Soft Skills

Topics: Soft skills, Skill, Competence Pages: 5 (1367 words) Published: March 10, 2011
Earlier, we have emphasized the importance of acquiring and mastering both types of skills- the hard skills and the soft skills. Hard skills are important and you should never undermine them. They are your bread and butter skills. For example, a tourist guide has to know the technical aspects of his job like showing his tourists the right places in a proper sequence with authentic commentary on them, the legalities of his job, the safety aspect of his tourists etc, yet, he will be more in demand and earn more if he also has the necessary soft skills for the job like manners and etiquette, interpersonal relations with tourists, humor, creativity etc.

Hard skills are more rational types and soft skills improve your emotional intelligence. Soft skills make you more cultured, empathic, understanding, caring and also, more sophisticated and reformed.

You must try to find out what soft skills you should choose to acquire and develop for success in your personal, professional, family and social life.

We are giving below a fairly comprehensive list of soft skills for your guidance. To know the details on each one of the competencies given below, you can refer to the respective weblinks (URLs) given below later in the paragraph titled "Other Topics of Interest". Observation.

Know yourself (introspection).
Openness and flexibility (paradigm shifting).
Internal motivation and passion.
Action orientation, drive and self initiation.
Self development.
Self confidence.
Composure and self presentation (appearance, manners and etiquette). Intellectual horsepower and learning.
Creativity and innovation.
Moral courage.
Dependability and reliability.
Dealing with ambiguity.
Time management.
Goal setting and result orientation.
Decision making.
Problem solving and process orientation.
Communication (speaking, listening, empathy, body language, writing). Interpersonal skills.
Conflict management.
Coaching and developing people.
Team work.
Team building.
Consensus building.
Conducting meetings.
Big picture thinking and strategic thinking.
Motivating others.
Stress management.

Go through the above list very carefully and tick out the soft skills where you need to pull up yourself. Then, you have to go through the cycle of gaining authentic knowledge of that skill, understanding the process (the standard operating procedure- the SOP) of building that skill, practicing that skill following the process (SOP), practicing it, practicing it and practicing it till you get the mastery over that skill, till that skills gets internalized in you; it becomes your habit.

How Much Value My Competency Can Add?
The More the Value Addition Due to Your Competencies, the More You Can Earn The money you can earn as a professional by using your competency depends squarely on the value it can add. Extent of value derived by the usage of your competency is decided by the user or the customer. If the perception of the customer allows your competency to be seen as a high value adding competency, you can claim more money for providing that competency to your customer and more often than not, the customer will pay you that much. On the other hand even if you reach the highest level of expertise in a particular competency, it is not necessary that you will end up earning more particularly when the customers does not see it delivering high value to him.

It is also a matter of supply and demand. The much needed rare competencies may get paid more since at that point of time they are seen to be delivering high value to its customers in their perception.

An example will illustrate the point brought out in this paragraph. You will generally see that a specialist doctor say, a surgeon will end up earning lots more that...
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