What are Soft Skills?

The Mystery of Soft Skills

Communicate with Class and Present Like a Professional

The term ‘soft skills’ is often bandied about in business environments; but why is this?
Part of the reason is the advent of technology. We are now so connected and linked in electronically; so used to functioning as a single entity in a cycle of virtual communication that many employees, particularly recent graduates, have mislaid their ability to communicate and build relationships.

What are soft skills and why are they so important?

Soft skills are difficult to define, they are after all not technical or logical step by step processes. Soft skills are intuitive and subjective.
They can broadly be categorised as ‘people skills’, but maybe ‘skills’ is the misleading term; attributes or qualities could be more useful here.

Here are some of the ideas you may explore in a training workshop, perhaps With Opposite Leg Creative Training and Development.

Learn to listen
Listening sounds like such a simple skill, but how often do you really listen at 100%? Try it, and you will find that you learn more than you thought possible about your fellow conversationalist. Listening is an extremely powerful skill.

Smiling is a soft skill! Really it is.  The key is this: no matter how you feel inside as you enter a particular communication a smile lets the other party know that you wish the communication itself to be warm and respectful, and that you are please d to be so engaged.

Even if you know conflict lies ahead, smiling sets a positive tone.
Tell a good human story
A personal story or anecdote breaks the ice and draws people in to listen. A story also makes information relevant by placing the data in a human context. A human story appeals to the heart as well as the mind.

Don’t be tiny
If you are speaking to a large room full of eager audience members you’ll need to up your game a little. You will need to step up and out of your natural pattern and normal conversational interaction style, so LIMBER UP. Stretch, breathe deeply, and expand yourself before venturing onto the platform. Open up to the crowd; don’t close down in front of them.
Own the space
Yes, just like a film star. Assume that the space is yours, take charge of it. How? Look to every corner of the room, scan the audience, speak in an arc from the front row to the back row of the audience, and let your voice fill the air. Visualise these things.

Softly, softly
Never glare at people. It scares the living daylights out of them. Soft eye contact, scan the room. It is gently, kind and friendly.

So, you see once you begin to think about soft skills and break them down into little helpful parcels it is possible to define them and use them as a tool kit.

The last thing you ever want to do is use them mechanically, there is no such thing as a soft skills robot!

Remain open and connect with people.


David Windle