You have a full curriculum, many courses in your career, participated in several events, speak English fluently, but how are your soft skills going?
Have you developed your personal and professional skills satisfactorily?
If the term soft skills still sounds strange and you’re not sure what it means, it’s in the right place.
In this article, you will have contact with a real guide on the subject.
More than understanding the concept, you will discover the importance of soft skills to guarantee your place in the job market .
You will also discover how to hone the necessary skills to become the professional you so aspire to be.
These and other tips you can check on the following topics:
- What are soft skills?
- What is the difference between hard skills and soft skills?
- What is the importance of soft skills in project management?
- What is the importance of soft skills in the job market?
- What are the main soft skills?
- What are the soft skills most demanded by employers?
- How to develop soft skills?
- Developing soft skills in companies
- Examples of soft skills from successful leaders
- Barack Obama
- Pope Francis
- Steve Jobs.
If that was the information you were looking for, read on!
What are soft skills?
Soft skills are a set of skills and competences related to human behavior .
Thus, they are considered as necessary characteristics for a professional to reach his professional goals, what he establishes for his career.
As you might imagine, the soft skills expected of a certain person are related to her area of activity and, mainly, to the position she wants to occupy in the job market.
A manager, for example, needs to demonstrate behavioral skills very different from those he leads, but these, too, benefit when they develop the characteristics expected of them.
The best example of soft skill is perhaps emotional intelligence , which is the ability to handle your emotions well and use that energy to your advantage without impulsiveness or later regret.
Every professional, regardless of his career position, needs emotional intelligence to achieve the goals he has set for his career.
This is a skill that appears in the job interview, in the proof of a public contest, when dealing with unforeseen circumstances at work, when managing people and in several other routine situations in the corporate environment.
Other examples of soft skills are empathy, ethics, leadership, conflict resolution, flexibility and team management.
As you can see, they all have benefits for personal life , but they also prove to be important for good relationships with co-workers.
And the most important thing to know about soft skills is that, even when the individual does not demonstrate having a certain skill, he can develop it.
human behavior is not immutable . So, why not take advantage and become a better person and professional?
What is the difference between hard skills and soft skills?
About soft skills, we just talked.
And what are the hard skills?
These are technical skills , not behavioral. In other words, everything you learn in formal education or not, in courses, training, in undergraduate and graduate courses.
It is the information you want to put on your resume, update on your LinkedIn profile or highlight for the recruiter in a selection process.
hard skills are concrete , quantifiable and technical learning.
The ability to use a tool is a hard skill. A certification in digital marketing, too.
Soft skills, as we said above, work in the universe of what is behavioral and, therefore, are subjective learning and difficult to be analyzed, such as critical thinking, positivity and the ability to make decisions.
In practice, curriculum analysis may not answer everything a company needs to know about a particular candidate.
The hard skills will be there, but the human resources team will also depend on behavioral analysis to determine whether or not a professional is aligned with what the company expects of him.
What is the importance of soft skills in project management?
There are two factors that are crucial for quality project management: knowing how to deal with time and those involved in it. That is, with the team.
Time will translate into a series of different soft skills, required from the manager at the head of the project.
For example, knowing how to work under pressure and being calm in the face of situations is very important.
Make decisions quickly and efficiently , too.
And it is essential to be flexible in order to get around schedule problems that arise, in addition to having the ability to negotiate deadlines.
When working in teams, it is important to understand that we are talking about people with different profiles, different backgrounds, different ways of working, in addition to a wide variety of work processes.
Therefore, soft skills such as empathy, patience, good communication, leadership and persuasion are important to avoid and manage conflicts, promote engagement, ensure unity in the team and understand how to deal with the particularities of each individual.
As much as much of that is natural to the person himself, it is possible to learn and develop each of these skills.
The Soft Skills extension course for Project Management, from FIA, works to train project managers in order to develop their skills to deal with people.
With this specialization you can acquire the tools to lead a team, keep it motivated and working , in addition to making the diversity disappear in the project, instead of hindering it.
Often, to ensure on-time deliveries, you end up depending much more on human factors than just logistical and operational.
Therefore, it is necessary to have at the head of the project someone who is not only results oriented , but who also has the necessary soft skills for a complete management, both technical and behavioral of the team.
What is the importance of soft skills in the job market?
They do not depend on diplomas and certificates.
Still, soft skills are highly sought after, desired and increasingly valued by human resources professionals.
This is because, in environments where employees have behavioral characteristics in line with the company’s goals, not only can they deliver better performances but they tend to stay on longer.
An example can help to understand this statement.
Imagine professionals who deal with pressure more easily, know how to manage time and have empathy.
It is not difficult to predict that they tend to do well in positions that require team management or contact with the public.
In addition, professionals who believe in the company’s purposes tend to “ wear the shirt ”.
Engagement occurs in a more natural way, they agree with the values of the business and dedicate themselves on a daily basis so that it reaches its results.
Another factor that weighs in favor of soft skills in the job market is productivity.
After all, behavioral skills are capable of making a professional more focused, assertive and motivated .
With that, getting a talent hired with the necessary soft skills can mean a financial return for the company.
What are the main soft skills?
The main challenge for developing soft skills is knowing where to start.
After all, there are so many that it can be difficult to imagine which ones should be prioritized to meet the demands of the market.
But we are going to propose an exercise that also depends on a soft skill: the focus.
For this, we will focus on the main behavioral skills and competences , which we list below, based on what the ManpowerGroup consultancy, Forbes Magazine, Educa Mais Brasil portal and the Vacancies website recommend. with
See the 10 soft skills that any professional cannot miss:
The ability to dialogue with co-workers to avoid conflicts, resolve differences and eliminate noises that hinder the performance of tasks.
The ability to inspire employees and motivate teams to deliver results, knowing when to set an example, when to delegate tasks and how to charge performance without constraining the team.
3. Flexibility and resilience
Are related to ability to adapt and continue to produce in the face of changing scenarios, even after difficult experiences that have brought losses, but also lessons.
Therein lies the essential ability to cooperate with colleagues in groups composed of diverse people, making their individual contribution to the collective interest.
It has to do with the ability to innovate, to think outside the status quo and to come up with different solutions for old problems, differently from the standard.
Ability to roll up your sleeves , evaluate scenarios and find ways to resolve issues that impede results or hinder productivity.
It is the ability of to put himself in the other person’s position, to connect with people from different backgrounds and understand his approach on different topics and ways of working.
8. Work ethics
Commitment to company rules and a common sense of respect and morality in the workplace.
9. Critical thinking
It is the ability to question methods , identify problems, seek new solutions and review processes, but with wisdom.
10. Positive attitude
Staying motivated, optimistic, focused on real possibilities and more on hits than mistakes . A contagious attitude towards the team.
What are the soft skills most demanded by employers?
Following the soft skills that we have just listed, it is quite possible that you will meet what most employers expect.
But as this is subjective knowledge, it is at least unlikely to ensure what skills each and every company will look for when analyzing the profile of possible talent .
Still, you can mirror the so-called PMBOK Guide to good practices in project management.
In it, eleven soft skills necessary for this task are established.
- Leadership skills
- Team development
- Ability to make decisions
- Political and cultural knowledge
- Negotiating power
- Trust building
- Conflict management
This last one is especially important because it is related to other possible skills, which you certainly find in different lists.
Is that coaching is a methodology that focuses precisely on developing behavioral skills .
So, if a company expects its leaders to have the emotional intelligence ability among the soft skills, it is possible that the professional uses coaching to improve its strengths and correct its weaknesses.
The starting point may be in self-knowledge , which is the process of analyzing what the individual has best and what needs to evolve to optimize their performance and become more complete, reaching the maximum potential.
How to develop soft skills?
We already left the tip in the previous topic, but it is worth emphasizing the path to the development of soft skills.
If you looked at the list and felt that you need to improve a certain behavior in order to grow in your career , know that this is a movement that depends only on you;
As they are behavioral characteristics, developing soft skills are very much up to the individual.
You must be aware of your own characteristics , dedicated to self-knowledge, continuous improvement and reflection on your own attitudes.
In addition to individual reflection, one way to stimulate self-knowledge to generate behavioral change is by betting on Coaching, as we highlighted earlier.
The idea is that this methodology helps the professional to recognize his potential and develop it.
Another individualized way to develop soft skills is, literally, submitting to them.
Do you want to know how to work better in a team? Try to insert yourself at times when this is necessary.
Want to try to practice your flexibility? Talk to people who have points of view totally different from yours.
That is, the tip here is really to immerse in the scenario you want to qualify for.
Develop soft skills in companies
If there is an opportunity to train soft skills in the company where you operate, take the opportunity to participate.
Generally, business training (in company) is done through virtual simulators or serious games , software that reproduces games that have a more educational purpose.
They serve to train practical actions , such as the ability to dialogue, teamwork, time management and decision making.
Examples of soft skills from successful leaders
There are leaders recognized not necessarily for their decisions or strategic ability, but for their soft skills.
Let’s look at what are the key behavioral skills that made some of them stand out and what examples can we follow.
The former American president is always remembered as a great leader. But what soft skills were used to build this image?
Obama developed his speaking skills to deliver speeches laden with meaning and charisma, even when dealing with sensitive issues for your country, such as immigration and war.
When he speaks, Obama always does it in a solemn, easily understandable tone and thus creates a sense of unity for the American population.
As far as his team management skills is concerned, he shows himself to be an exemplary leader in many ways.
One of them is for offering coaching courses for its employees, training the team so that it can make important decisions when necessary.
In another demonstration of his soft skills for managing teams, the ex-president tends to recognize the work of those who have already served the country.
Good examples of this can be seen when the Obama family serves a Thanksgiving lunch to war veterans from a nursing home and in his last speech as president, when he thanks the sacrifices of his employees and his family over the years. 8 years of government.
The current Pontiff is also a leader with visible soft skills.
The main one, without a doubt, is its flexibility to accept the necessary changes to the Catholic Church, given the social changes imposed by time.
Examples of this flexibility were his statements about the need to accept homosexuals, which is taboo for many Christian religions.
Also about accepting couples who decided to live together without religious marriage, even though this is a sacrament.
He also talks about the need for sex education in schools as a way to prevent teenage pregnancy.
With this skill, Pope Francis manages to bring the Catholic Church into the debates of the present times and continue to attract young faithful to his flock.
A Steve Jobs’ meticulous leadership at Apple has made him an example to be followed by many people today.
This is due to the many soft skills that Jobs had.
The first one, without a doubt, was creativity.
After all, he was able to imagine a world totally of what existed before the creation of the famous Apple products, like the iPhone.
The second personal skill to highlight is your attention to detail.
She was responsible for the simplicity of Apple’s designs and operating systems to be recognized today.
In addition, it also had the first iPhone remade until it reached the model considered perfect.
His tendency to perfectionism also influenced the points of sale, imposing impeccable standards of service in Apple stores.
Finally, Jobs’s focus and decision-making ability are other characteristics that need to be applauded.
Coming to Apple in 1997, the company was suffering financially because of problems with computer sales.
The CEO then made strategic decisions to solve the problem and re-established the company thanks to his intervention.
We talked in this article about soft skills , behavioral skills and competences.
Although subjective, they help to compose the profile of the ideal professional for companies.
That is why pursuing your development should be a concern for everyone who wants to enter or re-enter the market.
Why not start a process of self-knowledge now?
If you identify a shortage in a particular soft skill, don’t expect an opportunity to arise, whether it’s a promotion in your current job or a dream job.