Soft skills refer to those skills which relate to how we work. They are the non-technical skills required for problem-solving and managing work. Soft skills include skills such as communication skills, listening skills, time management, problem solving skills, decision making skills and leadership skills to name a few. Certain soft skills required will be discussed here.
- Communication- Communication skills ae considered to be a very important skill required at the job. We are likely going to communicate with each and every person on the job at one point or the other. It can be clients, employers and employees, customers, etc. Certain skills required here would be the ability to negotiate, ability to persuade, writing reports, reading body language, presentation skills.
- Critical thinking- Critical thinking is very essential in whichever job one is performing. They are needed for understanding problems at the job, think critically to form solutions to those problems. For critical thinking, certain skills needed are research skills, problem solving skills, flexibility to understand situations, ability to think logically for every problem, willingness to learn any and every situation and their problems and how to go about the solution.
- Leadership- Not all jobs require leadership skills, but many employers will surely want us to develop this skill so that the employees adapt the ability to make prompt decisions. Certain decision making skills can also be the ability to understand conflicts happening at the work place, resolving conflicts arising, managing disputes between and among employees, motivating employees to perform well, supervising employees.
- Team work- Managers hire people who can work well with others. It does not matter whether the team will meet often or not, whether the team will work for every task or not, we need to work efficiently and at our level best with the team we have got. In team work, there are a few skills required such as the need to accept feedbacks, the need to deal with difficult situations, awareness of diversity and different minds and collaboration with each person, dealing with personality of every person, social skills and team building skills.
- Positive attitude- Managers will seek employees who have a positive attitude towards their work, who will be friendly at their workspace, will be eager to work around with anyone. Person with positive attitude is one who is confident, can co-operate with the people he/she is working around with, is friendly with everyone, is honest in his/her work, has patience and is respectful towards work.
- Work ethic- Work ethic is very important. Work ethic is something related to let’s say, being regular and on time at the workplace, staying focussed and optimised always, etc. A person who has work ethic will have the following qualities- will be attentive, will be dedicated, will be independent always, will meet all deadlines, will be punctual and self-directed and will be well aware of time management.
- Responsibility- Taking responsibility is a very important skil required in employees and which employers seekin every employee. Employees taking responsibility show a sense of ownership of the success and failure of any task handled. It brings a sense of initiative to make improvements in both, ourselves and the workplace.
- Self-motivation- Having a positive attitude towards work and the ability to work without being supervised is a very significant skill to be acquired by the employee. It makes an employee committed to work and minimizes supervision. It also shows that the employee can fit perfectly in the organisational structure.
- Stress management- Handling stress at workplace is also a very important skill to be acquired. There are 4A’s of stress management- avoiding stress, altering stress, accepting stress and adapting stress. One can avoid stress by taking control of the surroundings, avoiding people who bother us, skipping work which is not required at that point of time. One can alter stress by respectfully asking others to change their behaviour if the stress is because of someone, by communicating their feelings openly, by managing time. One can accept stress by talking to someone to reduce stress levels, by forgiving someone which releases negative energy in ourselves, most importantly, by practicing positive self-talk. One can adapt to stress by praticing not to overthink about matters, by building self confidence to solve that problem which make us stressed.
- Work-life balance- Work-life balance among employees as well as managers is very important. It helps in being motivated, will help reduce employee turnover, bring about loyalty towards the company. It can be balanced by learning to say no, when we learn to become physically healthy and give priority to our health and lifestyle along with work, when we increase our socializing skills.
- Cultural fitness- Many employers look for employees who can fit with company’s cultural values and beliefs. They have an understanding that an employee will be able to work in various different teams if he/she has the ability to fit into the company’s core cultural values and beliefs. It will help them understand the company policies better and will strive to work accordingly.
- Ability to network- The ability to network is a very important skill needed amongst people as it will help them to adapt to different people having different cultures, different personalities and will be ready to build a strong relationship with their colleagues.
- Attention to detail- Employers will love employees who give detailed attention to any task given to perform and this will also increase workplace efficiency, achieve thoroughness and accuracy in the task to be performed. It brings a long term perspective too when it comes to promoting employees at different levels in an organisation.
So, these are some of the soft skills which every prospective employee should have to exhibit. All of these are equally very important to be shown at the workplace as this will also help in building a certain character in employees and will help them in future to perform better. These soft skills are also required in life and not only in workplace. It will help in balancing both workplace and personal life.