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Soft skills in the workplace: Why do we need

Every time there is a hiring process or even exercise for giving out promotions at the workplace, the manager has to go through the dilemma of choosing one. It has become immensely difficult a task when it comes to seek the leverage between two individuals. But with time, the hard skills are being equally competed by the soft skills in the workplace.  The dilemma seems to have finally found the solution. Today, most of the priorities are inclined towards an individual with enhanced and efficient soft skills at the workplace.

What are soft skills?

Soft Skills basically provide us a reference to an individual’s character as well as interpersonal traits. Also soft skills are known to influence and determine the work and relationship of a person at work. Soft skills are those undermined abilities a person possess which can break a brick when it comes to work. A wide variety of skills like teamwork, empathizing with people, management of time etc. are all included in soft skills. soft skills can be termed as personal attributes which are responsible for influencing your interaction with people. Soft skills make forming relations with people, building trust and dependence, also enhancing leadership qualities very easy.

Technical skills can be mastered with time and effort. On the other hand, developing soft skills is very challenging due to the nature of being completely different from traditional education. soft skills are based more on your personality, character and relationships.

By 2025, soft skills like ability to solve complex problems, critical thinking, being out of the box creative, having exceptional management skills, and intelligence at an emotional level, will be some of the most fished out skills in the workplace. 

– World Economic Forum: Future of Jobs report

Are Soft skills in the workplace important?

The world is seeing faster advancement in the field of artificial intelligence. The AI is also becoming highly capable to replace our hard skills. So, the only way human can defeat the AI at workplace is through soft skills.

“Soft skills” differentiates human from artificial intelligence.

What do soft skills at the workplace entail?

There is no specifically formulated list for soft skills at the workplace. But down below you can find out what soft skills at the workplace entail,

Communication:

Communication is one of the very important and often taken for granted soft skill. It is a soft skill which is important for you to put across your perspectives and also to avoid miscommunication. This skill helps people make perceptions about you. It further, influence your relationships with people at the workplace. Here is how to improve communication skills.

Teamwork

Teamwork is the backbone of every profession. You will have to be good at team work for you to succeed in your field of work.

Time Management

Time management is an ability you need to master if you think you want to survive in a competitive environment. Therefore, it is very necessary to stop procrastinating and start working. This is one of the very important aspects of soft skills at the workplace.

Organisation skills

Sometimes, you are so clumsy that no matter the level of efforts you have put into something it manages to turn out a complete failure. Therefore, another soft skill that you need to have a strong hold on is organisational skills.

Critical thinking

Critical thinking is another boon in your journey for being the best at the workplace. As a critical thinker you are less likely to commit mistakes and more likely to serve perfection.

Writing

Writing is one of the soft skills that you need to have for maintaining effective communication through emails. It also helps in putting across your perspectives through PowerPoint presentations etc.

Leadership

Leadership helps you be in charge of yourself and therefore helps you manage better. This also results in a positive impact on teamwork. Thus, making leadership a soft skill deemed important. Leadership is actually a group of key soft skills or qualities which together make a good leader.

Why do we need soft skills in the workplace?

The time when technical skills were paid the most heed to has been left far behind by every employer. In today’s work environment there is a neck-to-neck competition between hard skills and soft skills of a person.

92% of employers (talent search professionals and various hiring managers) gives soft skills and hard skills an equal weightage.

– LinkedIn: Global talent trend report (2019)

The need for soft skills in the workplace is constantly rising. Therefore, you should always keep your soft skills on the forefront of your application. Soft skills stand as a demonstration of you being fully aware of your way to success within an organisation. Below are some of the important aspects defining the need of soft skills in the workplace:

Ensures a long-run

Not only an employee but an employer is also of the mind-set that the hired employee will be a part of their organisation for a long-run. So longevity at the workplace is ensured by every employee at the workplace. An employer makes sure that the employee is capable of growing at the workplace. This further helps evade the resource expenses on trying to seek a new hire. Having the soft skills like being able to resolve conflicts, having higher commitment levels and being motivated can help you be an asset for the company. Thus, making soft skills needful in the workplace.

Makes you confident in self

Soft skills incorporate in you being less awkward and more confident socially. The enhance social skills facility at you with the new found confidence to handle different issues at the workplace. When a person is confident, he is more likely to get through his perspective in different work situations. Thus, developed soft skills help you pitch your ideas with confidence and ease. You are most likely to get through an interview by your exceptional soft skills marking an impression on the employer. Bringing in use your soft skills can help you adapt to the new environment at the workplace very easily.

Helps you be reputed

Soft skills at the workplace will help you establish your reputation. Not only being equipped with soft skills helps your personal benefits but you will also help in the growth of your employer’s reputation. Your interactions with clients and business partners can be of great importance and influence on how people perceive your company through you as an employee. You can also use your soft skills to mediate various conflicts at the workplace gaining a reputation for yourself. Your soft skills determines the success of your social interactions. Successful social interactions will also earn you more reputation.

Exhibits teamwork

Having developed good soft skills helps you at the workplace by giving you priority when applying for opposition in a team. Hiring managers nowadays some are equally analysing both the hard skills as well as soft skills. Your soft skills give the ground to your employer to assess your abilities regarding teamwork and communication. It has been pointed out that no matter how exceptional the technical skills are, having a balanced set of soft skills will help you work efficient. You will be preferred and approved at the workplace for your soft skills like being flexible and being an active listener.

Ensures better relationship management

Maintaining and nurturing soft skills help you amplify and enhance your relationships at the workplace and also with various potential clients and business partners. Employees who can be trusted with maintaining the company’s reputation are always preferred. People with a good customer service proposition are always preferred at the workplace for the benefit of business.  

Helps in growth

Soft skills are known to provide you with the required flexibility to not only maintain your existing skills but also carve them out into a better version. Many people constantly struggle with taking feedback in a positive and constructive manner. This soft skill helps you with rapid growth in your respective field. Your soft skills are very much sufficient of helping you self-reflect and grow in the process.  

Keeps you systematised

Being very keen with work, and not ruling out details like managing time and your overall approach towards work determine your dedication towards the work. Organised working is also the indication of your reliability. So it is a very important asset for your future growth. Soft skills including systematised working are promoted and welcomed at companies.

Helps acquire initiative

Taking the self initiative can be hard. At the same time, it is among the most appreciated skill at the workplace. Being self initiative person will help you get hired and promoted towards greater success in your workspace. Having a way with problem solving makes you strong enough to take the initiative. Soft skills provide you the motivation to pitch your ideas that have Bin brainstorming you without no fear of rejection but with an attitude of correction. 

Find out if you need to groom your soft skills

Nothing in this universe is perfectly balanced. Neither is the Earth nor the humans in it. Similarly, every person can have a certain set of soft skills enhanced while another set very weak to mark its existence. For example, a person can be an exceptional public speaker and still have troubles interacting with people at a social event.

There are many instances of which can be prevented from being a fiasco due to the existence of those highly nurtured soft skills. Some scenarios that come to mind are:

  • Your client retention rate keeps declining in comparison to the competitor.
  • You are waiting to happen blunder when it comes to meeting deadlines.
  • Finding trouble in engaging people in your professional network and thus growing it.
  • You have to face constant rejection even after getting the opportunity to meet with prospective clients.

How can you develop soft skills?

You know you are on the path of self-development and awakening, when you start fishing out the areas you need improvement in. There are many methods to recognise and acknowledge your setbacks and turn them into strength.

Self-reflection is always a method for better and efficient learning. You can always introspect yourself to confiscate any troubles regarding soft skills that you experience. A word from a trustworthy friend or colleague can also help you in personal growth. Journals have always been a method to keep check of yourself and the necessary improvement in your skills.

Having a clear evaluation of your weaknesses as well as friends will help you formulate the best feasible improvement plan to groom your soft skills. Among the various available methods to provide your soft skills the necessary trimming, below are the most common one’s:

  • Smoothening up your soft skills by working in collaboration with the mentor to gain the required feedback and brushing up.
  • You can consider joining public speaking courses for Soft skills related to improvement in communication.
  • Getting a coach for the development of higher priority skills swiftly.
  • Changing your way of thinking. Though a mediocre appearing advice, it’s very effective when it comes to nurturing your soft skills which can be soft targets to anxiety, insecurity and negativity. Always remember to stay confident, enthusiastic and positive.

Conclusion

We will be walking into a world that will be completely different than the one before. Nothing can be found similar to a decade ago or a year ago or even a day ago. This calls for us to harbour our individuality. Soft skills at the workplace are one of such individual and stand-out traits. In a world where artificial intelligence is very much capable of replacing hard skills and technical knowledge, honing our soft skills at the workplace will help us succeed in the future. So, it is the need of the hour to nurture our qualities as humans and less as machines.

Recommended books for soft skills in the workplace

Article Credit

This article is contributed by Ms Rashi Arera. Passionate about writing, Rashi sees herself as an artistically inclined and intellectually dominant individual. Writer by profession, her goal is conveying knowledge while maintaining relatability.

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