Soft or social skills (also called non-technical skills) refer to a combination of personal attributes, emotional skills, communication skills, and interpersonal skills that equip a person to fit into a social structure. They also include the set of personal values which determines a person’s ability to work well with others. Effective communication, leadership, problem solving abilities, critical thinking, initiative, and motivation skills are amongst the most important soft skills. Unlike hard skills, soft skills are harder to evaluate, define, and measure.
Even if we take out the workplace from the discussion, everybody spends a big part of their day interacting with people within your home, neighbourhood, or community. Most interactions with people will require some soft skills whether you’re building friendships, looking for a potential partner, coaching your children’s little league team or negotiating at the market. These are important in both our professional and personal lives (https://www.feelgoodanyway.com/soft-skills-how-important-are-they-in-everyday-life/).
How to develop soft skills?
Everybody can enhance their personal set of soft skills by practicing and gaining experience on the spot. As a matter of fact, gaining soft skills is a continuous and life-long learning process that cannot take place only theoretically, but it also requires training and exercise, so to say.
The development of soft skills has two parts. One part involves developing attitudes and attributes, and the other part involves fine-tuning communication skills to express attitudes, ideas, and thoughts. Perfect integration of ideas and attitudes with appropriate communication skills in oral, written, and non-verbal areas is necessary for successful work. Attitudes and skills are integral to soft skills. Each one influences and complements the other. (https://ncert.nic.in/textbook/pdf/kect108.pdf)
Evidently, there is a big difference between learning about soft skills and acquiring them, and it is of great importance to first prioritize which skill to develop, asking for feedback, and then self-reflect. It is, of course, also possible to take online courses which offer useful and valuable training and resources.
NEETS and soft skills
NEET generation is a phenomenon which has appeared during the last decades. The acronym means Not in Education Employment or Training. A great number of NEETs are high school dropouts. Although the jobs they may choose may not demand formal qualifications they do not have the necessary social skills to be successful in their field. Young people not in employment, education or training are at higher risk of being socially and politically alienated. They have a lower level of interest and engagement in politics and lower levels of trust (https://softskillsandyouthemployment.wordpress.com/2014/10/19/neet-generation/).
For all these reasons, supporting NEETs in developing soft skills through training and valuable materials can help them get positive ideas about what to do in their personal and professional lives.
Additionally, exercising communicational skills and critical-thinking competencies will significantly improve the decision-making processes in the every-day life. (https://post.edu/blog/7-ways-to-sharpen-your-soft-skills/)
- Schmidt, D. “Soft Skills: How Important are They in Everyday Life?”, Copyright © 2021 Feel Good Anyway, Retrieved November 18, 2021 from https://www.feelgoodanyway.com/soft-skills-how-important-are-they-in-everyday-life/
- Yeats et al. “Soft Skills For Effective Communication”, Copyright © NCERT, Retrieved November 18, 2021 from https://ncert.nic.in/textbook/pdf/kect108.pdf
- “Soft Skills Need Sharpening? 10 Ways to Improve Soft Skills” article August 18, 2021, Copyright © Post University, Retrieved November 18, 2021 https://post.edu/blog/7-ways-to-sharpen-your-soft-skills/
- “Neet Generation” article October 19, 2014, Retrieved November 18, 2021 from https://softskillsandyouthemployment.wordpress.com/2014/10/19/neet-generation/