To do your job effectively, you need what are called “hard skills”: technical knowledge and specific knowledge about the area for which you are responsible.
But in the ever-changing world of work,soft skills“Less promotion can be just as important, if not more important.
These skills are more nuanced, even if they are simple: Think about the personal characteristics and behaviors that make a strong leader or a good team member.
Especially in the midst of the normalization of remote work, as collaboration and innovation methods have changed, companies are beginning to realize the importance of these intangibles. By building diverse and successful teams.
As a result, employers are increasingly thinking about a candidate’s personal skills as much as they do about his or her obvious technical expertise and specialties, experts say.
Some of these soft skills may be innate: There are personality traits that make a person A Good natural communicator or analytical thinker.
Those who do not have it can develop and master it, as well as learn how to display it.
And that, experts say, is something we should all do.
what are they?
There is no specific list of soft skills, but the term mainly refers to Skills that transcend technology.
Confidence in certain software, for example, is a difficult skill. Knowing how to analyze different software packages to figure out what a company should use requires critical thinking – a soft skill.
Another important area of interpersonal skills is Telecommunications.
Effective communication with colleagues, clients and management requires skill and emotional intelligence. Empathy, Teamwork and Compassion They are also skills that fall under the same umbrella.
Eric Fraser, author of The Psychology of Top Talents and Assistant Professor of Psychology at Yale University School of Medicine, says the term “soft skills” itself is just language.
“From a behavioral science point of view, it really refers to a number of mindsets and behaviours.
“Some examples of a soft skills mindset might be someone who is a continuous learner or someone who is very resilient. Many behaviors (Critical thinking, active listening, and imaginative problem solving, to name a few) are also interpersonal skills.
The same skills that allow workers to operate successfully within the company hierarchy and rise to the top also lead to successful personal relationships.
He continues, in essence, the term is just another way of saying “Interpersonal skills”.
“It has to do with a person’s sense of identity and how they relate to others.”
Many soft skills are very practical, such as Efficiency, prioritization, organization and time managementAll features that are becoming increasingly important for remote workers and hybrid workers.
“High performers have the discipline to organize their day and are very effective within a set time frame,” Fraser says.
And soft skills are not only useful on the job, Usually invaluable.
As many high-tech parts of the job become increasingly automated or are replaced by technological tools, companies are looking for employees who can solve problems, juggle increased responsibilities, and work well with others.
The current labor shortage is also causing organizations to focus on longevity: employees with the interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence to rise to leadership positions offer much more value.
Also, soft skills It is becoming more and more important in the post-pandemic job landscape and largely remote.
For example: Communication tends to be more subtle and complex when workers do not see each other face to face with their colleagues. Adaptability is also a soft skill, and the past two years have required a lot of it.
As a result, employers are actively looking for candidates who have these intangible assets.
And in all job opportunities, of the 10 most in-demand skills, 7 were “soft” skills, including Communication, problem solving and planning.
The same report showed that certain types of jobs prioritized soft skills more: they were the most sought-after qualifications for 91% of management positions, 86% of business operations functions and 81% of engineering positions, a fact that may come as a surprise, as it is generally considered a technical field.
“When we look at today’s workforce, there has certainly been a shift toward demanding more of what I call ‘tacit knowledge’ and ‘tacit skills,’…which means you’re good at what you do,” Fraser says. Meaning, if you’re an engineer, you’re expected to be good at coding or design, or if you’re in finance, at digital data analysis. ”
The change, he says, is that “There is a deeper understanding in people Come First, before performing“.
Not to say that technical skills have been forgotten, he adds, but companies are increasingly realizing that emphasizing the soft skills that bind organizations together is what “leads to big results.”
Global Job Site Monster The future of work 2021: global employment outlook It revealed that soft skills such as cooperation, reliability and flexibility are among the skills employers value most in workers.
However, executives report that they have Difficulty finding candidates with well-developed personal skill setsAnd they’ve had it for years.
Part of that, Fraser says, is the difficulty in identifying skills like imagination and flexibility.
“Inventories and questionnaires don’t capture these traits very accurately,” he says. And candidates don’t necessarily feature these skills on their resumes or LinkedIn pages, although he adds, perhaps, they should.
Clarify your thinking
This increased focus on soft skills can be frustrating for some workers, especially those who are not inherently connected or “innate leaders,” Fraser says.
But he adds that these are the skills that can be learned.
“Those who wish to improve in their jobs, be better employees, or have a better work-life balance understand and appreciate the value of continually adjusting these mindsets and behaviors.”
We tend to realize our strengths, but to hone interpersonal skills You have to start by ordering Feedback to identify weaknesses and blind spots.
Improving it could mean forcing yourself out of your comfort zone. If you want to improve your imaginative thinking or problem solving, for example, try participating in brainstorming sessions with company designs.
Emotional intelligence can also be increased by developing social awareness, and learning how to regulate your emotions and sympathy.
In addition to improving job prospects, this has additional benefits: Research shows that people with higher emotional intelligence are less likely to be stressed and anxious.
In the meantime, hiring managers looking for these intangibles can tailor their interview questions to reveal a candidate’s soft skill set, with questions like “Give me an example of a time when you were flexible in your career” or “Tell me a story that highlights your open mindFraser says.
He adds that to better prepare for such situations, candidates should identify their strongest personal skills in advance and be prepared to demonstrate them.
The technical skills and experience on your resume will always be important, but it’s not enough: You have to convince recruiters that you have softer skills that will help you succeed.
* If you want to read artOriginal BBC Worklife articleclick here.
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