What Are 'Soft Skills'?
Soft skills are those "invisible" skills that involve interacting with others, managing your time, problem solving, and empathizing with others. They are sometimes known as interpersonal skills, essential skills, or noncognitive skills. In the workplace, these skills will determine the type of employee you are and how you are viewed as an employee and peer.
Difficulty with these skills can result in:
Difficulty with these skills can result in:
- Tumultuous work relationship
- Difficulty getting and keeping jobs
- Trouble gaining and keeping friendships
- Trouble with intimate relationships
Types of Skills You Need To Be A Good Worker
- Time Management: Being able to organize and plan your day as well as sub-manage projects and juggle multitasking can be a challenge for many. These are unfortunately skills that you need to posses to be adaptable and flexible to tasks that are required of you throughout your career. This falls under the umbrella of executive functioning.
- Organizational Skills: This can sometimes fall under time management, but goes beyond managing time and refers to how you keep your environment organized. If you can successfully manage your environment, it makes your job duties easier to perform. This also falls under the umbrella of executive functioning.
- Hygiene: Believe it or not, this often becomes a social issue! If you do not have good hygiene, it quickly affects your social standing at school or at work. Understanding why these issues arise in yourself or in others is important to maintain social relationships!
- Critical Thinking: This skill of breaking down problems into smaller components and developing logical sequences is key to advancing or having a successful career.
- Conflict Resolution: Being able to problem solve when a conflict arises. Whether the problem is with a customer, peer, or boss, you need to be able to solve the problem so that all parties are happy. This involves perspective taking and compromising skills.
- Adaptability: This skills involves being able to change based on the needs at the time or based on the situation. Being rigid in our thinking can upset others and cause friction in the work place.
Types of Skills You Need To Be A Good Social Communicator
- Identification of Emotions: You must be able to identify when others are experiencing an emotion so you can respond appropriately.
- Self-Regulate: You need to be able to stay calm and keep an open mind. A fixed mindset can make conflict resolution extremely difficult and lead to fighting and behavior problems. Regulation of your own behavior is also important. Keeping your hands to yourself, ignoring the behavior of others that you find bothersome, and accepting consequences are all important skills related to self-regulation.
- Understanding Workplace Rules: Knowing how to appropriately request help, ask for help, work as part of a team, and being respectful of others bodies, ideas, and opinions are essential to workplace success!
- Perspective Taking: 'Putting yourself in someone's shoes' is very difficult for some adults. Understanding what empathy is and why it is important is another life long skill that will take you far in your place of work.
- Conversations: How to start, continue and end conversations appropriately can be very challenging. Knowing when is a good time to interrupt a conversation, when you are talking too much, or not enough are very fine lines for those who are more concrete in their thought process and have trouble with 'gray area' that conversations almost always have.
- Conversation further encompass:
- Direct/indirect language
- Non-literal language
- Cyber skills
- Body language
- Eye contact
- Personal Space
- Understanding tone of voice
- Feigning interest
- EACH OF THESE SUBSKILLS HAVE THEIR OWN UNIQUE CHALLENGES!
- Problem Solving: This is another higher level language skill that is essential for daily life. Problem solving is learned from what steps are appropriate to take, and how to compromise and work together with others to solve problems.
- Self-Esteem: While often overlooked, it is important to encourage and teach how to have good self-esteem. Advocating for yourself is extremely important, as well as how to handle situations when we suffer rejection or bullying.
Will Employers Ask For Soft Skills On An Interview?
They won't directly ask for this, but will instead evaluate your abilities by posing scenarios to you and asking you questions during an interview. To learn more about how we can help with business communication skills, interview practice, and resume building, please click here. Soft skills can and should be present in your cover letter, resume, and during your interview!