As we enter into the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Artificial Intelligence and Disruptive Technologies will change the face of our planet forever! There are no guarantees as to how things will look. However, there is one thing that will be certain, and that is the human element. The assets that genuinely appreciates within an organisation is people. Systems become dated, buildings deteriorate, but people can grow, develop, and become more effective when they understand their potential value.
Delliots through their researches published an article called: “Soft Skills for Business Success” affirming that in the future economy one of the highest demands will be for people with Soft Skills. Thus a high IQ and excellent education will only get you so far. Those who want to ‘future proof’ themselves will have to develop their soft skills.
Hard Skills vs Soft Skills
What is the difference between Hard Skills and Soft Skills? Hard Skills are technical skills that can be learned academically. Hard Skills are easily measured. Soft Skills, on the other hand, are skills that are under the surface and are often difficult to assess. The Oxford online dictionary says soft skills is the “Personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people”. Most people can learn the Hard Technical Skills of a Job, but what is lacking is soft skills to keep the job! Soft Skills are going to be the defining factor between those who excel and those who fail. Business owners are now seeing the need to develop their people holistically. Their employees can be trained in technical skills, but it won’t mean anything to the company if they are always sick, can’t communicate, can’t work in a team, don’t show initiative and battle to manage their emotions.” emotional intelligence to the mainstream public.
Soft Skills don’t expireWhat makes Soft Skills so important is the fact that they are Skills that don’t have a ‘sell by’ date. They are never going to become obsolete through disruptive technologies. They are also transferable skills that are taking with a person no matter what industry one finds oneself in. The invetsment into ones soft skills therefore not only makes you more employable, but also more versatile and agile. As Daniel Goldman the EQ experts said: “For star performance in all jobs, in every field, emotional competence is twice as important as purely cognitive abilities. For success at the highest levels, in leadership positions, emotional competence accounts for virtually the entire advantage.”
Training and Development of Soft Skills
So where do we start? Parents, educators, coaches and business owners will need to become very intentional about how we develop and train the people we are responsible for. We need to teach them positive self-esteem. We need to teach them healthy eating and sleeping habits. We need to teach them to be aware of their emotions and how they should respond and not react in difficult situations.
We need to show them how to communicate, work in teams and deal with conflict. We need to teach them how to lead from a place of integrity, humility and teachability. It is time that we revisit the essential need for Soft Skills in our own lives and in those we lead.