What are soft skills and why they are important in the workplace?

Why soft skills are important

“Soft skills” are defined as a set of personal attributes, behaviors, and social attitudes that enable individuals to interact effectively with others in a workplace or social environment. These skills are essential for building healthy relationships, communicating effectively, solving problems, and collaborating with others.

There is nothing soft about the impact of not possessing these “soft skills” on someone’s career, be it in the interview process or on the job. In a day and age where most of our interactions take place on a screen, the loss of our ability to make eye contact in conversation is one example of a soft skill often missing and greatly undermining your interaction with a prospective employer, co-worker or boss. While important, eye contact is just the first step in delivering the type of employee your employer is looking for. Some of the critical attributes include, but are not limited to:

  • Time Management: How you manage your time says a lot to your teammates about how much you value their time, especially when you are working with others on a project, which leads to the next soft skill attribute.
  • Teamwork: How well you work with others will determine your trajectory and potentially your longevity as the “soft skills” of:
  • Interpersonal skills. Communication. Adaptability. Problem-solving. Creativity. Leadership. These will all play a role in what type of colleague you will be. In fact, common synonyms for colleague include:  aide, ally, assistant, buddy, co-worker, companion, comrade, friend, partner, teammate. Everyone one of which is the byproduct of having effective “soft skills”.

Being conscious of these “soft skills” will not only make you a better interview, co-worker and employee, they will make you a better friend, partner, parent and friend, hard tangible results coming from mastery of “soft skills”.

The US Department of Labor views these skill important enough to have the following article Soft Skills: The Competitive Edge (link below) on their website.