Are soft skills really important? Why should an organization really care about soft skills?
The not so good news for those who disregard the value of soft skills is, yes, soft skills are very important in helping you build a successful career. The good news is, your technical know-how and hard skills are still very much valuable.
What every organization needs is competence, getting the job done. How your hard skills interplay with your soft skills create an effective path to getting the job done.
It is often said that,
“Any one can do the job, what we need is the right attitude”
Can anyone really do the job? To be on the truthful side, some people possess better technical skills than others, however, soft skills are what make you influence people to achieve goals faster, teach a team to succeed together and communicate results effectively.
It’s no news that in recent times, hard skills can get you a job but soft skills help you build a career and grow faster.
“Soft skills get little respect but can make or break your career.”
What exactly are soft skills? Soft skills relate to your personal, inter-personal and social traits, your interaction with your social environment and how emotionally intelligent you are.
Unfortunately, there is still little focus on developing and measuring soft skills as there is for technical skills. However, top organizations are beginning to realize the importance of soft skills and require them considerably in choosing a candidate.
There is also the debate on whether soft skills are innate or can be learnt. Of course, you have an advantage if you have certain inbuilt soft skills but they definitely can be learnt and improved.
Reputable organizations are laying so much emphasis on soft skills and engaging in learning activities that teach their employees required soft skills to excel on the job and simultaneously contribute to the growth and profitability of the organization. Little wonder they adopt the team work assessment process of recruitment in other to evaluate soft skills of potential candidates.
Self development is very key in building your soft skills, the importance of self development in living intentionally is very key. Learn to improve yourself and not just to merely meet organizational requirements. Soft skills are not only good on the job but are also valuable life skills.
Don’t just earn a degree or certificate focused on technical skills, even though not yet widely recognized, enrol to earn a certificate in soft skills.
How well do you communicate effectively? How good are you in building a team and leading a group of people to achieve a common goal? How often do you contribute and work well in a team? How emotionally intelligent are you in resolving conflicts and interacting with co-workers?
How good of a critical thinker and problem solver are you? How well do you manage time and tasks effectively? Are you teachable and willing to impact others? Can you willingly empower others and teach them to grow? How are your punctuality and integrity levels? How confident are you?
The answers to these questions above and many more can help you determine how well you rank on the soft skills scale and if you require improvement.
Certainly, even in the age of proven proliferation of job automation, it would be an almost impossible task to fully eradicate the need for technical skills especially in certain fields. However, every organization and employee desires a candidate and team mate respectively, that employs a great level of soft skills and emotional intelligence in the work place.
“There’s not one specific thing or skill people have to have to work for us. But I can tell you why we fire people: soft skills. We hire for hard skills. We fire for soft skills. The ability to interact and communicate with others or behave ethically and take responsibility for things tends to be where people tend to break down.”
Rick Stephens, Senior Vice President of HR, The Boeing Corporation.