Home > Self-Help > Earn A “Degree” in Soft Skills

Earn A “Degree” in Soft Skills

Having a title attached to your name is indeed impressive and somewhat makes a lot of difference in one’s professional journey. Hence it is undeniable that earning a title, a degree, or a diploma brings with it some fancy in one’s curriculum vitae. Admit it, we are all hungry for some recognition or credits that somehow we will be able to use to our advantage. We call this skill set- the hard skills that we often have taken out of formal training that gives us a credible recognition. These are more tangible and quantifiable set of skills that we can easily demonstrate. For example, if you are a business degree holder, you can easily prove that with your diploma, and further support that with your grades from college. However, as you go along your journey in professional life, this does not seem to be enough. We will find out soon enough that we need these intangible and hard to quantify assets known as soft skills in order to ensure we have a certain degree of stability in the job we are to undertake. These skills generally relate to one’s emotional intelligence quotient (EQ), defined in Wikipedia as “ the cluster of personality traits, social graces, communication, language , personal habits, friendliness, and optimism that characterize relationships with other people”. In the end soft and hard skills complement each other.

What are these soft skills? Do we have issues that we need to resolve in this area? To give one a clearer idea of what these are, I have scanned through the net to see which are the common soft skills that are required at work or in most environments but also remember that they are also needed in one’s personal life:

  1. Leadership
  2. Personal Interaction
  3. Public Speaking
  4. Assertiveness

It is a good question to ask ourselves: how much time have I spent learning the soft skills vs the hard skills. Oftentimes, the hard skills are easy to get because they are tangible and most trainings are geared towards this objective. Soft skills are hard to obtain because for one, we do not just get them by merely attending a training session or reading a book. All the “How-to’s” relating to soft skills lying around the internet will not necessarily answer your deficiencies. Perhaps they could give you a solution on what to do but until you make the step to do them and practice, you will never receive your “diploma” of achievement. Your achievement will only be demonstrated by personal confidence and happiness, better performance at work, harmonious relationship at work or home or being able to encourage teamwork within a group.

Ultimately, soft skills can only be achieved through harder work. Let me share with you what I am trying to do in getting to this path of self-improvement:

  1. Identify your key concerns that relate to soft sills.
  2. Establish a very specific goal of what you want to achieve: develop self-confidence in public speaking; be a better leader to your team; be more sensitive to the needs of others; learning how to listen rather than always speaking.  These are just examples but always remember the SMART rule: Keep it Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-framed.
  3. Find time to always review your goal on a daily, weekly and monthly basis- depending on the nature of your goal.

What are you waiting for? Enroll now for a “degree” in soft skills.

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Categories: Self-Help
  1. September 19, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    sometimes I think that these soft skills are innate in our being just like its embedded on our personality that needs a little honing like what you have said on your list of steps.nice share..=)

  2. September 21, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Yes… developing specific goals… very important in any respect.. thanks for sharing.

    -explore my site at: http://www.triond.com/users/rgreenfield

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