Soft Skills are More Important than Ever

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What are soft skills?

When we talk about soft skills, it usually has more to do with who we are than what we know to do. We typically refer to skills as “soft” when related to personality traits and habits. Unlike hard skills, which can be measured using tests or qualifications, soft skills are harder to measure and evaluate. Despite that, most of these skills, like effective communication, effective collaboration, and active listening, substantially impact our day-to-day work and working relationships.

Why are soft skills essential?

The term “soft skills” makes it sound like optional “nice to have” skills. But in fact, these skills are crucial for effective day-to-day work and collaboration in every organization and on every level.

5 Most Important Soft Skills for Technologists

There are a lot of soft skills that can help anyone to strive. Some soft skills, like creativity; resourcefulness; perseverance, and curiosity, are more by nature. Other soft skills can be nurtured, learned, and enhanced. I prefer to focus on these skills, as anyone can quickly improve them.

Communication Skills

Communication skills are essential soft skills. Most of us must communicate with colleagues, customers, suppliers, bosses, and even executives during our everyday work. Good communication skills help us better express ourselves, portray our ideas, and clarify our needs to others. Communication skills can also help us better understand others and their needs.

Organization Skills

I believe most people don’t like clutter and enjoy an organized environment. In the same way most of us find pleasure in a tidy house, a neat, well-organized work environment can help us reduce a lot of our day-to-day work stressors. Organizing our work requires effort, the same as tidying our house requires it, in addition to having the right tools and techniques.

Problem Solving and Decision Making

When I first heard of the term decision-making techniques, I thought: “I know how to make decisions.”, but I was wrong. I was using a minimal set of tools.

Collaboration and Teamwork

Collaboration and teamwork are essential skills for teams to work effectively. However, effective collaboration is a big challenge in these pandemic times that limit us to collaborating remotely using online tools.

Leadership

If you are in a leadership position or not, to make an impact, you must lead. Learning leadership principles can help you lead various activities and initiatives in your team, department, or organization.

How to Improve these Soft Skills?

Many people believe that soft skills are hard to learn and improve, and many people believe that most of these skills are by nature and not by nurture. I beg to differ. There are many ways to improve your soft skills — from online articles and YouTube videos to web-based courses and classroom-based courses. In addition, learning soft skills can be fun, and you can practice them in your everyday work.

Improving Soft Skills is Fun

Improving soft skills is a fun and rewarding journey. As you start sharpening your soft skills, you will notice how useful and impactful it is for your day-to-day work. I understand that this article can be overwhelming for someone hearing about soft skills for the first time.

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Tomer Arbel

Tomer Arbel

Director of Software Engineering @ BlueSnap.com. Leading engineering groups and building large-scale web applications for the last 13 years.