What are soft skills? Soft skills refer to a very diverse range of abilities such as:
- Analytical thinking
- Leadership skills
- Team-building skills
- Ability to communicate effectively
- Problem-solving skills
- Listening skills
Many people often refer to `soft skills` as `people skills` or `emotional intelligence`. Hard skills are the technical abilities required to do a job or perform a task: essentially they are acquired through training and education programs.
Importance of Soft Skills
According to psychologist Daniel Coleman, a combination of
competencies that contribute to a person`s ability to manage his or herself and relate to other people-matters twice as much as IQ or technical skills in job success.
Results of a recent studies on the importance of soft skills indicated that the single most important soft skill for a job candidate to possess was interpersonal skills, followed by written or verbal communication skills and the ability to work under pressure.
A constantly changing work environment - due to technology, customer-driven markets, an information-based economy and globalisation that are currently impacting on the structure of the workplace and leading to an increased reliance on, and demand for, soft skills.
Soft skills are not a replacement for hard- or technical-skills. They are, in many instances, complementary, and serve to unlock the potential for highly effective performance in people qualified with the requisite hard skills.