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Soft skills to lead the world

2022-09-19  Staff Reporter

Soft skills to lead the world

Diana Mwanyangapo

It is important that we sharpen our focus on being more than skilled individuals but humane professionals who have what it takes to enjoy and endure within organisations and social settings. 

Soft skills, also known as common skills or core skills, are skills applicable to all professions, those skills include critical thinking, problem-solving, public speaking, teamwork, work ethic, and intercultural fluency. 

These contrast with hard skills, which are specific to an individual, a profession. These skills are very important in someone’s life either for employment or as a basic life thing, we all need to have communication skills, knowing how to approach someone and saying what needs to be said in the right way is important, at what time and what moment. You should know what to say when people are mourning or simply how to deliver the message to someone who lost a parent. 

We should learn to use euphemisms. It makes the person accept the message better.

Such skills are mostly ignored but are very important in our daily lives. To get and keep a job you typically need a repertoire of technical skills just like dentists need to know how to fill cavities, secretaries need to type 100+ words per minute and accountants need to be certified. Beyond the technical skills, though, which dentist do you go to? The one who is pleasant and takes time to answer your questions, or the one who treats you like a number in a long line of numbered mouths?

Mostly these skills are looked down on. It seems like these skills are not yet looked upon or valued, such skills as people’s skills are very much lacking among us, while your technical skills may get your foot in the door, your people skills are what open most of the doors to come. Your work ethic, your attitudes, your communication skills, your emotional intelligence, and a whole host of other personal attributes are the soft skills that are crucial for career success. 

You cannot be at the reception and not know how to help people, you don’t like people or assisting people in a polite way so that the person that you are helping can be grateful, let us not just get the job then that is it, develop soft skills within ourselves, it also contributes to the joy of our work. With those soft skills, you can excel as a leader.

Problem-solving, delegating, motivating, and team building are much easier if you have good soft skills, knowing how to get along with people, and displaying a positive attitude are crucial for success. Soft skills are undervalued and there is far less training provided for them than hard skills. For some reason, organisations seem to expect people to know how to behave on the job. They tend to assume that everyone knows and understands the importance of being on time, taking initiative, being friendly and producing high quality work. 

Soft skills should be put into much practice just as hard skills as they both work hand in hand with one another; we tend to assume that soft skills are an inborn or natural thing. However, it has to be taught to people. To some, it is a gift. But what about us who do not have it at all, am I not supposed to be taught how to communicate with people? Teach me how to educate the nation. I have the knowledge of how to teach the subject but how about speaking skills? If I don’t have those skills then how am I going to make the audience understand what am trying to convey to them, hence both soft and hard skills to be looked upon equally.    


What is skills gap? 

Most companies opt to employ people with hard skills or technical skills, knowing how to use computers and telephones without considering the soft skills of that person. Soft skills accompany the hard skills and help your organisation use its technical expertise to full advantage. If you are really good at getting clients, and not so good at retaining them, chances, are that you have a soft skills gap, if you have lots of staff turnover and have to keep retraining people, chances are you have a soft skills gap. When you have a lot of managers but no real leaders, we can also call that a soft skills gap.

In fact, if you are unable to capitalise on the wealth of knowledge, experience and proficiency within your team, you should be assessing the level of communication and interpersonal skills that are present in your organisation. 

It is important for an organisation to recognise the importance of the role of soft skills played within the team, do not develop the skills within yourself only but encourage its development throughout the organisation. It is much needed that an organisation practice soft skills, it contributes to the growth of the organisation and with that, an organisation can work and help clients efficiently. If you want to see whether the team has or is developing soft skills, one has to look at such things as personal accountability, the degree of collaboration, interpersonal negotiation skills, conflict resolution, people’s adaptability, flexibility, and clarity of communication. 

One must look at all these things for them to claim that they have it all at work. These all have a significant impact on the attitude a person brings to interact with clients, customers, colleagues, supervisors, and other stakeholders. 

The more positive someone’s attitude is, the better that person’s relationships will be. If you want to be successful, start by working on your communication skills. Be sure to listen attentively, and ask questions if you don’t understand something and you also need to work on your teamwork skills. If you are a leader, good communication can help you to inspire your subordinates to align with your vision.

Soft skills increase teamwork and influence cohesion among members of a team. People with strong soft skills such as leadership, communication, and organisational skills can work together to achieve a common objective and this benefits the organisation not just people with technical skills but without soft skills. 

Soft skills among members help to keep the team together, with good leadership skills, team members can be well poised to identify the right solution to the conflict at hand. However soft skills determine your level of success in your career.

A very good example is having leadership skills, which can help an employee get promoted to higher positions, a person with leadership skills tends to lead others into doing good things and other people will be inspired by that person because he or she has the quality to stand among others and give good examples, some says leaders are born but not created but one can learn to have such skills.

With your soft skills standing out as a person can help an organisation solve problems and increase the chances of getting a promotion, even when the company is recruiting, your people skills can help you to be among the employees who are retained. Technology is taking over and this means that developing soft skills will keep you relevant, as they are not easy to replace with technology. 

Soft skills are essential for your workplace success, organisational success, and personal life. A command over these abilities ensures a healthy work environment and helps organisations to survive in a hyper-competitive environment. 

The arts and humanities can humanise our world.

2022-09-19  Staff Reporter

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