Soft Skills and Their Importance

Working with hiring managers in several different industries including mining, health and safety, manufacturing and health care the one common denominator for skills from the Executive Suite to the front end office has been soft skills.  Most managers agree that technological skills are able to be taught in higher education or learned on the job.  Soft skills on the other hand are those skills that have people work well with others in their workplace.  These skills require practice to develop and are behaviors that are not easily learned.

Soft skills in this case refer to interpersonal communication skills, relating to others, being approachable, having a good attitude, being pleasant to work with, having cognitive or emotional empathy, and having harmonious interactions with others.  Mastery of these skills enables a person to engage and influence others.  That includes managing upwards and the politics of a work place.

Self-management is part of the soft skills repertoire.  The person with great soft skills leads with confidence.  They are also able to manage stress.  Another attribute is patience- knowing when to take action and when to slow things down until the timing for a change or process is more fully aligned.

Having a good work ethic in terms of being present to the situation, with a willingness to learn something new for implementation is part of having well developed soft skill base.  Lastly engaging in appropriate business behavior that mirrors ethic and integrity is a key aspect of the soft skills tool box.

What areas of your soft skills aspects need to be developed?

Need greater clarity – contact me to discuss.

Solo and Small Biz Change Agent, Marie-Helene Sakowski at