What are soft skills and why are they important?

Soft skills developing students

In this article, you will get a comprehensive note on soft skills. You will know what soft skills are? List of soft skills and how to develop soft skills on their own, what is the importance of soft skills? And what are the best books to develop soft skills? You will also know the difference between soft skills and hard skills. So, let’s start going deeper.

Nowadays, the requirement of soft abilities in the marketplace is high in demand. Today, learning soft skills became very important for all students, graduates, undergraduates, or working professionals because the marketplace is very saturated and it is very difficult to get a job only with technical abilities.

Even every employer expects to have all soft skills from its employees. If an employee does not meet their employer’s requirement, they have to face rejection. Therefore, it is very important to develop soft abilities in this saturated world.

What are soft skills?

According to Collins English Dictionary, soft skills are defined as-

“Desirable qualities for certain forms of employment that do not depend on acquired knowledge, they include common sense, the ability to deal with people and a positive flexible attitude.”

If we express it in an easy language then soft skills are such qualities that are required for any desired job and do not depend upon technical skills. For example, how to deal with people, how to have good common sense, how to face any situations, how to react to particular things, person and decision, etc.

List of Soft Skills

We have a list of the top 10 soft skills that are mandatory for all. We will discuss them one by one so that you could understand them perfectly.

List of Soft Skills

Communication Skill

The first skill from our list is Communication skills. It is the skill or art by which any person expresses his thoughts and ideas more effectively. It is so powerful that you can win someone’s trust and attract them within a very short period of time.

Either you are a student or any professional or anyone, if you want to do something extraordinary, you will have to work on your communications skills first.

Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills are the skills that are required to survive in this world both on a personal and professional level.

People with strong interpersonal skills have a higher rate of success. In fact, most employers are looking for people who have strong interpersonal skills so that they can deal with people effectively.

Leadership Skills

There is a common belief in our society that leaders are born, they cannot be made. But today, we have thousands of examples that teach us that anyone can become a leader if he wants to be.

The art of thinking and discipline are very common in leaders. They are the face of their team and company. In this age of technology, only that person will survive who has the art of leadership.

Problem Solving

Problem-solving skill is the ability that provides the understanding to face suddenly arising problems at the workplace. The problem-solving skill also helps in making good decisions.

We all face some problems daily which need to be solved but only a few people can solve that problem. A person with problem-solving skills grows very fast.

Creative Thinking

Creative thinking is to find out the solution to an existing problem. It doesn’t mean to create something new, it’s meant to have a different sight from the world, to think out of the box.
The great thing about creative people is that they never think that there are problems in the universe that has no solution. This thing separates them from the multitude. They always try to find out solutions for problems.

Time Management

Time management doesn’t mean to manage time but to manage yourself according to time. To have a timetable for daily life routine is the symbol of being successful in life.
You must have noticed, when you finish doing work especially the important and the difficult task, you feel relax and good. But when you finish that work at the desired time, your happiness is at its peak. This is why self-management according to time is very important.

Teamwork

The team is not a crowd of people who are present at the markets, fair, stations, and reception, etc. A team is a group of people with the same idea, similar dreams, and common goals.
When team people work hard in one direction or are active in an action to fulfill their dreams, this type of work is called teamwork. Teamwork is very important to achieve team goals.

Decision-making

It has to be remembered that the right decision is wrong when it is taken too late. The decision-making process is the process of choosing the right option from the various options within a short period of time.
Decision-making is very important for any organization or individual because we can predict the activity or action to take place in the near future. The right decision can also save us from many pitfalls and give us a chance to grow.

Flexibility/Adaptability

Adaptability is the skill of being able to rapidly learn new skills and behaviors in response to changing environments and situations. Our world is constantly changing and evolving and if we are not able to change with it then we will eventually be left behind.
The economy is changing all the time and businesses need to respond and adapt to the change to be able to stay in the game. Trends come and go, people change their preferences and we have to be ready to react when it happens.

Listening Skills

It is the art of listening and understanding an idea or thoughts. It is a scientific fact that we can learn better by listening. This is why a little child listens to his family members and starts speaking.
Today, there are very few people who like listening more than talking. We are becoming very poor in listening, our relationships are deteriorating on a personal or professional level. We should focus on this skill.

How to develop Soft Skills?

How to develop soft skills?

In the current scenario, every employer expects that their employees will also be trained in soft experiences. Sometimes you can run a show with hard skills but many times hard skills are not going to work alone.
Amazingly, many people have inherently soft abilities. But others require hard training to develop those skills. With serious training and serious practice, they can improve their soft skill.
The golden principles of improving soft skills are discussed below.

Positive Attitude

This is very much important that is related to the mindset of the people. If a glass is shown half-filled water, what do people say the first? Is it half empty or half full? So, that makes the difference in your attitude.

Be a Team Player

Every employer expects that their employees should have the ability to work with the group. When you work in a team, you can have a good understanding, you can solve a conflict also.

Strong Communication

For improving your communication skills, make sure you express your ideas, plans, and thoughts very clearly and without hesitation. Along with expressing your ideas, you should have a good understanding of what to speak, when to speak, where to speak, and how to speak.

Self-Confidence

To improve your self-confidence, you should have ample knowledge in your field, and also along with this, serious practice and trust in yourself make you more confidant.

Handling Criticism

Wherever you go, you may be doing good or bad, criticism will travel along with you. It will be with you just like a shadow. If anyone criticizes you positively, you should accept it seriously and tell them thanks for giving you that kind of criticism and improve yourself by keeping that criticism in your mind.

Importance of Soft Skills

  • You may be highly educated or knowledgeable, but it is your soft skills that actually matter. It is very essential to develop soft abilities in you not only to be a good human being but also to be a successful professional.
  • Research has confirmed that for any individual who excels in his career 75% of soft skills and only 25% of hard skills places a significant role.
  • It is all about emotional intelligence which is reflected by the manner in which a person manages his feelings in such a way as to express them in the most appropriate and effective method.
  • Almost all the positive aspects of a man and the values he respects will fall within the ambit of the term soft skills.
  • Soft abilities are all about how one should act and react in particular situations and with a particular person.
  • Any company that looks for students for their future manager, wants to see whether these students have developed these skills or not.
  • There are certain personality traits like respect for others, common sense, responsibility, integrity, sense of humor, personal habits, friendliness, optimism, hygiene, etc which we find as existing in a person.

Soft skills are very important for the overall development of a person. We must realize that at the earliest and start practicing them so that they become part of our character.

Hard Skills vs Soft Skills

Hard skills vs Soft Skills

To be successful in a career a graduate/ candidate should have both hard skills and soft skills. Both are equally important.

  • Hard skill is a skill you can gain through education, training, certifications, and on-the-job training. On the other hand, soft abilities are an interpersonal skill that is much harder to define and evaluate.
  • It’s often said that while hard skills might get someone an interview, soft skills will help that person get (and keep) the job. So, soft abilities are considered to be a complement to hard abilities.
  • Soft abilities are not for any specific field while hard abilities are designed for any specific job. For example, if you cook delicious food, then cooking is your hard skills and knowledge of knowing what quantity of ingredient should add to food, it’s your soft skills.
  • Soft skills include communication, leadership, management, problem-solving skills whereas hard skills include programming, engineering, doctor, technical, accountant, artist, singer, etc.
  • Soft skills are not easily measurable and very difficult to copy but hard skills are easily measurable and easier than soft skills to copy.
  • According to LinkedIn, 57% of companies give value to soft skills and only 43% of companies give value to hard skills.

Best Books for Developing Soft Skills

There are thousands of books for soft skills, out of them we have selected the top five books that must be read by you for personal and professional growth. These books are the kind of books that have lots of credibility and authority. So, let’s start our list-

  1. How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  2. Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi
  3. Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson
  4. Talk like Ted by Carmine Gallo
  5. Just Listen by Mark Goulston

These books are very significant for good communication skills, listening, public speaking, decision making, leadership, creative thinking, and time management. You must read these books to become successful in life.

Conclusion

Nowadays, soft skills have become one of the most important factors of getting any job. We can’t ignore the importance of soft skills. From a student to a senior citizen, everybody should have such skills.
Soft skills are not only important for getting a job, but these skills also teach us how to live life, how to establish good relations with others.

Learn, Grow and explore


The most important thing is that you can’t be successful only with soft skills. You will have to do proper importance both of soft and hard skills. Both skills are the complement each other. It can’t be divided. If you divide them, it will be next to impossible to become successful in life.


So, you have come to know what is soft skills, the list of soft skills, how to develop those skills, the importance of those skills, the difference between hard and soft skills, and finally the best books for learning soft skills. Now, develop soft skills in yourself and be the extraordinary person in your circle and ultimately in your life.


Thank you.

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