Are soft skills the New Success Mantra – the new fad. Well the world has always known what it is that helps a person to succeed. Decades ago Dale Carnegie spoke about influencing people, Peale spoke about motivation and almost every time the general public has voted for the most charismatic leader, bought their provisions from neighborhood shop owner who happens to be the most pleasant.
Till very recently these skills were not looked on as a must have set of skills for upward progression of career. Knowledge was supposedly the only key. People gathered and safeguarded their knowledge to move ahead.
The modern workplace has raised this minimum requirement of ease with people skills up by several notches. The work place today is heavily dependent on collaboration and team environments are continuously changing. Team composition itself keeps changing in tune with the changes in platforms and technologies.
For someone low on soft skills getting a hold on these changing dynamics v=can get very stressful. Typical skills that one needs to help survive in a modern environment include
- – communication
- – interpersonal
- – negotiation
- – influencing and persuasion
- – presentation and public speaking
- time management
These are some of the skills that have become basic criteria for success in the modern business environment. Because the business success is directly dependent on these skills in an individual.
They are now assessing them on a whole host of soft skill competencies around how well they relate and communicate to others.
We now find it a bit shocking and somewhat disturbing when someone displays the old autocratic style of bullying management tactics (though we know it is still unfortunately far more prevalent than is desirable).
Nevertheless it is not easy to measure these sofskills.
The only realistic measure would be how the person is able to motivate his colleagues, bring in more business , retain difficult customers or increase the bottom-line.
In the majority of Modern , progressive firms the search is for employees who can engage impact-fully with their peers , subordinates and seniors and though that help the organisation engage with their customers and the ecosystem.And the soft skills are the tools of engagement.
If you look carefully all of the soft skills help a person in understanding the other person better or to influence the other person. Both keys to engagement.
Everyone already has some form of soft skills (probably a lot more than they realise)
They just need to look at areas in their personal life where they get on with others, feel confident in the way they interact, can problem solve, are good at encouraging, can interact with the best of them.
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, practise, practise, practise.