It is an interesting fact to note that most people often get confused between the terms ‘Soft Skills’ and ‘Communication Skills’. Soft Skills are part and parcel of a person’s Emotional Intelligence, a combination of various characteristics like personality traits, language, social graces etc. that showcase the relationships with the other people whereas the communication skill is the effective way of communicating with the people verbally and non-verbally through gestures, facial expressions etc. Soft skills are broad and communication skills are just a part of it.
Soft skills is a term which is recent in origin, even most of the dictionaries do not have the entry of the term soft skills. There are many definitions that try to define soft skills in different ways. For example:
It is defined as the characteristics of the person’s relationships with other people like interpersonal skills and character traits and they are considered to be complementary to the hard skills.
Soft skills are a collection of the positive, personal attributes and the competencies to enhance the job performance, relationships and the value to market.
Soft skills defines the personality of a person and what kind of person he is rather than what all knowledge he has. It is not easy to acquire the soft skills or rather change them.
Hard skills may be necessary to help you get an interview call but soft skills are the must to get interview call converted. Soft skills being intangible cannot be taught easily whereas hard skills can be easily obtained by reading a book or attending a lecture. Some of the soft skills include accountability, creativity, leadership, ambition, ability to teach, and reliability. We can identify the soft skills in the various phrases of job advertisements like “the applicant must be able to work in environments under pressure” or “the applicant must be a team player” etc.
Soft skills play a crucial role in today’s increasing competition. The applicants applying for a job might have similar knowledge about the job to be done but they lack in the soft skills. Hence the interviews conducted in such a way that eliminates the applicants lacking knowledge first and then concentrates on the soft skills and the applicants possessing good soft skills are selected. Not only the companies but even the greatest institutes in the country like the IIM’s and other B schools are looking forward for their students to be good at these skills and striving hard to improve them.
The above mentioned definitions about the soft skills might be true but they are not limited to the same. Apart from the self-projection the soft skills trainings also focus on the increase in strength of oneself from inside and help in both professional and personal life. Soft skills trainngs are necessary to bear the intellectual or the cognitive skills in people.
The problem with the soft skills is that these skills are often undervalued and these skills are not given the same priority and training as the hard skills. But the organizations expect the prospective employees to possess these skills and also want to know they behave in their job. They assume that the people understand the value of time, working in a team, taking initiative and providing high quality work. Hence it is very important for the people to focus on soft skills trainings as they do for hard skills.