Those who possess innate knowledge and technical know-how are one of the many people we can turn to when we are seeking assistance on a certain matter. However, are they really the right person to look for when you really want to be understood by someone? Technical skills may take one far in their career, but people skills or ‘soft skills’ may open up new opportunities that might not be immediately obvious to most.
The most successful leaders are not just those who can lead by example. Not only must they possess the work ethic to bring value to their company, they must also have the ability to uplift their subordinates onto the path of excellence. Such leaders are those that recognise the importance of soft skills; a rarity in a world which places so much emphasis on hard skills.
When an organisation evaluates people, the first thing that they will look at is their level of competence to get the job done. Of course, companies would not hire someone who can’t do the job. Thus, rather than focusing on people’s technical qualifications all the time, leaders should pay more attention on what might be lacking within the organisation.
According to Mindtools, soft skills complement hard skills, helping the organisation utilise its technical expertise to its utmost potential. For example, if you are really good at getting clients but not good at retaining them, chances are that you have a soft-skills gap.
Those who are responsible for a team must be able to recognise the wealth of knowledge, proficiency, experience, and potential that its members possess. If there are managers or leaders who are unable to do this, the organisation should immediately assess the quality of interpersonal skills and communication present in the company.
Good leaders need to be attuned to the way in which individuals listen, present their ideas and resolve conflicts. Doing so allows for the fostering of an open and honest work environment where people have positive relationships with one another. Such an approach encourages development within not just the individuals, but in the growth of the organisation as a whole.
When put into context, hard skills can easily be taught and learned over a period of time, but developing soft skills required considerable discipline, as they are linked with one’s character traits.
Consequently, conscious effort, practice and commitment to self-development will result in improvement of soft skills. Hard skills may look good on your CV but what will set you apart from the rest of the candidates is the way you project yourself and convey your message across the table.
When you are able to read others, it can be a magical gift that will help provide them with the means to navigate challenges; a few well-chosen words from you could have a lasting impact. Not only are they influenced, but you will be transformed in terms of how you see yourself and others, fostering your own growth and deepening interpersonal relationships on a professional and personal basis.