There are a number of definitions for “soft skills.”
One that I particularly like is:
“The personal attributes you need to work harmoniously with other people and succeed in the workplace.”
Another good one is:
“Desirable qualities for certain forms of employment that include common sense, the ability to deal with people, and a positive, flexible attitude.”
That last definition was interesting. “Desirable qualities for certain forms of employment…” — does that mean there are certain forms of employment where common sense, the ability to deal with people and a positive, flexible attitude are not important or desirable?
Perhaps that is the case, and if so, it brings us to the subject of this tip: “Are soft skills eroding?”
In my humble opinion, the most important soft skill is the ability to communicate…and communicate well.
That means being able to look at the person you’re talking to, giving them a clear statement of your ideas, listening exceptionally well and properly acknowledging the other person…and at the end of a communication, both parties fully understanding each other.
Kind of important, right?
Well, that soft skill may very well be eroding. Are you observing that in your interviews? In the performance of some of your new hires?
Is the skill of communication eroding because we are spending too much time looking at our phones, at our computer screens and not at each other?
Whatever the reason, YOU should not let your interest in soft skills wane. They are vital to the success of any business and a good number of business problems can be traced to employees deficient in them.
So, I’ll make a strong suggestion here. Regardless of who shows up to be interviewed, do not compromise on the soft skills. Hard skills can be taught…the soft ones, not so easily.
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