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An Introduction to Soft Skills in Business

Soft skills are the personal capabilities and interpersonal skills that determine how well someone works with others, their job performance, their ability to communicate and all the things that make them stand out from anyone else. They differ from hard skills because they are not as easy to point out, for example by obtaining a degree or qualification, but that doesn’t mean that they are any less important in today’s competitive marketplace.

Soft skills are multifaceted, they often overlap and are usually interconnected. Here is a list of the key soft skills:

Communication is about being an articulate and effective communicator. This requires the ability to listen and understand as well as to be able to explain complicated issues to both colleagues and clients alike by using language and terminology that is easy for the other person to understand.

Teamwork is a combination of various other soft skills. It involves time management and working towards deadlines, communication and sharing information, being flexible and adaptable, as well as staying motivated and positive.

Flexibility and the ability to multitask is a soft skill that is indispensable when it comes to working in a team and being able to adapt to changing circumstances and requirements.

Body language can help to determine our frame of mind and how we are perceived by others. It refers to our posture, hand movements, eye contact, and other non-verbal signals.

Problem solving is something that not only needs analytical thinking and creativity but also the ability to stay cool and calm under pressure. Those that can cultivate such a mindset are often able to reach a solution more efficiently than those who cannot.

Good time management skills allow us to stay organised and may reduce our stress levels despite the fast-paced nature and demands of work even during times when we have a lot of tasks and duties to handle.

Taking responsibility for your actions and your decisions, but also accepting their consequences, is the hallmark of a mature person.

Simply put, soft skills matter because they can make all the difference not only to a potential candidate but also to managers and employees. However, soft skills are not only useful in the business world, they are transferable social skills that can benefit a person in any situation.

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