Job Recruiters tend to look for candidates with a mix of specific hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills are job-specific skills and knowledge that you need to perform a job effectively. But what are soft skills, and how are they different from hard skills?
Hard skills are skills that can be gained through education, training programs, certification and on-the-job training. These are typically quantifiable skills that can be easily defined and assessed. For example, a hard skill for an IT professional might be computer programming, while a hard skill for a carpenter might be a knowledge of wood frames.
Soft skills, on the other hand, are interpersonal skills. They’re much harder to define and evaluate. Soft skills are a blend of people skills, organizational abilities, communication skills, character and personality traits, technical qualities, social intelligence as well as emotional intelligence quotient.
In the modern co-operate world, acquiring expert or technical knowledge is never enough. Maintaining a professional attitude will also help you cope a lot better in your workplace.
To be successful in our various walks of life, we all need to build and enhance these essential attitudes also known as “soft skills”. Soft skills are vital in every professional environment and they are the most difficult skills to develop and improve in most cases.
Moreover, focusing on these facets of your professional profile can help you improve on your interaction with other members of staff of your organization, customers and clients.
Learning to behave professionally can’t be accomplished in a day or two, but it is a gradual process. As a guide, we have penned down a list of the most essential soft skills you need to practice closely in order to stand out in any work or business environment.
Communication skills are a top priority in the workplace. Whether oral or written, the way you communicate determines how you will be perceived by both colleagues and company executives.
Well communicated exchanges enhances your work relationship with colleague as well as ensures that you and everyone else are on the same page. This helps get the job done better by having and knowing consistent standards expected by your employers.
Communication skills are the most important to employers because, thoroughly and comprehensively explaining your approach and your results will improve your work as you move forward.
Training yourself to talk in any kind of situation; whether it’s school, workplace, or even with friends at the bar are good ways to improve your communication skills. Practicing the act of public speaking can also have a significant impact and help sharpen your communication skills.
Organizations can only succeed through collaborative efforts. Growth can only happen when the company hires employees who are actively willing to work together as a team across a wide range of tasks. People who work together to improve productivity and job competence will always achieve the desired goals. In a friendly work environment, no one is ever left to be on his own. There will always be people who are willing to help each other and who enjoy doing it.
To enhance your collaborative skills, start small by helping a friend or coworker do a task with your free time. With this attitude, you can gradually build the spirit of teamwork in your work environment.
To maximize your professional performance, your ability to evaluate challenges and circumstances you encounter on a daily basis is essential. Information has little significance if one is unable to critically observe, detect and classify surface patterns. Companies are looking for people who can recognise these challenges and see beyond what’s on paper, and those who are continually thinking from a different perspective and proferring better solutions to existing problems.
You often have two choices when problems arise; to think about it for hours on end, or to do something about it. Naturally, employers will look for people who can take initiative whenever a problem arises.
Effective problem-solving skills would make you visible in a positive way and further galvanize your place in an organization. Businesses rely on staff who, can look at a problem, think innovatively and deduce a solution.
With well-planned solutions, it’s easier to tackle the managers than simply presenting them with problem after problem. Think critically about how to deal with a problem before taking your recommendations to your superiors.
Being a leader doesn’t necessarily mean you have placed yourself above others — it means you have faith in your work and you can take the initiative, having a clear vision and goals, while also encouraging your coworkers to finish projects and get in line with your ideas.
Taking a leadership role also helps you take up more tasks in a workplace thereby fostering your versatility and enhancing your work experience.
Leadership skills will get you noticed in a positive way and create more opportunities for you both within the company and externally. Employers are constantly looking for people with good leadership skills because they want their employees to rise up the ladder and take on more challenging positions as the company grows.
Improving your leadership skills means you’re going to inspire people to be successful, so mentoring a coworker on something you’re very good at is a good way to start.
Regardless of your particular role, improving your own soft skills is a great way to stand out among the crowd. However, for CEOs and managers, improving the soft skills of your team can also attract huge rewards. For more information on how to do this, experienced HR companies with training experience can help you set up a plan and grow your team’s skills exponentially.