Let’s Talk About Soft Skills

 

soft-skills
Photo courtesy of Social Interaction for Better Tomorrow

 

Do not Panic if this is your first time to hear the phrase ‘soft skills’.

For the sake of the ignorant and the unlearned (I once was, and I panicked the first time I heard it because I have no idea what it was), ‘soft skills’ were already there and their importance were recognized in the 1900s when people and machinery were acknowledged as a necessity, when the latter has gotten sophisticated and the former, on the other hand, are needed to communicate efficiently about the need for adjustments and repairs.  Thanks to these two blogs I recently came across – first here, then here, which is the original de facto.

Before you contend that ‘soft skills’ are not skills, Collins English Dictionary has these word form definitions for skills:

  1. countable noun

skill is a type of work or activity which requires special training and knowledge.

⇒ Most of us will know someone who is always learning new skills, or studying new fields.

  1. uncount nouns

Skill is the knowledge and ability that enables you to do something well. [+ of]

⇒ The cut of a diamond depends on the skill of its craftsman.

That is why there are ‘hard skills’ and ‘soft skills’, not only skills, although they are both.

I have taken interest in soft skills because of an online training on finding the right business that depends on one’s own skills. I did not conceive it as that.  You know, that thinking where the budget is the foremost requirement.  Of course, it is, but your cash is only as good when you already have the ideas and the skills to use them.

But do you also know that ‘soft skills’ play a very important role in a person’s everyday life especially if he/she is in the workplace?  How much more if you are contemplating on having a business?  Experts say that these skills have to be developed from a person’s student life because soft skills training requires time to master. It is interesting to know this formula from Wikipedia:

Soft Skills = People Skills + Social Skills + Personal Career Attributes

People skills include a person’s ability to listen, the knack to communicate clearly, to connect to people accordingly, to empathize with other people, and even to work with other people.

Social skills, on the other hand, include a person’s ability to communicate and interact, verbally or non-verbally, using gestures, body language, and physical looks.

Personal career attributes include behavioral and personality traits that vary from person to person.

Without our soft skills, it would be difficult to execute our hard skills (also called technical skills) as effective as they are required.  How then can one say that there is no such thing as ‘soft skills’ or that one’s ability to communicate effectively is not a skill?  Thanks to people like Van Lith, and others, whose goal is to educate people about soft skills, and how important they are combined with our learned hard skills.

I believe that no person is void of any skill contrary to what others believe that some people do not possess any.  It is way too condescending to think too highly of one’s self as only the one that has skills.  Proof of the pudding is always in the eating anyway.

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