While possessing the latest technical skills such as social media marketing, artificial intelligence and so forth is going to be necessary for pursuing new career paths, it is the soft skills that are likely to help in professional growth over time and across industries. Soft skills are a primary motivation for job offers simply because they convey how well you can interact with people, build effective relationships and work through conflict with colleagues. It is easier to teach and measure technical abilities, as compared to soft skills. Apart from a degree and the relevant experience, employers also look for attributes like situational awareness and the ability to offer a better interpersonal experience to your team members.
Since we’re on the topic, have a look at this: Dare to Disagree (Without Offending Anyone)
According to the Financial Times’ 2018 Skills Gap survey, employers are looking for candidates who can work in a team, with a wide variety of people and build a network, as well as solve complex problems and prioritise. Clearly, soft skills are important at the workplace and the following reasons offer a better understanding.
1. Technical abilities are purposeless without soft skills
While most jobs require technical skills, they alone aren’t enough to always deliver effectively. This is especially true for professionals that must deal with clients and customers daily. No amount of product or market knowledge can ensure complete success without the use of interpersonal skills. Often, closing a deal and retaining clients require showcasing soft skills more than technical abilities. These soft skills include being able to lend a patient, listening ear, possess good communication skills and the ability to think out of the box.
Get rid of nervous speaking with these tips: 5 Ways to Boost Your Confidence before Big Meetings
2. Developing soft skills requires constant work
Contrary to popular belief, it takes more time and effort to hone one’s soft skills. In comparison to technical abilities, soft skills are more challenging to develop since they are closely linked with a person’s character. While technical skills can be acquired and perfected over time, changing one’s character to be a part of a team and work towards a common goal requires conscious effort, ongoing practice, and a commitment to self-development. Possessing soft skills is what sets candidates with similar expertise apart from one another.
3. The present-day work environments are more social than ever before
The importance of listening to other people’s thoughts whose behaviours and attitudes can jeopardise workplace harmony is paramount. Collaborative ways of working, presenting ideas and consistently communicating with team members are some of the other key soft skills that are essential in today’s modern workplace. They ensure a productive and healthy work environment, and are critical aspects for organisations in an increasingly competitive world.
Here’s more on how to work on your socialising skills at the workplace: Office Social Event Etiquette 101
4. Great customer service sets businesses apart
The contemporary market provides consumers with unlimited number of choices, easily available at the lowest prices, owing to the presence of smartphones. In this scenario, providing great customer service can be the differentiating factor between companies. The ability to communicate efficiently and effectively with customers is one of the leading factors that make a business successful.
Don’t have leadership skills? Read this to find out a solution: How to Acquire Leadership Skills when you aren't a Natural Leader
5. The future workplace will rely on soft skills
Given the breakthroughs in automation and artificial intelligence, the future workplace will see a decline in hard skills. Meanwhile, the following soft skills will persist with time and become key differentiators going forward.
You may also like: