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Soft Skills: Definition and Examples

Soft skills sometimes known as transferable or professional skills are personality traits that can be developed through practice. Soft skills play an important role in both personal and professional life.

Different types of job positions require different sets of soft skills. Soft skills are aligned with the personality of a candidate. Soft skills are non-technical skills and related more to your overall personality and working style.

What Are Soft Skills?

Soft skills are personality traits. Soft skills are a combination of social skills, behavior, communication skills, attitude, and working method of an individual.

These are related to how you manage your work, interact with colleagues, teamwork, leadership style, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. Most of the recruiters check your set of skills and compare them with the ones required for the job.

Employers look for candidates with the right attitude towards work. Individuals that can work effectively in a team. The ones that can lead to the fulfillment of the company goals.

Soft skills are valued by all organizations. Enlisting soft skills in your resume can thus increase your chances of getting shortlisted.

Some of the most effective soft skills are:

  • Effective communication skills

  • Teamwork

  • Adaptability

  • Conflict resolution

  • Flexibility

  • Leadership

  • Problem-solving

  • Research

  • Creativity

  • Work ethic

  • Integrity

  • Work ethic

Why are soft skills important?

The dynamically changing job market requires people with both hard skills and soft skills. Along with technical abilities, effective communication, time management, and other personal traits have become essential.

Almost every job requires employees who have the ability to work in teams, engage customers or clients and bring value to the organization.

Candidates with soft skills are preferred because they can work in departments other than technical jobs such as HR, finances, and other managerial positions.

In a high-IQ job pool,soft skills like discipline, drive and empathy mark those who emerge as outstanding. -Daniel Goleman

The soft skills vary from the types of job positions. For example, a marketing job requires 'leadership' and 'communication skills' as the major soft skills.

Data analysts may require 'creativity, 'research' and 'organizational' skills as the prime soft skills.

Now that we know what are soft skills and why are they important, let us now have a look at the examples of soft skills.

Examples of soft skills usually sought after by employers:

Soft Skills: Definition and Examples

1. Communication:

Good communication skills can get you through life. Jobs require great communication skills because you need to work in teams and collaborate with people.

Communication skills are necessary to skillfully share your knowledge and experience. With good communication skills, you can get your message across the room effectively.

Good communication skills help you resolve conflicts and avoid misconceptions. And hence, employers look for candidates having strong verbal and non-verbal communication skills.

Examples of communication skills are:

  • Active listening

  • Empathy

  • Conflict resolution

  • Organization

  • Speaking with confidence

Soft Skills: Definition and Examples

2. Problem-solving:

Problem-solving skill is the ability to handle difficult and uncertain situations in the workplace.

Problem-solving skills help you identify the cause of the problem and reach the most economic solution.

Problem-solving skills are directly related to the profit and loss of the organizations and so, people with great problem-solving abilities are highly valued by the companies.

Being able to solve a problem with minimum time and effort can help you stand out from the crowd.

Examples of problem-solving skills are:

  • Active listening

  • Decision-making

  • Creativity

  • Research

  • Risk management

  • Teamwork

Soft Skills: Definition and Examples

3. Creativity:

Creativity can make you extraordinary. Creativity emerges from curiosity and can lead to innovation.

Creativity needs courage. And people with creative minds can give different perspectives on a situation.

A creative person can find new methods to perform tasks and improve their quality. They can help to develop new and exciting ways to expand the business and can increase the company's profit and revenue.

And so, creativity or creative problem solving is one of the soft skills, possessing which can set you apart.

Creativity comes through:

  • Curiosity

  • Adaptability

  • Positive thinking

  • Learning from others

  • Open-mindedness

  • Taking calculated risks

4. Adaptability:

The interviewer prefers the candidate who can easily adapt to the changes. Adaptability is important in a start-up company or a technology-driven area.

The technology in this era is rapidly changing. And hence, one must stay updated. The job market is changing and one must adapt quickly to these changes.

Employers look for candidates with a will to change and adjust themselves according to the situations.

Adaptability skills include:

  • Consistency

  • Organization

  • Optimism

  • Flexibility

Soft Skills: Definition and Examples

5. Work ethic:

Work ethic is the ability to do the work with determination and dedication. A strong work ethic can create a high value for your organization.

It can help you to develop a positive relationship with your employer, your clients, and your colleagues.

Employees with a strong work ethic are reliable, disciplined, and dedicated therefore they may receive special projects and earn opportunities for promotion.

Work ethics ensure:

  • Attention to detail

  • Integrity

  • Persistence

  • Time management

These were some of the most commonly required soft skills. You can inculcate and improve on your soft skills with consistent effort and practice.

Listed below are a few tips that can help you improve your soft skills.

How to improve your soft skills?

1. Practice it consistently:

With a good amount of practice, you can improve your soft skills. You can practice using them in your daily routine.

Take initiatives to start conversations. Take part in tasks. Assist authorities in problem-solving. This will help you to get their guidance. Learn through online courses.

Look for opportunities. Practice public speaking and eventually, you can master soft skills.

2. Observe and replicate:

You can learn a lot by simply observing others. Observe the people around you. Look how people behave, the way they talk, the way they walk.

See how confidently do they carry themselves and you can improve yourself accordingly. You can try to adopt their working style.

See how efficiently they carry out a task. You can try to do the same. Observe them, learn from them and try to replicate their good habits.

3. Set goals to improve on your soft skills:

Set goals. Make a plan and achieve them. You can set goals for improving your soft skills. Analyze where you lack.

Find out the areas where you need to improve. Accordingly, make a plan to improve. Go ahead with determination and consistency and you will surely improve on your soft skills.

4. Find resources to help you learn:

Several resources are available online that can help you learn and improve your soft skills. Go through books, take online courses.

Participate in discussion forums. Make use of projects that give you hands-on experience. Attend workshops and seminars. Listen to podcasts. Internet is flooded with knowledge and resources.

Make use of them to gain as much knowledge as you can. To make a strategy for improving the soft skills.

With the help of the above-listed tips, you can improve your soft skills and stand out in this competitive job market.

Possessing soft skills adds up to a feather in your crown. Softs skills are greatly valued in today's era and can increase your chances of getting hired.

Soft skills showcase your personality. A person with a great personality catches everyone's attention and is usually liked by all.

Thus it is very important to possess and improve one's soft skills in order to get a job. Keep practicing. Be consistent and motivated and you will surely win.

What are the strongest soft skills that you possess? Let us know in the comments.


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