Recap of our “Become a CPA” Information session
May 31, 2016
Can you impress our panel of potential employers in 3 mins?
July 12, 2016

Why Soft Skills Matter

To get, and keep, a job you typically need a repertoire of technical skills. Dentists need to know how to fill cavities. Accountants need to be certified.

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Beyond the technical skills, though, which dentist do you go to? The one who is pleasant and takes time to answer your questions; or the one who treats you like a number in a long line of numbered mouths? Likewise, think about accountants. The one who has a great work ethic and encourages his colleagues is the one who will, most likely, excel in his position and organisation.

In these situations, and all the others like them, it’s the soft skills that matter. While your technical skills may get your foot in the door, your people skills are what open most of the doors to come. Your work ethic, your attitude, your communication skills, your emotional intelligence and a whole host of other personal attributes are the soft skills that are crucial for career success.

With these soft skills you can excel as a leader. Problem solving, delegating, motivating, and team building are all much easier if you have good soft skills. Knowing how to get along with people – and displaying a positive attitude – are crucial for success.

 

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The problem is, the importance of these soft skills is often undervalued, and there is far less training provided for them than hard skills. For some reason, organisations seem to expect people know how to behave on the job. They tend to assume that everyone knows and understands the importance of being on time, taking initiative, being friendly, and producing high quality work.

It’s important for you to recognise the vital role soft skills play within your team and not only work on developing them within yourself, but encourage their development throughout the organisation. Areas to examine and evaluate include:

  • Personal accountability
  • The degree of collaboration
  • Interpersonal negotiation skills
  • Conflict resolution
  • People’s adaptability and flexibility
  • The clarity of communications
  • Creative thinking
  • Inclusion
  • Coaching  and mentoring 

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The more of these things you see around you, the better people’s soft skills are likely to be within your organisation. These all have a significant impact on the attitude a person brings to interactions with clients, customers, colleagues, supervisors, and other stakeholders. The more positive someone’s attitude is, the better that person’s relationships will be. That’s what fosters great team performance, and leads people to contribute strongly to the organization’s vision and strategy.

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