According to the present research, it has been proved that employees who are successful have strong soft skills. With the rise of AI/automation changing the job market, 92% of talent professionals and hiring managers agree that candidates with strong soft skills are more in demand. In fact, it could make or mar hiring the perfect candidate.
Global Talent Trends report, which is an annual survey of hiring professionals and helps to inform how HR, talent acquisition and business leaders should approach their recruiting strategies for the coming year. In 2019, Global Talent Trends report revealed on LinkedIn that 89% of recruiters feel that bad hires typically have poor soft skills. This suggests that you may be limiting your career development if you do not develop your soft skills.
However, Soft Skills, also known as common skills or core skills, are skills applicable to all professions.
It is also referred to as personal attribute that supports situational awareness and enhances an individual’s ability to get a job done. It includes but not limited to the following: leadership skill, problem solving, communication, strong work ethics, emotional intelligence, critical thinking, public speaking, others are; adaptability, professional writing, teamwork, digital literacy, professional attitude, and intercultural fluency.
Collaboration, conflict resolution skills and so many others are all soft skills. This skills are characterised by a combination of personality traits, behaviours, and social attitudes. It is obvious that individuals with powerful soft skills possess strong situational awareness and emotional intelligence that helps them deal with difficult situations and still be productive. For leadership positions, this is mostly important since good leadership often requires managing people and guiding them towards their goals.
Soft skills serve another purpose within the workplace in that they facilitate adaptability to changing conditions. Communication at times of uncertainty or collaboration with others when solutions aren’t immediately obvious are essential skills for anyone. Whether or not they have a leadership position. Since organisations receive a wide range of job applications, it isn’t surprising that more effort is being put into assessing soft skills during interviews.
Here we explored some basic soft skills that will make you to stand out as an employee.
Communication, which means the exchange of information between two or more individuals or parties through a common system of symbol, sign or behaviour is an important skill that one cannot do without. A good communication system must be a two-way.
There are five components to effective communication.
- Communicating verbally involves your ability to express yourself clearly and concisely.
- Body language and facial expressions are nonverbal forms of communication.
- Written communication refers to your ability to compose texts, reports, and other types of documents.
- Your ability to relay information through pictures and other visual aids is part of visual communication.
- Lastly, the ability to actually listen and understand others — active listening. Communicating effectively requires the ability to listen. If you lack strong listening skills, all communication will be one-way and unlikely to be successful.
It is a known fact that cannot be ignore that change is a major part of human life and in extension to the modern workplace. Without this changes, there won’t be any progress both as an individual or an organization. This implies that human being are expected to have a strong adaptability skill in order to move with the new trend in the society.
Due to technological advancement, organizations have adapted to different working systems. Many are operating remotely, some on-site while some run on hybrid. Remote work which is the new trend, requires good technical know how since employees are expected to work from their comfort zone. Whichever way, adaptability skill makes you to cope well in any form you may find yourself as a worker.
3. Leadership Skill
Almost all companies seek workers who can supervise other workers and direct them. Organizations need employees who can cultivate relationships at all levels throughout the company. Leadership involves assessing, motivating, encouraging, enforcing accountability, building a team, resolving conflict, and cultivating the desired culture of the organisation. Good and effective leadership can often be defined as the ability to influence people and address their needs. Leadership training often involves developing soft skills.
4. Team Work
Organisations are always made of different departments, teams etc. It is the employees that are part of this teams, departments, or divisions. Even those not officially part of a team often need to collaborate with their co-workers. Even if you prefer to work alone, it is crucial that you appreciate and understand the value of working together and collaborating to accomplish the company’s objectives.
By doing so, you demonstrate the soft skills required for optimum productivity and collaborations.
5. Strong Work Ethics
Effort, honesty, loyalty, dedication; are all attributes that constitute good work ethics. To excel in a role, you must be committed, enjoy the successes, be motivated by the challenges, and be great ambassadors for your organization, both internally and externally.
Employee with these qualities arrives at work on time, completes tasks on schedule, and stays focused and organized. The person does work efficiently and in a thorough manner. People with strong work ethics can work independently, and based on instructions.
6. Emotional Intelligence
A person with emotional intelligence can perceive, evaluate, and respond to their own and other people’s emotions. This means you are able to understand the world around you and the interpersonal relationships that occur in the workplace. Therefore, having this skill will make you to live and work comfortably with colleagues in office and customers that may sometimes feel aggrieved. It is one of the core management skill that makes you to stand out in any position especially in leadership.
The effect of this skill manifested in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic. Then, there is a lot of stress, grief, and frustration especially the compulsory lockdown. It is important that you are able to read your coworkers’ emotions so that you can respond in a compassionate manner when faced with new work-from-home challenges or lost loved ones.
7. Intercultural Fluency
Intercultural fluency describes how one value, respect, and learn from diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, sexual orientations, and religions. Demonstrate openness, inclusiveness, sensitivity, and the ability to interact respectfully with all people. It also entails the ability to understand individuals’ differences and work with them especially in a workplace. It should be known that organizations are made up of people from different background and have different affiliations. Hence, it is expected to be a common ground in a workplace that will not be based on any ethnic, religion, social or other thing than the laydown ethics of the organization. But away from that individual and interpersonal value especially culturally related have to be acknowledged.
8. Ability To Solve Problems
Problem solving skills help you solve issues quickly and effectively. It’s one of the key skills that employers seek in job applicants, as employees with these skills tend to be self-reliant. Problem-solving skills require quickly identifying the underlying issue and implementing a solution.
You can improve your problem-solving skills by familiarizing yourself with common issues in your industry and learning from more experienced employees.
To solve a problem, you must find out what caused it. This requires you to gather and evaluate data, isolate possible contributing circumstances, and pinpoint what needs to be addressed for a resolution.
In some organizations, many people still underestimate the value of soft skills compared to hard skills. It is much more challenging to master them than technical skills.
Success requires both hard skills and soft skills. Unfortunately, formal education does not place as much emphasis on teaching and learning soft skills. With the help of professional coaches, you can work and develop these essential skills for success.
Soft skills like technical skills are not included in most academic curriculum. This does not limit you from acquiring one in addition to your academic certificate. Stand and up today, attend trainings and acquire one or two that will make you stand out among your contemporaries.