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What are Soft Skills

What are Soft Skills?

Soft skills are synonymous with interpersonal skills like communication skills.

How you interact with the people around you forms the basis of soft skills.

Did you know? 

Emotional Intelligence Quotient (E.Q.) is the technical name for soft skills.

Two factors influence soft skills 

  1. Nature:

Our genetics determine nature. It includes the biological influences we carry. Some can argue about what our genetics have to do with how we interact with people but think about it. How often have you acted differently just because you were insecure about something that was not in your control?

Even though nurture plays a more significant role in shaping our soft skills, nature, when collided with societal conditioning, can influence how we interact with people around us.  

Example- 

Crooked teeth in Japan are considered beautiful, for someone who might be insecure about their teeth in a different country would act differently when in Japan. 

Now, this is not something ingrained in the stone. It does depend on how we are socially conditioned and how well we are nurtured to deal with this. 

  1. Nurture:

Nurture includes our environment, upbringing, and experiences throughout our lives. You might have gone through a rough patch, and now you are more calculated as a person.

How do you measure soft skills?

Even though hard skills are much easier to quantify, soft skills are a little more complex and hold underlying concepts of behavior and psychology. 

Quantification or metrics of soft skills

These are a great way to measure the extent of soft skills in a being. 

Here are some personality tests hiring organizations can use in the recruitment process-

  1. Belbin six-team role
  2. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
  3. Careers strengths test
  4. MAPP Career Assessment test
  5. Archetype test
  6. Big five personality test 
  7. Quotient test (Emotional quotient)
  8. Left-Brain/Right-Brain test

These are a great way to quantify your interpersonal skills or soft skills

  • Another way is to measure your achievements in negotiation or communication. 

 

  • What your coworkers think about you – What people think about you is not a concrete way to understand how well off your soft skills are, but if you agree with any of the perceptions, you can think about it and identify which are true.

How do you develop and enhance soft skills?

According to LinkedIn, the top missing soft skills for candidates include

Problem-solving, critical thinking, innovation, and creativity.

Ability to deal with complexity and ambiguity.

Communication.

To enhance your soft skills, you can-

  • Practice Active listening
  • Keep networking and learning. 
  • Learn the art of negotiation 
  • Work on your oral communication
  • Try to have a positive approach to life.
  • Enhance your confidence 
  • Self-care – 

Even the best communicator, when burned out, will not be able to deliver the results they can. For the same, you should take care of yourself by managing stress through good self-care routines, finding your triggers, and working on them. You can do this by dressing in what makes your personality shine the most, keeping your posture straight, and trying to make eye contact when addressing someone.

Top soft skills that are in demand amongst employers

According to LinkedIn, the Top soft skills that impress employers as of 2022 are,

Adaptability 

Communication

Critical thinking

Digital Literacy

Time management

Take initiative

Teamwork

Leadership

Proactiveness

Confidence 

Resilience 

Self-awareness 

Importance of soft skills

Due to the absolute rise in technology, Intelligent machinery takes up most of the physical, basic cognitive, and repetitive tasks.

In a world like this, soft skills play a significant role in determining the capabilities an individual has and how well they can put them forward according to a study, leaders who have good soft skills can increase the performance of their team by 30% There is science behind the need for hiring organizations to emphasize candidates with good soft skills as it impacts the level of productivity, impact on other coworkers, and delivery of work.

How to highlight your soft skills?
  • These are a must mention in your 
  • CV

(Hard skills are more of a necessity to mention in the formal documents)

  • Show don’t tell 

Soft skills will come in handy during the interview process.

It would help if you utilized these by adding them to the way you present yourself.

Example – If you are a great communicator and a witty person, utilize these soft skills during the interview by having a flowing conversation with the interviewee and woo them with these soft skills of yours!

when asked about circumstances that highlight your soft skills or hard skills, you can apply the STAR Technique for this

Example –

Position for an H.R.

“During the Pandemic, our business was falling short, so for our event management company, it was a blessing to have a big project in hand finally, but we were understaffed. I have always held a good repo with people I work with and kept in contact. This one time, I interned with an N.G.O. It had a good amount of volunteers, so I arranged a drive where the volunteers would help us with the event, and later we would give them resources like ration kits for underprivileged children under the wing of that N.G.O.”

  • Match them to the Job description 

Every job requires a distinct skill set. You do not want to mention how skilled a fisherman you are in an interview for a content writer.

Examples of matching hard and soft skills to JD

A teacher 

Soft skills – 

  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Empathy

Management head 

Soft Skills

  • Negotiation
  • Supervision 
  • Detail orientation

Soft skills vs. hard skills?

Hard skills 

  • Technical 
  • More quantifiable 
  • Gained through career, education, etc 
Soft skills

  • Also known as interpersonal skills, common skills, core skills, people skills or human skills
  • Less quantifiable
  • Shaped by nature and nurture

Key Takeaways 

  • Soft skills include attributes and personality traits that help people interact with others and succeed in the communications that take place.
  • Highlight these skills!
  • Find a balance between hard skills and soft skills. 

Now that you are aware of soft skills and how you can enhance them, It is your turn to sharpen your sword of soft skills and fight the battle to get your dream job, Rather win that battle!

Sanskriti Sharma Sanskriti is a content writing intern with beyond grades and is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. Her work ranges from Research papers, Articles, and Book and Film Reviews, and her qualifications are in Media Research, World Cinema, Digital Marketing, Public relations, and Behavioral science as well.

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