When you get into the driving seat of an Aston Martin DB11, I’m told that it shapes itself snuggly around your body, filling you with a sense of confidence and well-being. I’m also told that airline passengers have the same experience in First Class.
It’s a similar concept with Soft Skills.
Unlike Hard Skills which are constructed around a rigid framework of rules and principles, Soft Skills won’t keep you, the user, on a straight but narrow course. You’re in the driving seat… selecting and adapting the solutions they provide, using your own judgement and vision based on growing knowledge and creativity. As your skill to manage the tools develops with experience, you get the space to improvise and flex your style.
Applying Soft Skills increases their uniqueness to you because they involve your discretion.
In fact, you may not have realised it at the time, but these are the skills that got you the job you’re in. You had them inherently and you’ve been adding more knowledge and experience every day, until the time comes for you take your bag of solutions with you up to the next level of your career, growing it as go.
Operating organically becomes possible usingSoft Skillsin your repertoire …it’s a 3 step process : encounter a task, identify it and select a way to respond built on your knowledge, creativity and experience.
Also, because they are flexible, each of the 60+ Soft Skills can be interconnected (kind of like Lego) so you can build the perfect custom solution for every application. You get extra miles and save gas.
Another feature of the range of 40 Soft Skills you can build is their ease of application. The 4 main categories– Organisation & Planning, Performance & Leadership, Personal Development & Inner Self, can be cut and diced or blended together to complement each other and add mileage to you your solution.
So for all categories, Soft Skills can be selectively matched and allocated to add value greater value than they could separately.
For example Brainstorming, Questioning & Critical Thinking all create more time and resource which can, in turn, produce new levels of achievement complementing skills and experiences and creating a wider range of communication resources.
Employers are looking for people who demonstrate an interest in Collaboration.
Software engineers may spend most of their time working on code during a project but as some point they will need to collaborate with other programmers and even end users including external clients.
For example, at the end of an IT project when specification issues often crop up with the client, if communication Soft skills have been applied throughout the project between the client and your IT team, when stakeholders had regular input and communication with your team, they are more likely to be handled but the people involved amicably, on both sides. They may even have been identified earlier in the project!
Leadership Style in another critical Soft Skill which can have a big impact on project collaboration where there are ego’s and reputations at stake. Active Listening, Brainstorming, Flexibility and Empathy are all Soft Skills that will maintain an equilibrium when applied thoughtfully.
Soft skills provide a flexible platform for collaboration and build relationships with colleagues to solve problems. They help us to make optimal use of our hard skills right through to project sign off.
With Soft Skills it’s how to personalise them and build applications that give your working style maximum mileage. It’s the vehicle that highlights your preferences and how you get things done. That’s what your end-user’s notice.
Enjoy the Ride!