Soft skills are frequently overlooked as fluffy, nice-to-haves. In reality, soft skills in areas like communication, collaboration, and teamwork are some of the most powerful skills you can have in your toolkit. They’ve been identified as such game-changing competencies that many now refer to them as “power skills.”
Examples of Soft Skills
Soft skills are interpersonal skills that allow people to work effectively in teams, communicate well, and think in ways that lead to innovation and creativity. Common categories of in-demand soft skills include communication, collaboration and teamwork, critical thinking, problem solving, and leadership.
The Value of Soft Skills in the Workplace
Time and time again, industry data, market trends, and insights from top business leaders highlight soft skills as a key component to success in the workplace. Through a study of its employees’ most impactful skills, Google created a list of the seven most important skills the company looks for in prospective employees, including:
- Being a good coach
- Communicating and listening well
- Possessing insight into others (social awareness)
- Empathy and support toward colleagues
- Critical thinking
- Problem solving
- Connecting complex ideas
The commonality between the items on this list? They’re all soft skills. In addition, Burning Glass Technologies partnered with the Business-Higher Education Forum and examined 150 million job postings to determine the skills employers are seeking in today’s job market. In their research, they found that three key categories of skills will be essential to job mobility and success as the labor market continues to evolve. One of those categories, which they dubbed “human skills,” is what we commonly refer to as soft skills.
Soft Skills Highlight: Communication and Leadership
When you follow the data, it’s clear that soft skills are important. From entry-level workers to executives and leadership, everyone in the workplace needs a hybrid skill set that balances both hard skills and soft skills. Now more than ever, it’s time to take advantage of the flexibility of online learning and start strengthening your soft skills.
If you’re not sure where to get started, focusing on your communication skills is one example of a valuable first step. In the RITx’s Communication Skills Professional Certificate program, you’ll build the effective business communication skills employers value most, from crafting a powerful story to creating impactful presentations and using tools for public speaking.
If you’re a manager, focusing on your leadership skills is another example of a way to get started. Whether you’re new to managing or a seasoned leader, RITx’s Leadership Essentials Professional Certificate program will sharpen your leadership skills with courses in critical thinking, problem solving, business communication, teamwork, and collaboration.
Explore these programs and more on edX and get started today!