To do your work, you typically need hard skills. For example, Dentists need to know how to fill cavities, Computer Programmers need to be able to write functional codes, and Accountants need to be certified.
However, beyond the hard skills, which dentist do you go to? The one who is pleasant and takes time to answer your questions; or the one who treats you like a number in a long line of numbered mouths?
Which programmer do you retain when the economy is down? The one whose attitude is positive and upbeat, and who is always willing to help; or the one who is inflexible and has a hard time admitting mistakes?
Likewise, think about accountants. The one who has a great work ethic, listens actively, and encourages his colleagues is the one who will, most likely, excel in his position and organization.
In these situations, and all the others like them, it’s the soft skills that matter. Soft skills are personal attributes that enable you to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people. Examples include your communication skills, attitude, business etiquette, work ethic, emotional intelligence, ability to handle crises, and even the way you carry yourself. (more…)