This blog is not about the battle between the hard and soft skills. Before we venture into what’s needed and what’s not, let’s define the nature of these skills. Hard skills are technical abilities – they come from knowledge of the theory of the relevant subject. Soft skills, on the other hand, are personal skills – it’s all about how you behave and interact with your colleagues and customers.
Technical skills are not hard to find – most people across industries and hierarchies know of the theoretical knowledge that guides action. Yet, there is a stark difference in the approach of people who have soft skills, as compared to those who do not. Let’s take the role of a cashier, for example. All cashiers know the basics of finance – from cash flows to revenues and expenses. But what sets any cashier apart is his attitude at work – whether he greets customers who walk in, if he takes an interest in addressing any concern or is extremely cold and off-limits to anyone.
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Our guess is that you will prefer the cashier who is more approachable and friendly – whether you are his employer or a customer.
Soft skills refer to a whole host of behavioural aspects that may not seem very significant individually but make a world of difference to the way one works. All soft skills can be divided into 3 major heads:
- Professionalism: Which includes the basics, yet important aspects of behaviour.
- Critical thinking: Which includes proactive actions for enhanced behaviour and performance.
- Followership: Which includes understanding context and behaving in accordance with the same.
The soft skills that come under each of the above-mentioned heads are:
- Self-evaluation: Assessing your thoughts and behaviours against specific goals, standards and timelines. This will help you know the areas you need to build your skills.
- Personal responsibility: Taking responsibility for your actions; and controlling the way you respond to different situations and circumstances.
- Positive attitude: Maintaining a positive and enthusiastic demeanour in your thoughts, words, actions and habits.
- Good work habits: Being timely, productive and effective, to ensure a work behaviour marked by professionalism.
- People skills: Building a rapport with your colleagues, subordinates and customers, laying the foundation for better interaction.
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- Proactive Learning: Being open to learning by questioning processes, seeking information, studying new practices and building a unique skill set.
- Problem-solving: Identifying and practising proven methods for effective resolution of recurring problems; innovative thinking to help resolve new issues.
- Decision making: Identifying and analysing multiple options before deciding on the best way forward.
- Respect for Context: Understanding existing structures, rules and customs to better understand behaviour in context and situation.
- Citizenship: Accepting all aspects of work – from recognition to weaknesses – to help improve behaviour and performance.
- Service: Approaching all relationships with an attitude of respect, commitment and creativity – so offer what is needed than what you can provide.
- Teamwork: Playing your role in the larger scheme of things to help create a service ambience that is inimitable and excellent.
At Trebound, we believe that soft skill scan is listed under any of these categories. In an age where product differentiation has been reduced to the bare minimum, it is only service – or soft skills – that can help you stand out for your offerings. Our programmes are designed to help you carve the niche you deserve – through establishing a brand known for its service than its product.