What are soft skills?

Soft skills are those sought after behaviours and characteristics that we all demonstrate unconsciously and routinely. These skills are not about what knowledge we have in our field. They have nothing to do with the mechanical things we do every day like making coffee. These skills draw on our ability to work with others and make us better at our hard skills.

For example, a good high school math teacher doesn’t just know math really well. S/he knows how to keep it interesting for teenagers, explain difficult problems with practical real-life references, etc.

Soft skills are those skills that are outside a persons job description.  They can include personality — character, ethics, and attitudes.  They include  interpersonal skills — written and verbal communication, sales and presentation skills, and leadership skills.  They include time and resource management — drive, focus, decision making, planning, execution, and dealing with task overload.

Soft skills make you better at your job and they make you a better person all around. More people will want to work with you if you work on your soft skills. This will lead to better results at work, thus promotions, thus pay raises, etc.

Don’t neglect these. Don’t say I’m the best darn husband in the world! because you pay the bills on time. Don’t say I’m an awesome manager! because your division makes loads of revenue. If I asked your wife or employee what your relationship is like, well, that’s when you find out how awesome you really are. The fact is, if you’re soft skill repertoire is running on empty you’re not as good as you think you are at just about anything you do. Soft skills make you the best you can be. Hello raise! Hello better sex life! Seriously.

Disagree with my definition?? Please do tell – comments are open.

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