Why Soft Skills Are It
The impact of tech means that soft skills are more important than ever – which means that skills you already have may be more useful than you realized. While all skills need update, there are certain core soft skills that can transfer from one role to the next and have a lasting impact over time.
As technology transforms organizations, skill needs are changing rapidly, and companies are struggling to find the talent they need. ManpowerGroup's report — Robots Need Not Apply: Human Solutions in the Skills Revolution — surveyed 20,000 employers across 42 countries on the impact of automation, and found that soft skills that are of greatest value are hardest to find.
Developing soft skills can have an immediate and long-term impact on your career. The soft skills employers want most are communication, collaboration and problem solving, according to ManpowerGroup’s 2018 Talent Shortage Survey.
When considering professional development, here are soft skills that everyone should add or refine in their repertoire.
One of the ways to differentiate yourself is to become the person known for generating the greatest and most creative ideas for problem solving. This process shouldn’t be viewed as another thing to add to an already over-scheduled day but viewed as a means to create a competitive advantage. Follow this model for producing ideas to make the creative process more accessible.
In terms of communications skills, a sense of presence includes the gravitas of how you behave or act, how you speak and how you present yourself. These are skills that can be learned and developed. Seeking coaching and solid skill building in personal career management can guide and support leaders in building executive presence in a way that compels people to follow you, which increases your ability to collaborate.
New problems will arise as the digital landscape continues to change how we work. In order to meet these new challenges, learnability is necessary. Learnability is the desire and ability to continually learn and grow throughout careers. Ask yourself, when was the last time you read something from an unusual perspective? When have you taken the time to wrap your head around a new industry? When have you engaged in conversation on a subject outside your comfort zone? To keep your learnability skill sharp, take the time to find unfamiliar topics and dig beneath the surface.
For those wishing to move up in their career, soft skills are critical. Even though they’re not the skills added to a resume, they undergird and complement all other abilities. Embrace them, and they’ll continue to benefit you throughout a career.