Soft competencies – in which professions are they useful?

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Competencies are important in every job. However, there are positions where not only your skills and qualifications count, but also soft competencies. What are they and in which professions are they necessary? Find out!

What are soft competences?

Skills, or soft competencies are a set of qualities which facilitate and improve communication with people, team management and make work more effective. These are for example creativity, communicativeness, emotional intelligence, ability to cooperate or analytical thinking. A set of these, and many other qualities, makes a person more predisposed to managing people, greater powers of persuasion or more predisposed to working with clients. Thanks to soft skills an employee finds himself or herself better in the office, works better and is more successful, for example in sales

Who needs soft skills the most?

Each profession requires slightly different qualities and soft skills. First of all, soft skills are useful in managerial positions. A CEO or a team manager must have a set of soft skills in order to work efficiently and effectively with people. Also a customer communication and marketing employee and a telemarketer needs a lot of qualities such as empathy, creativity, persuasiveness or patience. Qualities such as creative thinking, analytical thinking, and going outside the box should have a freight forwarder, programmer, and mechanic. On the surface it may seem that only hard skills are sufficient for these professions – substantive knowledge, knowledge of the subject, experience in the industry, but without soft skills, the work of such a person will be much less effective. Creativity and empathy are also useful in such professions as teacher, caregiver of the elderly or social worker. All jobs that involve direct interaction with people, especially those in need, require a range of interpersonal skills that are often not obvious

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A person with a wide range of soft skills can be a more valuable employee than a subject matter expert without them. Looking outside the box, finding solutions in non-obvious and unconventional ways, and thinking creatively are qualities that make an employee much more effective in performing their tasks.

How to acquire soft skills?

Unfortunately, many of the soft skills are traits that you have to be born with. It is difficult to acquire such skills as teamwork, persuasion or highly developed empathy. In self-development courses and team management trainings you can develop and emphasize them. If you know that you have soft skills, take care of them, develop them and do not let them disappear. These are very valuable qualities that can really make life easier for you and your colleagues and clients. They are also the key to professional success and climbing the career ladder. People with well-developed soft skills do much better in job interviews, are more predisposed to leadership positions and promotions

Being good at your job doesn’t just mean being skilled in hard skills. In some, and in fact most, professions, subject matter knowledge and experience and skills must be complemented by soft skills that allow for better relationships with colleagues, partners and customers

Main article image: photo by Morsa Images / Stone / Getty Images

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