manage conflicts play an important role.
Teamwork or collaboration is encountered from school even. The aim of this skill is to strengthen team spirit, which later in the work environment, will prove necessary. It is, perhaps, the most important skill that a person should develop in his life. Good cooperation and respect for partners and fellow human beings are among the most basic ingredients to achieve the desired results.
- Problem solving
Problem solving is one of the key soft skills that every business looks for in their employees. The ability to assess a problem and manage it properly is a tremendously useful tool for your everyday life as well. The basic troubleshooting steps are:
- Correct definition of the problem
- Search for alternatives
- Choosing an optimal solution
- Solution implementation
- Evaluation of this
- Correction where necessary
- Organization and Time Management
Organization and time management is a skill that we begin to acquire and develop from the first grades of school. As we grow older, and our obligations at school and then university increase, we are forced to organize our time as efficiently as possible. Although it is not easy, and especially in today’s era when the stimuli you receive are many, it is a very important skill for your work and your daily life. If, however, you find it difficult to manage your time, there are techniques such as Pomodoro that can help you.
Although changes in your daily life can throw you off balance and create obstacles, you should learn that it is important to adapt immediately to any change that comes your way. In the workplace it is very important to be able to cope with any change, to be flexible and to be able to carry out as many new responsibilities as you are given. No one likes big changes, but the more positive you are about them, the easier it will be to adapt.
- Critical Thinking
Critical thinking training is a skill that starts in school. There are many debates about the methods of the education system and whether it offers students the necessary stimuli to strengthen their critical thinking. Today, with all the new techniques being added to the teacher’s toolbox, critical thinking is at the center of attention. Later, at university, critical thinking is what will determine the success of your thesis and your work in general. In the work field, but also in your everyday life, this skill will help you to perceive and process the various perspectives of a situation.
Why the Soft Skills are useful
You understand from the analysis of Soft Skills, how important they are during your studies. But, and later, in your career. Combined with other traits such as kindness, work ethic, creativity and consistency, they make one human model which may to succeed in many areas of his life.
Why put Soft Skills on a resume?
Soft or horizontal skills can determine whether you get your dream job and whether you succeed in growing within it. It’s not uncommon to add these skills to your resume. In an interview you will definitely be asked from the potential employer about the skills you have. When you are interviewed, we would advise you to give examples of your past experiences and how you dealt with them. An employer is looking for an employee who can be trusted, who is able to manage high pressure situations, who can coexist harmoniously within the team and who can bring something new.
Some advice we can give you is to always be open to criticism and advice. Make sure you are always on time, complete your obligations and tasks. Always be open to learning new things and never rest on the knowledge you already have. Make sure you build strong relationships with your colleagues and don’t let personal conflicts get in the way of work.
Observe what your colleagues are doing. Especially those who already have many years in the business. Adapt to the dynamics that already exist, but without undermining your creativity and ideas. Finally, if the subject of your work is of great interest to you and you see yourself following this profession for the next few years of your life, make sure you stay up to date with changes in the industry.
What are the Hard Skills
As we mentioned above, there are also Hard Skills, which are specialized professional skills acquired through special training, in a classroom or through practical training. These skills are certified by academic titles, diplomas and certificates. Unlike Soft Skills, Hard Skills can be assessed more easily and directly by an employer. By looking at your CV they can see your studies, degrees and seminars you may have attended and decide if you have the technical and practical knowledge they are looking for.
The last piece of advice we will give you is invest time in both types of skills. Today, with the help of technology, you can find methods, techniques, seminars and educational programs that can give you the right push and direction to succeed in your career, your studies and your life in general.
We hope you found our article useful and don’t forget that at Tips9ja you can find specialized writers who can write and translate your resume to impress your potential employer every time.