What are soft skills and why are they important?

What are soft skills and why are they important?

What are soft skills?

According to the oxford dictionary, soft skills are personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people. Soft skills is also defined as a combination of people skills, social skills, communication skills, character or personality traits, attitudes, career attributes, social intelligence, and emotional intelligence quotients that enable employees to navigate their environment, work well with others, perform well and achieve their goals with complementing hard skills.

What's the difference between hard and soft skills?

Hard skills, often known as technical skills, refer to the job-related knowledge and abilities that individuals require to perform their job obligations properly. Hard skills are often gained through education or specific training. Soft skills, on the other hand, are the personal characteristics that enable employees to succeed at work.

What Is the Importance of Soft Skills in the Workplace?

Soft skills are an important aspect of increasing one's capacity to collaborate with people and can help you advance in your profession. Presentation skills, networking ability, and etiquette awareness can all help you land new clients and get more work from current ones. Strengthening your ability to handle conflicts, solve problems, and deliver exceptional customer service will help you build better bonds with coworkers, vendors, and other business connections. Finally, excellent soft skills can help you build confidence, which is a great asset in the workplace.

What are the most essential soft skills to look for in a candidate?

Peninsula considers the following 7 soft skills to be essential in the workplace:

1. Communication skills

Being able to communicate effectively is a necessary soft skill in every industry. It is critical to be able to interact with coworkers effectively and customers. Because most communication takes place via emails, chats, and video conferencing software, it is critical to have strong oral and written communication skills. Clarity, confidence, empathy, tact, and active listening are some characteristics of effective communicators.

2. Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence, also known as emotional quotient (EQ), is the ability to recognize and manage one's own emotions as well as perceive and respond to those of others. It includes the following, according to Daniel Goleman, a psychologist and author of the book Emotional Intelligence:

  • Self-awareness (being in touch with your emotions)
  • Self-management (managing distressing emotions so that they do not interfere with your ability to function)
  • Motivation (being able to stay positive in the face of challenges)
  • Compassion (knowing what others are feeling)

The social skills required to put all of these characteristics to use in productive communication and relationship building

People with a high EQ are natural leaders in the workplace. They are collaborative, empathetic, skilled at conflict resolution, and adept at fostering positive work relationships.

3. Being a team player

Working in a team and collaborating with coworkers is a necessary skill. Being a team player implies that you are open to new ideas and feedback, that you respect and value different points of view, and that you are comfortable working within a group.

4. Growth mindset

This is an important factor in determining an employee's job longevity and career success. Employees with a growth mindset are self-motivated and proactive in their work. They understand the importance of updating their skills in order to meet new challenges and are self-aware enough to work on their weaknesses.

5. Time management

This is a valuable soft skill, especially now that most employees work from home. Workers with good time management skills can plan and manage their daily schedules and meet deadlines. Employees who can effectively manage their time are more efficient and productive.

6. Creativity

This entails having the insight, imagination, and flexibility to devise solutions to problems that may arise while performing your duties. Creative thinkers are also more likely to innovate and improve company processes and systems.

7. Leadership

Employees with leadership skills have all of the other soft skills and use them to manage others effectively. They not only perform well in groups, but they can also help other team members reach their full potential. They are decisive and adaptable, making them excellent managers.


Soft skills can mean the difference between you and another candidate landing the employment. Because no prospective employer will ever explicitly ask you about soft skills during an interview, it is entirely up to you to demonstrate them. The key is to discuss your soft skills as part of your responses to interview questions. It is necessary to explain your answers with a 'how' statement rather than simply discussing a result.

Do you want to learn more about how to prepare for a job interview? Check our blog on What are your strengths and weaknesses? - How to market yourself in an interview.

Category: Employee

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