What Are Soft Skills?
Do They Make A Difference?
The term “Soft Skills” is not new, however it is only in recent years that the Corporate and Business Sector has come to fully understand the importance and power of soft skills training programs in the work place. When we put this skill set along side our work or ‘formal skills’ (hard skills) we double the effectiveness in the workplace. So what are Soft Skills, and why are they so powerful?
Some definitions are:
- Your knowledge and qualifications are why people might talk with you; your Soft Skills are why they will do business with you.
- Soft Skills are behavioral competencies. Also known as Interpersonal Skills, or people skills, they include proficiencies such as communication skills, conflict resolution and negotiation, personal effectiveness, creative problem solving, strategic thinking, team building, influencing skills and selling skills, to name a few.
- Soft Skills lead to great customer service, and a customer who has recieved great customer service will keep coming back and tell others of their good experience.
- A person’s soft skills are an important part of their individual contribution to the success of an organization. Particularly those organizations dealing with customers face-to-face are generally more successful, if they train their staff to use these skills.
- Occupational Skills or Hard Skills might get you in the front door, but it is the Soft Skills that will get you the business.
- Soft Skills are the personality-specific skills that determine the success of a person as a leader, a negotiator, a mentor, a mediator, an influencer and a communicator.
- Soft Skills are what matter most in dealing with the day to day running of a company.
- It is the Soft Skills that will have the biggest impact on your success.
The end result of developed Soft Skills in a company’s people, is improved relationships, increased customer satisfaction, greater efficiencies and a happier, more cooperative workplace environment.
We have all experienced doing business in some shape or form with a person who has not had the most developed Soft Skills. We also know the feelings that experience gave us, the emotional state and the frame of mind it left us in. Will you go back to that business? What are people saying about your business?
“The most important single ingredient in the formula of success, Is knowing how to get along with people”