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Understanding Soft Skills

Whereas Hard Skills are the job-related skills and knowledge required to perform a job and are typically easily defined and evaluated, Soft Skills are the interpersonal or people skills such as communication, empathy, and listening - much harder to learn, measure and evaluate.



Personal attributes, personality traits, inherent social cues, and communication abilities all contribute greatly to success on the job due to the inherently human nature of our workplaces. Soft Skills shape how a person interacts in relationships with others, are key to the smooth functioning of an organisation, and to its ability to maximise the talents of its staff members.


Typically, Soft Skills include personal aspects such as self-awareness & attitude, flexibility & positivity, work ethic & self-motivation, decision-making, creative thinking and time management. In working with others, it encompasses skills such as teamwork, networking, communication skills & persuasive abilities, problem-solving & conflict resolution, and empathy. Finally, for leadership, Soft Skills also include people management & motivation, ability to inspire, to build trust, and resilience.


These Soft Skills are much harder to learn, at least in a traditional classroom. For learning success and lasting impact, participants need to find themselves in an environment that allows them to let go of their current behaviours, and be open to new inputs & learning experiences. These experiences provide them with fresh understanding that transfers back into the workplace, allowing them to create new behaviours & develop those essential Soft Skills.


 

 

 
 
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