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Importance of Soft Skills

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Importance of Soft Skills & Soft Skills BuildingImportance of Soft Skills

You must have heard of someone of exemplary brilliance not being hired or promoted because he or she was difficult to get along with, not a team player, too rude or an embarrassment to the group, fails to speak out or express or defend own ideas. These days globalization and the ascendance of work teams in large organizations put a new premium on relationship building. The whole of the focus these days lies on these personal qualities – habits – attitudes – social graces, which if one has make him or her the person to work with. This cluster of qualities is called Soft Skills and they are necessary to compliment the Hard Skills and education. Without soft skills it is hard to draw attention of the world.

How to Develop Soft Skills?

While we know and also appreciate the importance of soft skills, we do not much think about them as traits that could be developed. Rather we mistakenly perceive that the social abilities are usually something that a person is born with. Although there is nothing like right or wrong when it comes to that soft skills are abilities, however there is certainly a line of demarcation of what is appropriate and inappropriate. No person comes out of womb with natural instinct or sense of appropriate and inappropriate. Soft skills are things to be learnt or developed though they are necessarily not the things to be taught. So the question naturally arises as to how to develop soft skills!

Simply put there is only one way – by following a role model! Observing an inspiring personality and following it, but of course not by copying or imitating. Developing soft skills is hard work. It requires strength of character, courage, readiness to face criticism and perseverance. There may not be a single person to be your role model but there may be as many persons as different aspects of soft skills. Hence now, before you start exploring people and pick soft skills from them, you need to know those aspects of personality which qualify as soft skills.

Most Common Soft Skills

Each organization looks for a different mix of skills and experience depending upon the business the company is in. Yet it is no longer enough to be a functional expert and just have core technical competencies the job requires. Following is list and description of most common of soft skills companies look for in a potential recruit –

1. Good Communication Skills : You not only have to be verbally articulate but also a good listener. Rather being a good listener comes first. You should be able to make your case and express your needs in a way that builds bridges with colleagues, teammates, customers, vendors or any of those category of people you may come in contact with.

2. Problem Solving Skills : You have to be go-getter, resourceful and able to creatively solve problems that will inevitably arise. You should take responsibility or ownership of the problem and express confidence that you can deal with it to find a solution. You should keep observing you role model in the approach followed by him or her to tackle the problem and handle the situation.

3. Positive Attitude : Attitude is the orientation of mind and when called as positive, is the main driving force towards progressive thinking. You have to be optimistic and upbeat which generates good energy and good will. It radiates from the person of positive attitude which not only makes the teammates confident but also put their best efforts to achieve the desired outcome.

4. Time Management : You should learn to utilize your time in right manner. In this modern age everybody has to carry out or perform many important activities in available time. Try to make a list of things or tasks to be carried out or performed in a day and then prioritize these tasks in different categories like – Must Do (works which cannot be avoided or important to do), Should Do (Works which can be done without spending extra time), Nice To Do (Which may be avoided for the time being or delayed). Time management is extremely important because it has cascading effect. If you fail to manage your time then probably you are causing inconvenience to others and affecting team performance overall.

5. Self Confidence : You need to keep cool in the time of crisis. Truly believe that  you can tide over the situation. You should project a sense of calm which inspires confidence in others. You should be courageous enough to meet the challenges. Take setbacks as challenges rather than difficulties. You should have strong belief in your own capacity and ideas. You should contribute your ideas fearlessly.

6. Accepting and Learning From Criticism : You should take constructive criticism as feedback and show enough resilience. Criticism is an opportunity to learn doing the things in different and in many cases in non-conventional ways. Criticism shows the gaps between thought process of yours and others who criticize.

7. Team Building : Teamwork and team building are both very important skills within an organization. In today’s corporate world you should learn to work collaboratively. Every person best in a particular skill and putting together multiple skills, of course, comes from building a team. It is interesting to figure out how each member of the team responds to a situation and accomplish a common task.

8. Presentation Skills : Being able to stand in front of an audience and share information with them is very important. You should be able to engage the audience. Apart from communication you require to have aptitude towards the subject being presented, you should have worked out enough details to satisfy the curiosity of the members of audience.

The above list may not an exhaustive list of soft skills but should prove a starting point for the readers which ones they are well in and where they need to put some extra efforts. Those skills are not impossible to learn however difficult it may be. Just one needs to be ready and assertive to acquire them. They are not acquired overnight, but give yourself enough time to acquire them. How much time will be enough? No has ever achieved perfection so to be a reflective personality is journey and not destination.

Also Read : Build Your Employability

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