What are the soft skills?

 All of us are tomorrow’s workers. We aim to get the best jobs and have the best performance at our workplaces. If I say you that the development of specific skills can make you successful in any field, would you believe me?  

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There are universal skills that can make you stand out of the crowd and make you the best in your field. These are soft skills. Have you ever heard about this term before? Probably yes, because nowadays soft skills is a very popular concept, since it serves as guarantee of success in education, work and even human relationships.

Of course, you need the technical knowledge or ‘hard’ skills in order to get a certain job. Hard skills of an English teacher is knowledge of English language and for a driver is knowledge of traffic rules and an ability to drive. But obtaining hard skills makes you only an average worker, not a high achiever. However, you can easily become an outstanding worker by gaining assets such as soft skills.

Soft skills can be defined as “a broad set of skills, competencies, behaviors, attitudes, and personal qualities that enable people to effectively navigate their environment, work well with others, perform well, and achieve their goals”(Lippman, Ryberg, Carney & Moore, 2015, p. 4).  In other words, soft skills indicate our interactions with other people and our attitude to our life and jobs. Although soft skills are not easily tangible and measurable, researchers have identified many constituents of it.

According to Lippman et. al., five kinds of so called soft skills are most important for workforce success: social skills, communication, higher-order thinking, self-control and self-concept.

  1. Social skills mean being able to get on well with other people depending on situation and context, effectively avoid and solve conflicts.
  2. Communicative skills imply an ability to deliver ideas and thoughts in a clear and advanced way both in oral and written form.
  3. Higher-order thinking comprises abilities to think critically, solve problems and make decisions.
  4. Self-control and 5. self-concept, in turn, are skills that help people to control their emotions and will, have an adequate self-esteem and dignity.

Now being equipped by the information about the main soft skills ensuring you a success in any workplace, you are ready to work on yourself. The great thing about any type of soft skills is that they are all malleable, so you can train and improve any asset you like. There is only a matter of time, since, as it was written before, it is not easy to measure soft skills. However, with an earnest desire to succeed nothing is impossible!

References

Lippman, L., Ryberg, R., Carney, R., & Moore, K. (2015). Workforce connections: Key “soft skills” to foster youth workforce success: toward a consensus across fields”. Child trends.

Photo credits: http://blog.psoda.com/five-soft-skills-to-aid-your-project-management-career/

 

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8 thoughts on “What are the soft skills?

  1. Dear Aidana,

    I’m grateful for this educating post. Previously, I didn’t know that these skills actually have a certain name.
    I completely agree that in our contemporary world soft skills are of exceptional value for those who want to become successful in their workplace.
    However, everything should be moderated. By this I mean that nowadays some heavily rely on soft skills while not possessing required professional skills. Therefore, a modern professional has to combine “hard” and soft skills.

    Kind regards,

    Lenera.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I find this the problem to be very actual. In some places co-workers have difficulties in finding compromises in decision making, or jumble personal with professional opinions or attitudes, ending up working in very stressful conditions. In your post @aidana17 you polarize “an average worker” and “a higher achiever”, claiming that one is hard skilled “only”, another is additionally soft skilled, respectively. It could be argued, however, that the ability to communicate effectively, or being soft skilled to build strong, professional, and, more importantly, healthy working environment, should be an asset for everyone no matter how “average” or “high” they are.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Aigul, thank you for the comment you made.
      I cannot agree more with you that a desired goal of every member of any work team should be a friendly atmosphere prepossessing to work effectively and productively together. That is why I claim that soft skills are more important that hard skills. In order to be an ‘average’ worker you need to obtain a functional knowledge of your job, but if you are eager to become professional or ‘high-achiever’ soft skills have to be developed by you. Being soft skilled you will be able to work efficiently, resolve conflicts, build a good relationships with your co-workers, so you will contribute to the development of your whole team. Thus admitting the significance of soft skills in workplace will not create any troubles but benefits. What comes to the division into average workers and high-achievers, we both should agree that it exists in any society and workplace. For example, in a company there can be such hierarchy as authority, top managers, managers and specialists.

      Like

  3. Thank for your useful post, Aidana. Very informative. I have heard about soft skills before, but after reading your post,I understand how important to acquire these skills,especially in the long run. However, I wonder how to find a balance between technical and soft skills?

    Like

    1. Dear Arai4ona, thank you for the comment you made. I am not the expert in the area of self-developmet, however I am sure that any person can acquire both hard and soft skills simultaneously. Look at our group mates, almost all of them have a good competency of knowledge of English, public speaking, time management and effective communication. If English stands for the hard skill, others for soft skills. Moreover, the concept of soft skills is very elusive and hard to measure. I hope you will be satisfied with my humble answer.

      Like

  4. Dear Aidana,

    Thank you for such an amazing post! I have heard about soft skills, but I did not know what they cover. It was constructive for me. When hard and soft skills meet each other, a wonderful result may occur. I believe that in order to achieve really great results a person needs both types. However, it is a very longitudinal process, and many people might give up on the way towards perfection. The question here is whether we need this perfection. As for me, it may destroy the life of a person at some sides.

    Like

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