Soft Skills. Why do they matter in your professional life.

What are Soft Skills?

Unlike the “Hard Skills” that define your technical skills, “Soft Skills” are your human, personal and social skills, they directly refer to your emotional intelligence. It is both your “know-how-to-be” and your “savoir-vivre”, they represent your way of communicating with others and are much more important in the context of the work than you might think.

The importance of Soft Skills?

Soft Skills can make the difference during a job interview. Indeed, your career and your diplomas are important, however, recruiters are increasingly interested in Soft Skills and a candidate with fewer qualifications but with lots of soft skills can be preferred over another more qualified.

Soft Skills are very important because they’ll help define if you’re a team player, able to build a good relationship with your teammates and your customers. They also indicate if you’re able to evolve and adapt. It will determine whether it is interesting or not for a company to bet on your application rather than another.

It’s all your know-how that is represented by your soft skills, and that can be decisive whether for an interview or for your career. A soft skills expert will secure his position more easily and will maintain a good relationship with his company over time.

The critical Soft Skills to have

Communication

You are asked to be easily understandable in oral or written expression, you must be able to explain your ideas effectively. This is especially important if you are going to be in direct contact with the customers.

Adaptability

It is an essential ability, to be always ready to move on something else if it is necessary, without being limited to what was written or said at the beginning. One must be prepared to adapt one’s work to the various events that can slow it down, and thus be ready to learn new things to achieve it. This is an important skill if you want to stay in a company for a long time, your business may change in the future, and if you do not follow the trend, the interest in the business for you may decrease.

Humility

Knowing how to remain humble, do not let your ego take over. You need to be aware of the work and potential of everyone on the team. This will allow you to learn new things, but also to create a better atmosphere for the team. That skill is related to the two above.

Initiative

Be a force of proposition. One must be able to take the lead when the situation needs it, and not only listen to directives. Do not hesitate to give your ideas, try to move on a task that has been put aside if it’s important in the end. Even if there is a risk that it will be refused or that there is not more interest than it seems, the proposal could bring new perspectives and alternatives solutions. In any case, the proposal will be beneficial.

Teamwork

This is one of the most important things for an employer, to know if you will be able to efficiently work with your teammates. It goes beyond just having a good relationship with others, teamwork requires being able to tailor your work to fit into the work of others. It is necessary to have good communication (fast and oriented) and a constant self-questioning in order to achieve it. To develop your teamwork, you can try to practice Peer Learning, which will put you in a sharing dynamic.

Emotional Intelligence

It is both a cause and a consequence of your Soft Skills. The more these are developed, the more your emotional intelligence will be. It is the representation of your know-how-to-be. People with high emotional intelligence will be more likely to improve their soft skills over time. However, nothing prevents you to develop your emotional intelligence, with the implementation of a collective intelligence platform for example. It’s an excellent way for you and your teams to identify what skills are missing and take actions to develop them further.

What to do it if you don’t have any of these soft skills?

If you do not have any of these, do not lie about them. You may have others that are harder to detect. Do not hesitate, ask your entourage (family, friends …) what they think of your Soft Skills because they are the ones with whom you use them most often. It may be interesting to have less “classic” soft skills to create a little diversity in the company and have a real added value.

Honesty is part of this list of Soft Skills. There is no harm in recognizing a lack of skills, in this case, it is important to bounce on another of your qualities that you can turn into an advantage.

How to present your Soft Skills?

It may seem difficult to directly list your soft skills during a job interview or to write them down your resume (good communicator, adaptability …), that’s why you must focus on examples. Rather than just mentioning good adaptability, tell an anecdote: “In the past, I adapted to the evolution of my company by learning this management technique”.

Including Soft Skills in examples makes you more credible and will reassure the people who you’re presenting. But if you decide to put them on your resume, expect to be asked for clarification during a job interview.

Develop Soft Skills with ChallengeMe?

ChallengeMe is based on Peer Learning, so when you participate in a challenge on the platform, you will work in a team and it’s a good start for skill development as seen above. Your interactions will be done anonymously, thus allowing ideas to be told without fear of judgment. These challenges will also create an ideal setting for building collective intelligence.

“Know-how-to-be” and your “savoir-vivre” are two very important notions for ChallengeMe.

We truly believe that anyone can positively contribute to any given team, and through our challenges, we try to emphasize valuation, respect and competencies improvement for everyone.

In conclusion:

It’s important to be aware of your own soft skills and value them. You need technical skills to pretend to do a job, but your evolution and how you will be perceived will depend largely on your human skills. You will always be able to acquire more and more technique, however, it will be difficult to change the person you are and it is what will differentiate you from others.

Take the time to identify these skills and learn how to highlight them, you will have all the keys in hand to ensure good professional relations with your superiors and your customers.

 

Soft Skills. Why do they matter in your professional life.
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