September 4, 2020

Soft Skills: Types and Examples

Anshika Awasthi

Chances are, for every 10 supervisors you’ve worked with throughout your career, you’d probably want to work for only two or three of them again. And that’s if you’re lucky. The ways people get along and work efficiently together are often called “soft skills”.

What are soft skills

Soft skills are set of non-technical, interpersonal, personality-specific traits. They are non-measurable qualities like critical thinking, communication skills, teamwork, negotiation skills, leadership skills which people develop over time.

Soft skills are an emotional sine qua non (necessary) of psychological survival. Typically, it is subjective which makes it difficult to measure. Now a day’s soft skills are a prerequisite to students, job-seeking individual or anyone who wants to make their way up.

Employers typically look for job applicants with soft skills because they can efficiently collaborate and communicate with team members. While hard skills such as technical knowledge are used as a prime requirement for jobs, the possession of soft skills is considered essential, in some cases even more important than technical knowledge.

On essence, soft skills are important for your success in the workplace, your company’s success and even your personal life.

Importance of soft skills

Soft skills play a significant role in professional as well as personal life. They help excel in the workplace, establish relationships, networking or creating referral market, in the corporate world. A person possessing soft skills stands out in a crowd of the highly competitive world of job seekers with ordinary skills and talents.

In a survey conducted by Coursera, 93% of employers find soft skills as an “essential” factor in hiring decisions. These skills help evaluate the long term goal of a person. For example, a person with leadership skills has a higher probability than a person with technical skills to succeed fast.

The ever-changing shift in technology and management pays so much attention to soft skills than hard skills.  A valuable employee is the one who can grow and learn business changes and grow. Hard skills contribute to the growth but the long term strategy planning route comes to a person with soft skills.

Technical skills aren’t just enough to make a person stand out in the crowd. Technical expertise along with an excellent communication skill is what is required to land an executive to cut a deal with customers. It is essential to be technically sound, but one should have the ability to convey the idea to the masses in the simplest possible manner.

Planning is necessary but the execution is really important. And it takes soft skills to execute the idea as it requires dealing and collaborating with people directly.

Types and examples of soft skills

Communication

We call communicate every day, via speed, body language, audio-video, texts, emails. But just the fact we communicate does not mean we’re good at it.

Communication skill is the ability to express yourself clearly and concisely, in a way that things are understood and implemented. A person with effective communication skill can negotiate well, resolve conflicts, dealings, agreements in that profits oneself. Today’s workplace requires professionals to possess eminent communicative skills like which also involve:

  • Conflict resolution
  • Active listening
  • Confidence
  • Negotiation
  • Writing skills
  • Public speaking
  • Networking
  • Nonverbal communication
  • Empathy

Problem-solving

Problem-solving is the ability to identify and resolve the issue quickly and effectively. It is one of the key skill that employers seek in job applicants. Problem-solving involves using industry knowledge to fix an issue. It is a learned skill which comes by familiarizing yourself with issues in your industry and from more experiences.

Some key problem-solving skills involve:

  • Analysis
  • Creativity
  • Research
  • Decision making
  • Teamwork
  • Dependability
  • Active listening
  • Troubleshooting

Creativity

With the complexity of global communication and huge changes in our medium of communication through social media and digital mediums, creativity is a skill that makes you stand out in the crowd.

Creativity is incorporating different skills and using them it a way that fix issues, improve tasks and open different exiting avenues of fixing problems.

Furthermore, businesses worldwide have become more complex and competitive. Business with multiple markets around the globe is in constant need of employees who can offer creativity to operate tasks effectively. In the race of being “first”, creativity will be an essential skill.

Creativity skills can involve:

  • Innovation
  • Curiosity
  • Open-mindedness
  • Learning from others
  • Experimentation

Adaptability

At the moment of writing this, we’re in the middle of a global pandemic. All over the world, people are losing jobs. The workplace is going remote. People in the market are losing jobs while some company are making profits.

Adaptability is a skill of analyzing and finding alternative working style in times of situation changes. Adaptable employees don’t sit around and mope when the market goes down. They find solutions.

Some adaptability skills are:

  • Optimism
  • Open-mindedness
  • Enthusiasm
  • Patience
  • Consistency
  • Growth mind-set

Work ethic

Work ethic is the ability to maintain and follow through tasks and duties in a timely and quality manner. In a workplace, work ethic It is an attitude of determination and dedication towards one’s job. A strong work ethic resonates to a hard-working character with strong moral principles. These characters make them stand out, it involves:

  • Professionalism
  • Cooperation
  • Integrity
  • Responsibility
  • Dedication
  • Reliability

Bottom Line

And with this, you have yourself a concrete understanding of soft skills. Keeping a running list of what you are working on and evaluating its outcome will help you create a quantifying analysis of your soft skills. Do not sell yourself by vaguely describing yourself as someone possessing so-called soft skills but instead focus on framing and practically recognizing their importance whatever you do.

About the author

Competitive, real; loves to keep working for what it wants. An extrovert who lives by her own ideas and methods.


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