What are ‘soft skills’? Why are they important in businesses?
Published on Tuesday 29th March 2016
Figure One: Soft skills, Source: Google Images
Job offerings and future job success relies heavily on an individual’s ability to develop and utilise soft skills (Lazarus, 2013). Robles (2012, page 453) defines soft skills as ‘the interpersonal qualities, also known as people skills, and personal attributes that an individual possesses’.
Soft skills are invaluable amongst employers in the workplace, and the need for employees to demonstrate soft skills in his or her profession has increased over recent years (Chakraborty, 2009). Robles (2012) suggests that soft skills enable an individual to adapt to any working environment.
A study conducted by the Australian Government’s Department of Education, Science and Training in 2002 articulated the soft skill prerequisites that were required across many professions (Cenere et al., 2015, p. 9-10).
The study established thirteen soft skill prerequisites which ranged from;
- Honesty and integrity
- Personal presentation
- Common sense
- Positive self-esteem
- Sense of humour
- Balanced attitude to work and home life
- Ability to deal with pressure
The model by Cenere et al., (2015, p. 10) exhibitions that all the listed soft skills are of equal importance to employers.
An individual’s soft skills are essential to the organisation’s ability to function effectively both internally and in their industry (Z, 2011). In the workplace, an individual must be able to identify the problems or concerns that customers face and be able to identify was of solving these problems (Communication skills: persuasion, audience analysis, 2004). As a result, employers value their employee’s ability to effectively listen and communicate with consumers and customers to achieve better customer satisfaction (Top 10 Soft Skills for Job Hunters, 2009).
Below is my two minute self-recorded audio element.
Chakraborty, M 2009, ‘Impact of Soft Skills in the Professional Domain’, ICFAI Journal of Soft Skills, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 25-27.
Lazarus, A 2013, ‘Soften Up: The Importance of Soft Skills for Job Success’, Physician Executive, vol. 39, no. 5, pp. 40-45.
P. Cenere, R. Gill, C. Lawson, M. Lewis, (2015), Communication Skills for Business Professionals. Australia: Cambridge University Press.
Robles, MM 2012, ‘Executive Perceptions of the Top 10 Soft Skills Needed in Today’s Workplace’, Business Communication Quarterly, vol. 75, no. 4, pp. 453-465. [22 March 2016].
Top 10 Soft Skills for Job Hunters. (2009, January 26). Retrieved from Finance: http://www.aol.com/article/2009/01/26/top-10-soft-skills-for-job-hunters/1441226/?jwp=1
Z, D. (2011, October 1). What are soft skills and why are they important. Retrieved from Resume Edge: https://www.resumeedge.com/what-are-soft-skills-and-why-are-they-important/
Image Reference List
Figure Two: (on PowerPoint voice-over) http://www.connectionsacademy.com/Libraries/blog/soft-skills.jpg