Life and Soft Skills

Why soft skills are so important

Academic studying allows you to develop hard skills, the specific technical skills you need to do your job effectively.

While these are the achievements you’ll list on your CV, today’s employers seek more than this with more importance being placed on life and soft skills – personal attributes that enable you to interact well with other people. We develop our soft skills across a spectrum of activities

Hard skills are limited without a blend of life and soft skills

In most jobs, technical skills alone are not enough to be truly effective!

  • A salesperson with an unrivalled knowledge of their product and market will have little success if they don’t have the interpersonal skills needed to close deals and retain clients.
  • A business manager needs to be able to listen to employees, have good speaking skills, and be able to think creatively. All careers require at least some life and soft skills to make hard skills valuable.
  • A doctor must undoubtedly have the right level of qualifications, but all of this must be balanced with a host of other skills in order to be effective. Doctors are often under substantial pressure and need the ability to solve problems and make effective decisions, which in-itself requires leadership and strong management skills.  A doctor cannot “operate” without great communication skills, compassion and a good bedside manner!
  • A Chief Executive of a large organisation will have many years of experience behind him/her giving them the ability to reflect on different scenarios, have strong communication skills, be very capable of building relationships at all levels, be a strong listener and have a willingness to take calculated risks. No one is expected to have these skillsets early in their career but demonstrating that you understand them and can build on your own personal skill set will allow you to develop further in time.
  • A builder will probably require a balance of physical and soft skills. Undoubtedly, strength and stamina combined with building, architectural and mechanical knowledge, as well as maths, written and oral communication are all very important.

The modern workplace is interpersonal and the future workplace will rely on life and soft skills

Skills such as listening, collaborating with others, presenting ideas and communicating with team members are all highly valued in the modern workplace. Strong soft skills ensure a productive, collaborative and healthy work environment.

These are all vital attributes for organisations in an increasingly competitive world, no matter what the sector.

Vectors by kind permission

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