Liberal Arts & Soft Skills

Working with hiring managers in several different industries including mining, safety, manufacturing, and health care the one common denominator for skills from the Executive Suite to the frontend office has been soft skills.

Yes – soft skills – those skills that require having good to great people proficiencies. Most managers agree that technological skills are taught in higher education or learned on the job. Soft skills on the other hand are a learned behavior that is not typically taught in the workplace.

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. 

The person with great soft skills leads with confidence. They are also able to manage stress. Another attribute is patience.

Having a good work ethic in terms of being present to the situation, with a willingness to learn something new is part of having well developed soft skills.

It turns out that people with an Arts degree may have the right type of soft skills to succeed in areas that are uncertain and murky.  Why – because they are curious and willing to try new things; they great at decoding or analytics, and they communicate with empathy to others at all levels of an organization.

Marie-Helene Sakowski, Transformational Consultant, info@effectiveplacement.com