Soft skills, what are they?   

Find out more about soft skills, i.e. the social, communication and emotional intelligence soft skills that help people achieve their goals

Learn about soft skills or social soft skills
Reading time: 4 min

The constant changes in the workplace have made certain types of skills more necessary than ever to be able to adapt. Thanks to these so-called soft skills, it is possible to form more complete teams of people capable of adapting to the evolving reality.  

Soft skills have gained importance in the world of work. Their contribution to numerous processes generates very positive impacts, from improving the performance of work teams to increasing customer satisfaction. Thanks to their versatility, companies become more effective, something that will be felt in your business.  

What are soft skills?  

They are also known as soft skills. They are a set of personal characteristics and abilities, which are not necessarily linked to technical knowledge, but rather have nothing to do with technical and curricular skills. They are all related to the way people interact, communicate, relate to others in different environments and situations or are even able to cope with conflict.  

Given their nature, and after the great changes that took place during the health crisis at the employment level, they have become fundamental aspects for recruiters in the current crisis. They are good at building strong relationships, collaborating effectively in teams, managing conflict, motivating others, adapting quickly to change and solving problems efficiently. Their versatility is their strength and what makes them so useful.  

Moreover, as the work environment has become more globalised and collaborative, they have become essential. Having to interact with people of other nationalities, cultures and points of view, it is crucial to have the right skills. This has made employers and recruiters value soft skills and look for them when hiring new staff.  

Types of soft skills  

Each of the soft skills brings value to specific work environments, although some demonstrate great versatility, and are vital tools of great importance for both personal and professional futures. After all, according to Harvard University, 85% of career success depends on soft skills rather than technical knowledge.  

Emotional intelligence is one of the first of these skills because of its importance, as it involves the ability to recognise and manage one’s own emotions and to understand those of others. It is useful for building strong relationships, resolving conflict constructively and managing stress effectively in pressurised environments.  

Another important soft skill is effective communication, which encompasses both the ability to express ideas and feelings clearly and coherently and active listening. It facilitates and simplifies collaborative processes, teamwork and problem solving, and makes it possible to avoid misunderstandings and unnecessary conflicts.  

Teamwork is a soft skill in itself and involves the ability to collaborate with others, share ideas, listen to diverse perspectives and contribute constructively towards a common goal. It also fosters other skills such as creativity and productivity, which is highly valued by employers.  

Problem solving encompasses the ability to identify and analyse a challenge in order to effectively seek solutions and make informed decisions. People who are problem solvers also show critical and creative thinking and adapt easily to changing situations.   

Leadership makes a difference in the world of work. A good leader is one who inspires and motivates others, knows when and to whom to delegate tasks, makes difficult decisions and communicates strongly. Finding such a profile is one of the objectives of companies, as it will contribute, to a large extent, to their growth.  

Why are they important in the workplace?  

They are important because the work environment is increasingly dynamic and changing, which requires the ability to adapt to new situations and challenges. Being flexible or creative is therefore essential to successfully deal with any situation during a crisis or to come up with new ideas at any given time.  

Equally, organisations are increasingly aware of the relevance of including soft skills and not only those competences that reflect technical knowledge and have been acquired through study and experience, i.e. the so-called hard skills. Until not so long ago, only the possession of a degree was valued in order to find a job. Nowadays, however, technical knowledge is no longer so essential. It is therefore worth knowing the benefits of soft skills and trying to develop them whenever possible.  

However, it should not be forgotten that soft and hard skills complement each other. Cooperative or analytical thinking needs to be grounded and knowledgeable to meet the needs of the job.  

Soft skills have proven their importance in a fast-changing world. Understanding what soft skills are will help us make our way in today’s workplace. In the same way, we will improve our personal relationships.  


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