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SOFT SKILLS
What are Soft Skills?
WHAT ARE SOFT SKILLS?
 The phrase ‘soft skills’ is often used to describe the skills
which characterise relationships with other people, or
which are about how you approach life and work.
 Others phrases that are often used for these types of
skills include: ‘people skills’, ‘interpersonal skills’, ‘social
skills’ or ‘transferable skills’.
 ‘Hard skills’, by contrast, is a phrase usually used to
describe job-specific skills. Examples of such skills
include professional skills like bricklaying or
accountancy, medical expertise such as diagnosis
and treatment, or other skills that can be taught and
whose presence is testable through exams.
 Ironically, for many people, the so-called soft skills are
often some of the hardest skills to develop.
THE RELATIVE IMPORTANCE OF HARD AND
SOFT SKILLS
 Job-related expertise is essential in any
profession and in many other careers. However,
over the last twenty to thirty years,
understanding has grown that perhaps the soft
skills may ultimately be more important in
determining levels of success.
 That is, the hard skills are a basic minimum
necessary in order to operate in that particular
workplace. Whether or not you are successful in
your career may depend on how you relate to
other people and to work: the so-called soft
skills.
EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE
 Many people have characterised soft skills as those
relating to Emotional Intelligence, the ability to
recognise and manage your own and others’ emotions.
However, in reality, they go beyond that, and into the
wider realms of how you organise yourself and how you
approach life.
 The good news is that you can learn and develop soft
skills as well as hard skills.The bad news is that it’s often
much harder, and there is no easy measure of
success.Like hard skills, soft skills require a lot of
practice to make you really skilled at using
them. Unlike hard skills, there are no exams to prove
that you can do them. You measure your success in
developing soft skills in how well you manage the
relationships with those around you: family, friends, and
co-workers, as well as customers and those who
provide you with goods or services.
WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT SOFT
SKILLS?
 It’s hard to judge which soft skills are most important,
but this list is broadly what employers mean when they
talk about good soft skills and the skills which are most
likely to enable you to build constructive working
relationships with others, or to be a constructive and
helpful employee.
1. Communication Skills
2. Making Decisions
3. Self Motivation
4. Leadership Skills
5. Team-Working Skills
6. Creativity and Problem Solving Skills
7. Time Management and ability to work under pressure.
1.Communication Skills
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.
2. Making Decisions
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.
3. Self Motivation
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.
4. Leadership Skills
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.
5. Team-Working Skills
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.
6. Creativity and Problem Solving Skills
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.
7. Time Management and ability to work under
pressure
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 organising a
family or a team, and for making sure that the job gets
done.
Soft Skills / Employability skills

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Soft Skills / Employability skills

  • 1. SOFT SKILLS What are Soft Skills?
  • 2. WHAT ARE SOFT SKILLS?  The phrase ‘soft skills’ is often used to describe the skills which characterise relationships with other people, or which are about how you approach life and work.  Others phrases that are often used for these types of skills include: ‘people skills’, ‘interpersonal skills’, ‘social skills’ or ‘transferable skills’.  ‘Hard skills’, by contrast, is a phrase usually used to describe job-specific skills. Examples of such skills include professional skills like bricklaying or accountancy, medical expertise such as diagnosis and treatment, or other skills that can be taught and whose presence is testable through exams.  Ironically, for many people, the so-called soft skills are often some of the hardest skills to develop.
  • 3. THE RELATIVE IMPORTANCE OF HARD AND SOFT SKILLS  Job-related expertise is essential in any profession and in many other careers. However, over the last twenty to thirty years, understanding has grown that perhaps the soft skills may ultimately be more important in determining levels of success.  That is, the hard skills are a basic minimum necessary in order to operate in that particular workplace. Whether or not you are successful in your career may depend on how you relate to other people and to work: the so-called soft skills.
  • 4.
  • 5. EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE  Many people have characterised soft skills as those relating to Emotional Intelligence, the ability to recognise and manage your own and others’ emotions. However, in reality, they go beyond that, and into the wider realms of how you organise yourself and how you approach life.  The good news is that you can learn and develop soft skills as well as hard skills.The bad news is that it’s often much harder, and there is no easy measure of success.Like hard skills, soft skills require a lot of practice to make you really skilled at using them. Unlike hard skills, there are no exams to prove that you can do them. You measure your success in developing soft skills in how well you manage the relationships with those around you: family, friends, and co-workers, as well as customers and those who provide you with goods or services.
  • 6. WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT SOFT SKILLS?  It’s hard to judge which soft skills are most important, but this list is broadly what employers mean when they talk about good soft skills and the skills which are most likely to enable you to build constructive working relationships with others, or to be a constructive and helpful employee. 1. Communication Skills 2. Making Decisions 3. Self Motivation 4. Leadership Skills 5. Team-Working Skills 6. Creativity and Problem Solving Skills 7. Time Management and ability to work under pressure.
  • 7. 1.Communication Skills 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. 2. Making Decisions 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. 3. Self Motivation 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.
  • 8. 4. Leadership Skills 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. 5. Team-Working Skills 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.
  • 9. 6. Creativity and Problem Solving Skills 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. 7. Time Management and ability to work under pressure 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 organising a family or a team, and for making sure that the job gets done.