Soft Skills: What They Are and How to Improve Them

Based on a 2019 report, 92% of hiring managers prefer soft skills over hard or technical skills, and 89% of bad hires often lack soft skills. So what is a soft skill, and why do employers prefer this rather than hard skills? How can you develop your soft skills? Let us find out in this article.

What is a Soft Skill?

A soft skill, also called interpersonal skills or people skills, is the ability to interact and build a relationship with people. Everyone needs soft skills regardless of their job or position because nearly every job requires engagement with people, and this is the attribute employees need to succeed.  

Soft skills are different from hard skills. Hard skills are abilities that can be measured and taught, such as marketing, computer software, finance, writing, etc. On the other hand, soft skills are universal skills. These are desirable personality traits that are part of an employee’s character.

What Soft Skills Every Employer Values

Below is a list of soft skills which are the most important attributes of top employees.

Communication Skills

Having strong communication skills is essential to become successful in an organization. Speaking clearly and knowing the right things to say is one thing, but communication is far more than that. Having strong communication skills enables you to convey yourself clearly and in a positive manner to others. 

You need to communicate effectively with your colleagues, clients, and superiors if you are working in a company. Possessing good communication skills will help you become more productive and operate effectively. Communication skills will help you get further in your career, land jobs, and get promoted. 

Active listening Skills

Active listening is listening to the speaker with your full attention or diligently listening with all of your senses. You are making a conscious effort to understand every word of the speaker and focus on understanding the information of their message and responding thoughtfully.

For you to become an active listener, you must not be distracted by anything around you physically and anything that is in your head unrelated, unimportant, and unhelpful to the speaker. 

Active listening is a fundamental soft skill that will help you become a better problem solver and communicator. You can become successful in your career by improving this skill. Other benefits of active listening skills include:

  • Helps build connections
  • Establishes trust
  • Become a great problem-solver
  • Increases knowledge and retain more information
  • Helps resolve conflicts and foster a culture of respect.

Time Management Skills

This skill is essential not only for business owners but for employees in a company as well. It can help you plan, control, and grow a business or the company you are with. Good time-management skills are one of the key qualities that employers look for in their employees. Learning effective time management in a workplace is essential because this will help you accomplish your daily goals by taking control of your time. Poor time management can result in:

  • Procrastination
  • Failure to perform
  • Missed deadlines
  • Stress
  • Work-life imbalance
  • Lack of professionalism
  • Failure to set goals

Organization Skills

Good organization skills will keep you from becoming worried and confused. It will allow you to organize issues proficiently so that you don’t mix important information up. This prevents a lot of errors that could cause the business to lose money or customers.

On top of all of it, being organized will help you work more efficiently. You can finish tasks faster, handle problems with more ease, and experience less stress at work. If you are a highly organized individual, this job might just be for you.

Leadership Skills

Why Leadership is an important soft skill? These skills are highly sought after by employers. It helps you communicate effectively and allows you to confidently verbalize, persuade, and motivate or encourage your teammates to achieve success.  

If you have leadership skills, you know how to deal with people and, at the same time, build respect. In addition, you help people to become dedicated and committed to accomplishing planned goals because your leadership skills inspire them. 

When you have leadership skills, you have the ability to organize people, take responsibility for decision-making, ownership, and do not shift the blame to others when something went wrong.

Several other soft skills and qualities make up leadership skills. These are communication, motivation, positivity, trustworthiness, delegating, creativity, confidence, accountability, honesty, and integrity.

Developing leadership skills can help you become successful in any field and help businesses grow. You are setting the tone for the organization and inspiring your colleagues to follow you as they trust and respect your words. 

How to Improve Your Soft Skills?

The good news is that you can cultivate soft skills by taking online courses like those in Skill Success. Below is a list of online courses you can search for within the site to improve your interpersonal skills.

  1. Transform Your Confidence And Self-Esteem
  2. Body Language Fundamentals: Improve Nonverbal Communication
  3. Motivation Mastery
  4. Be Happier With Positive Psychology
  5. Emotional Intelligence: The Ultimate Soft Skill At Work

Recommended courses for you

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