Soft Skills

Soft skills are a combination of people skills, social skills, communication skills, character traits, attitudes, career attributes, and social and emotional intelligence (among others) that enable us to navigate our environment, work well with others, perform well, and achieve our goals when we combine them with the hard skills (the ability to perform tasks).

The Collins English Dictionary defines the term "soft skills" as "desirable qualities for certain forms of employment that do not depend on acquired knowledge: they include "common sense", the ability to deal with people, and a positive flexible attitude." The points below explain things in more detail.

Communication: listen & understand, speak clearly & directly,  write effectively for the audience, use numeracy effectively, establish & use networks, persuade effectively, negotiate positively, empathise, be assertive, share information.

Teamworkcontribute to productive working relationships and outcomes, work with people of different ages, gender, race, religion or political persuasion, know how to define a role in the team, apply teamwork skills to a range of situations, identify the strengths of team members, coach, mentor and give feedback, read independently.

Problem solving: apply a variety of problem-solving strategies across a range of areas, develop creative, innovative, practical solutions, show independence and initiative in identifying problems and solving them, solve problems in teams, use mathematics to solve problems, test your assumptions relevant to the situation, resolve customer concerns regarding complex issues.

Self-managementhave a personal vision and goals, evaluate and monitor your own performance, have knowledge and confidence in your own ideas, take responsibility.

Planning and organising: understand short and long-term planning, manage time and priorities – set timelines, coordinate tasks for yourself and with others,take initiative and make decisions, adapt resources to cope with contingencies, establish clear project goals and deliverables, allocate people and other resources to tasks, plan the use of resources, participate in continuous improvement, develop a vision and a plan to achieve it, evaluate risks, and alternative approaches, collect, analyse and organise information, understand basic business systems.

Technology: have a range of basic IT skills, apply IT as a management tool, use IT to organise data, be willing to learn new IT skills, be aware of the impact of technology on your field and ensure your skills are up to date.

Learning: have enthusiasm for ongoing learning, manage your own learning, be open to new ideas, be prepared to invest time and effort in learning new skills, acknowledge the need to learn in order to accommodate change, be willing to learn in any setting – on and off the job, contribute to the learning community at the workplace, use a range of mediums to learn – mentoring, peer support, networking, IT, formal courses, applying learning to technical and people issues.

Initiative and enterprise: translate new ideas into action, identify opportunities not obvious to others, adapt to new situations, develop a strategic, creative, long-term vision, be creative, generate a range of options, initiate innovative solutions

As a Lecturer with TAFE SA I worked with many businesses observing first hand the skills we need to function well both as an individual and as a team member. I delivered many soft skill sessions or incorporated the skills into other units.

Whether you need some staff development for your business, some private coaching with your current studies, or perhaps want to apply for RPL, contact me now