SOFT SKILLS

What are soft skills and why all the fuss about them?

Do we need soft skills? What is soft skills? How can skills be soft or hard? These are some of the questions which had time and again come up in various forums and discussed at length without any result. My experience is that after long discussions on the subject and sumptuous amount of snacks and beverages people go back with their own preconceived idea of the subject.

Soft skills or whatever we call it is nothing but a scientific way of developing ourselves. This in turn will make us better leaders, better team players, better spouse, better parents, better children --- better human beings. We need to look at the behavioral skills in conjunction with our technical skills and not separately. So the divide between domain skills and soft skills should not be there at all. If you lack the behavioral skills you may not be in a position to assimilate domain skills. So developing soft skills is like laying the foundation of a house on which you build your technical and business knowledge.

Soft Skills comprises effective communication and a high personality quotient – a quotient that defines the dynamics of an individual.

Soft skills are intrapersonal and interpersonal skills that determine a person's ability to excel or at least fit in a particular social structure, such as a project team or a company. These skills include competencies in areas such as Emotional Intelligence, communication, leadership ability, etiquette, conflict resolution, decision making, self-motivation, self-discipline, persuasion, etc.

The reason for all the fuss is simple. Experts ranging from psychologists to business and spiritual leaders, agree that one or more of the soft skills have the greatest impact on your level of success.

Another thing that makes soft skills so important is that they present a chance to level the playing field. It has been said that your IQ (Intelligence Quotient) gets fixed after a certain age but your EQ (Emotional Intelligence Quotient), your IPQ (Influence and Persuasion Quotient), your MQ (Motivation Quotient), and any other type of "Q" that you want to invent can be improved.

The most interesting thing about soft skills is this. Although it might be the latest term on the street, it's nothing new. A great book on soft skills, How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, was published in 1936.

The Ancient Egyptians wrote "Be skilled in speech so that you will succeed. The tongue of a man is his sword and effective speech is stronger than all fighting". So as you can see all the fuss over soft skills is nothing new.

To summarize Soft skills, also known as people skills, include proficiency such as :

Communication Skills                                           Business etiquette

Positive Attitude                                                    Interpersonal Skills

Social grace                                                            Negotiation skills

Team Spirit & Leadership Skills                         Motivating capabilities for both self and others

From Organization’s Perspective In most progressive companies, managers are looking for people's ability to communicate clearly and openly. Good soft skills also include the ability of people to balance the commercial needs of their company with the individual needs of their staff. Being flexible and able to adapt to the changing needs of an organization, as do being able to collaborate with others and influence situations through lateral and more creative thinking.

All these skills are soft and all of them are transferable to the workplace. Not only that, the best news of all is that soft skills can be developed and honed on an on-going basis through good training, insightful reading, observation and of course, practice, practice, practice. 

We at KnowledgeCorp help you to develop these skills.

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