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Are soft skills more relevant than technical skills in the corporate world?

Updated: Aug 2, 2022

Soft Skills are extremely important for one’s career growth as technical skills can help you in getting a job however, soft skills or interpersonal skills help you sustain and achieve specific goals. Soft Skills are considered important as they assist in the growth of the company or team management. James C. Humes, a renowned author once said, “The art of communication is the language of leadership.”

What are Soft Skills?

Soft Skills are interpersonal skills that delineate one’s personality traits. They include one’s attitude, flexibility, motivation, and etiquette. Soft skills play a vital role in one’s growth. They are tremendously significant that employers often decide to choose the employees based on the soft skills and even the promotion also highly depends on soft skills not only on hard or technical skills.

Soft Skills not only help in professional growth but personal as well. It really makes one a better individual. According to LinkedIn’s 2019 Global Talent Trends report, 89 percent of recruiters say when an employee doesn’t fit in the workplace, it is usually due to the lack of soft skills.

Key soft skills that make one peerless and stand apart from the competitors are-

● Communication Skills

Communication Skills are considered to be a predominant skill as effective communication brings the required synergy in the team. It is quite important to motivate employees from time to time. Employers want employees who can’t only communicate their ideas well with the right choice of words and politeness but also have the ability to listen empathetically to others. In communication skills, people tend to understand communication is all about choosing the right words and miss the indispensable part of it i.e listening. Communication begins with patient listening that leads to grasping the conversation with curiosity or further questions and finally decoding the messaging by the receiver followed by the feedback if needed.

With the rapid growth of AI and Technology, job opportunities are increasing and life is becoming less challenging. However, technology can never take over communication. Communication is considered highly important, nowadays, even Robots and chatbots are being developed with a sense of humor but it doesn’t mean that it can take over humans rather it introduces a concept of human-assisted artificial intelligence. Hence, effective communication has become paramount for companies.

● Leadership skills

Leadership Skills is a subset of communication skills. If the leader has the quality of utilizing the communication skills with positive intent and right energy along with a creative mindset then that person can become a good leader. Leadership is a skill that needs to be continuously developed and worked on as it comprises the following skills - self-development, critical thinking and strategizing, ethical practice and an unbiased work environment. Open to feedback and innovation are other important indicators.

The current problem with aspiring leaders is that they are aware of the leadership qualities but don’t implement them in their practices. The tenth guru of Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh Ji is a perfect example of a spiritual and effective leader. The leader whose motive was to spread a message ‘manas ki jaat sab ek hi pahnchanbo’ – all of humankind has one caste and to abandon the caste system, Gobind introduced the concept of Khalsa and the ‘panj pyare’ (five beloved ones) who drank Amrit (nectar) from the same bowl belonged to different castes –

Brahmin, Kshatriya, and the other three belonged to the caste that used to be considered as low caste. This was a beautiful example of leadership and finally, when Gobind asked 5 of them to feed him with the Amrit, he clearly apotheosized his teachings because leadership is all about practicing what you teach.

● Time Management

In the Bhagavad Gita, it is precisely written that people fail due to five things: oversleeping, anger, fear, fatigue and procrastination. There are multiple skills that we humans need to work on but to start with time management could be the easiest yet effective to lead a successful life. Time management is considered life management but people who don’t value time can face real miserable repercussions. Time management becomes a problem for us because we don’t prioritise well and nod for most of the given tasks. It’s all about prioritising well and investing in something that gives assurance of growth.

To learn time management, another important skill that has to be inherent is to say “NO” however, it is another difficult task for humans but if one knows what to say to know and when to say no then life is calm.

● Attitude and Adaptability

Ralph Marston once said, Excellence is not a skill, it’s an attitude and the kind of attitude that one has towards the goal pre-defines their success. Hence, the right attitude helps you drive and be the kind of person you want to become personally or professionally.

At the workplace, the attitude encompasses the following skills - a commitment to the job, openness to ideas, innovation and something that is extremely important is the intent to help each other. When the goal is the same and still coworkers aren’t ready to help each other in achieving them then it becomes difficult to achieve in the first place. Therefore, the attitude determines your success.

Adaptability is a part of the attitude that makes one accept the environment they are in and the nature of accepting the changes in the surroundings is another step towards becoming a better individual. Adaptability at the workplace defines when one is open to feedback and modifications. Adaptability is considered to be the simple secret of survival.

Soft Skills can be learned and developed with time

It’s a misconception that one has to be born with the aforementioned skills. These skills are learned and practiced at every point in life. If one is keen on learning them then optimism, patience, and self-reflection is the recipe as it’s not a one-time thing but a lifelong process.

By Manpreet Kaur: Public Relation Strategist, Soft Skill Trainer, NLP Practitioner and Life Coach

Disclaimer: Kindly note that the above blog has been submitted by members in their individual capacity.

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