What are soft skills? Why are they important?

Soft skills are as important as hard skills. They can be developed over time and improved with practice. They determine how you fit into a professional environment and how you handle your professional life.  But the question is what are soft skills?

What are soft skills?

Soft skills are interpersonal skills and include communications skills, listening skill, time management and empathy. They are the intangible and non-technical skills. Other names that are used for soft skills are transferable skills and professional skills. They are less about your education and qualifications and more about your personality.
They are especially important for the recruitment process for graduates. A professional environment asks for more transferable skills and potential over professional experience. 

Why are soft skills important?

All the jobs require employees to interact with people and build relations. An employee or person may be technically well aware but may fail to build relations and interact. This where soft skills come in handy and this is why they are important. Employers don’t expect you to have all the knowledge and experience of the job you are initially applying for. They look for a person who can grow, learn and adapt. 

They are not only crucial while dealing with clients but they are also in how you interact within your own office with your colleagues. Soft skills help a person to co-exist in teams and organization as a whole. 

Types of soft skills

These are the soft skills that one must possess and continuously strive to improve. 

  1. Communication:

An able communicator must be able to adjust their tone and style according to their environment. Communication is the most basic and essential soft skill. Communication skills help in fostering relationships that are respectful and productive. Communication skills not only include verbal communication but written communication as well. 

  1. Leadership:

A good leader should have the ability to inspire others and lead them to success. To have leadership qualities you need not be appointed as a leader. You can show leadership qualities even when you are not managing things directly.  

  1. Responsibility:

Responsibility is a highly-valued soft skill. Being responsible means taking ownership of your own goals as well as the company as a whole. A responsible person shows the following qualities:

  • Trustworthiness
  • Discipline 
  • Motivation 
  • Consciousness
  • Accountability 
  1. Teamwork:

Teamwork is a quality that is formed with the help of a set of other soft skills. A person who believes in teamwork shows leadership, collaboration and good communication skills. A good team player respects other opinions and works towards a collective goal rather than personal goals. 

  1. Problem-solving:

Problem-solving is the technique of finding a solution quickly and effectively. Here also teamwork comes in play. Because not all problems can be solved alone. Therefore, working as a team and solving problems irrespective of difference of opinion and finding a common ground is very essential. An employee should grow and learn with every problem he solves and adapt accordingly.

These are 5 of the many soft skills that one must-have. Other soft skills are:

  • Decisiveness 
  • Ability to work under pressure 
  • Time management 
  • Flexibility 
  • Critical thinking
  • Work ethic 

You can improve your soft skills by reflecting on yourself and making adequate changes and observing others. You can also look for courses online which can help you improve your soft skills. And lastly, practice is the ultimate key to honing your soft skills.