As the business world becomes more technologically focused, employers are looking more than ever for soft skills to set potential employees apart. These soft skills can come in many forms, but tend to center around interpersonal relationships, team orientation, critical thinking and successful communication skills.
What Do Soft Skills Offer?
Soft skills is a term used to describe abilities which do not require specific training or technical expertise. These skills allow an individual to interact with others effectively and harmoniously, and are rapidly becoming a determinant factor in the hiring process for many organizations.
In the LinkedIn annual Global Talent Trends 2019 Report, soft skills are the front runner of the four biggest trends for the future workplace. This is, in large part, because soft skills reinforce successful interaction between people and therefore increase the chance of success in any role. The same LinkedIn report found that 92% of talent professionals believe soft skills are just as important as hard skills, especially when looking to hire potential employees. Similarly, 80% said that soft skills are becoming exponentially more important to company success. This increase reflects the fact that because the world is a smaller place today due to technology and innovation, skills such as awareness, curiosity, teamwork and the ability to connect are needed more than ever.
One of the most beneficial soft skills to have is the ability to work as part of a team. Teamwork includes exploring, shaping and agreeing on a common goal that can belong to both the team and the individual members. The most important aspect of any team is adaptability. When a team member is adaptable, it not only means that the person is team-oriented, but also secure, creative and service-focused. Adaptability in a corporate setting requires the individual to be a life-long learner. By continuously learning, a team member can allow for the creation of a solid foundation that sets the team up for success in the long run. When an individual stops learning, that person become rigid and unable to effectively cooperate with team members. Consequently, being a life-long learner is one of the strongest determinants of whether an individual has soft skills that contribute to success.
Critical Thinking Skills
Critical thinking skills, such as problem-solving and decision-making, are another large component of having effective soft skills. Companies hiring potential applicants agree that problem-solving is one of the most desirable qualities an applicant can possess. This is because employers find that problem solvers are purpose-driven and future-minded.
In addition to problem-solving, decision-making allows individuals to succeed within a company. When making decisions, it is important to allow our goals and objectives to remain in place despite obstacles that might arise. When the ideal option is not reasonable, is it important for the individual to be able to search for alternatives that will allow the goals to stay the same. When the goal has been achieved, the individual with successful decision-making skills will gather information, reevaluate, reassess and learn from the experience.
Note that individuals with effective soft skills are able to utilize multiple skills in the same situation.
It is important for individuals to have the preceding soft skills; however, it is next to impossible to articulate any message without effective communication skills. An effective communicator can coordinate and deliver information within a time frame that makes sense. That same communicator will make sure the correct message is being presented and that the receiver has understood the desired message.
With these soft skills, any employer or potential employee can become more effective at working with others, thinking critically and communicating.
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