What are ‘soft skills’? Why are they important in business?


Figure: 1 (Soft Skills) Source: http://www.connectionsacademy.com/blog/posts/2014-12-01/Why-Developing-Soft-Skills-during-High-School-Matters.aspx

‘Soft skills are the cluster of personality traits, social graces, communication, language, personal habits, friendliness, and optimism that characterize relationships with other people.’ Kamin & Maxine (2013, p. 1)

Soft skills are the individual personality or characters each of us has. That defined who we are, normally surrounding our manners, habits and how we communicate with other people. Soft skills are much touchable than technical skill or hard skill. There is a saying that, technical skills will get you an interview but everybody requires soft skill to get the job and to stay in the job.

‘Sometime I think those soft skills mean much more than your technical skills. Soft skills allow you to utilize the resources, sources, and knowledge of others and get things done as a team’ Cenere et al. (2015, p. 5).

Soft skills are very important for business. Without having the very good soft skill it is impossible to run a successful business. They allow us to effectively implement our technical skills and knowledge in the job. It’s also improved the way we act with our customers and colleagues.

Figure: 2 (Soft skills examples) sources: http://www.slideshare.net/sfchernoff/trainingwhy-soft-skills-are-important

Clint Mahlaman, VP of HR and distribution for London Drugs said: ‘most of all the employee has to have an ability to communicate and to have outstanding listening skills so he or she knows what the customer wants. In other words, soft skills.’ Yvonne  (2004, p. 1).

There are lots of Soft skills examples such as verbal communication, interpersonal skills, writing, problem solving, critical thinking, active listening, active learning, organizational, time management, team player, professionalism, flexibility, and adaptability etc.

Figure: 3 (Soft Skill Savvy) sources: http://www.monarch.edu.au/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/soft-skill-saavy.jpg

Soft skills are as important as technical skills. Nowadays, in any job announcement employers consist of a list of qualification that includes technical skills as well as soft skills like excellent communication skills, strong organizational skills and team players.


Cenere, P, Gill, R, Lawson, C, Lewis, M 2015, Communication skills for business professionals 7th edition, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne.

Kamin, Maxine, 2013, Soft Skills Revolution: A Guide to Connecting with Compassion for Trainers, Teams, and Leaders, San Francisco, CA : Pfeiffer.

Dawn R 2016, Soft Skills: ‘What They Are and Why You Need Them’ views 20 April 2016, http://careerplanning.about.com/od/importantskills/a/soft-skills.htm

Image reference

Figure 1 (Soft Skill)  http://www.connectionsacademy.com/blog/posts/2014-12-01/Why-Developing-Soft-Skills-during-High-School-Matters.aspx

Figure 2 (Soft skills examples)  http://www.slideshare.net/sfchernoff/trainingwhy-soft-skills-are-important

Figure 3 (Soft Skill Savvy) http://www.monarch.edu.au/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/soft-skill-saavy.jpg



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