Do you relate well to others? Are you patient? Empathetic? If so, you possess some very important soft skills. “Soft skills relate to the way employees relate to and interact with other people.” Soft skills, also called people skills, are differentiated from hard skills, which are “teachable abilities or skill sets that are easy to quantify, such as a proficiency in foreign language or computer programming.”
Hard skills, as noted above, are teachable. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to help people acquire soft skills. Coaching can help strengthen them, but can empathy or patience be taught? The same is true of many other soft skills.
Getting the point across
Not surprisingly, good communication skills often top the list of soft skills. The 20 People Skills You Need to Succeed at Work, on Forbes.com describes strong communication as “the most fundamental people skill because it encompasses…persona and ability to get along with other colleagues, persuade others to listen to…ideas, and much more.” Just as good communication skills are important, good listening skills are also very valuable.
Working for the good of the team
In the workplace, soft skills that enable an individual to function well as a member of a team are especially beneficial. Integrity is important, and so is a strong work ethic. There are several other soft skills that employers seek:
- good attitude
Improving soft skills
Although it’s nearly impossible to teach soft skills, it’s possible to improve them. Lisa B. Marshall examines this concept in Why Soft Skills Matter More. Marshall recommends three very specific tactics to help improve soft skills:
- Network – she doesn’t limit this to work events; she says networking can happen at social events, too
- Find and/or be a mentor – Marshall says, “Mentoring or being mentored helps with your one-on-one communication skills.”
- Volunteer – she has some very specific advice in this regard: “Find ways to get involved in things that you’re most passionate about.”
Soft skills on the job
Some people overlook soft skills. They may view them as inferior to hard skills or believe they are less important. Why? Often, the answer is that so-called soft skills are usually listed after hard skills in a job description or help-wanted ad. That makes them less important, right? Not so fast. In Six Soft Skills Everyone Needs, Larry Buhl debunks that. “Employment experts agree that tech skills may get you an interview, but these soft skills will get you the job – and help you keep it.”
At 365 Healthcare Staffing Services, we know that a great employee has a great combination of hard and soft skills. If you want to put your skills to work providing top-notch care, please contact us today. We look forward to working with you!