What are Soft Skills & Why You Need Them
Communication skills are always top of the ‘essential skills’ list in any job advertisement. People with strong communication skills can build relationships (from the initial building rapport through to a longer-term relationship), listen well, and vary their communication to suit the circumstances. If you spend time on nothing else, work on your communication skills.
Valued by employers for many reasons, being able to make decisions is key to getting on in life. Sometimes the actual decision doesn’t even matter; what matters is that you have made one and moved on.
People who are self-motivated get on by themselves. They don’t need close supervision and they are good to work with because they are generally positive about life and can be counted upon to keep going. It also helps to work on your personal resilience and adaptability to change.
These are the set of soft skills that we least expect someone to develop by themselves. There are many leadership training courses available and much has been written about how to develop your leadership skills. Our leadership skills pages describe many of the skills needed for effective leadership and how to develop your leadership style.
Like leadership skills, there are many training courses to teach you how to work well in a team. However, there is also plenty of thinking to suggest that good communication skills, particularly good listening skills, together with an ability to build rapport will go a long way to support your ability to work well in a team.
Creativity and problem-solving skills are highly valued because they are hard to develop. There are many people who believe that creative thinkers are born, not made, and there are certainly some people who find these skills much easier. But, like other skills, you can develop them if you work to do so and our pages on these topics will give you some ideas about how to do this.
Many would say that these two skills, which often go hand-in-hand, are more an attitude than a skill. However they can also be developed and honed, which is why we include them as skills. Highly valued by employers, they are also very useful for organizing a family or a team, and for making sure that the job gets done.