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learning soft skills

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF LEARNING SOFT SKILLS IN ACADEMIC ENVIRONMENT

What are soft skills?

Often known as “people skills”, these skills refer to the abilities required to interact amicably with others in an office setup. They are personal attributes that affect your interaction and relationships with others. A few examples include:

Communication: An excellent communicator can put their ideas and arguments across in an effective way that does not offend anyone. Communication skills include listening, speaking and writing. Communication skills are important to:-

  • Writing clear and concise emails;
  • Pitching an idea to the clients;
  • Creating a compelling presentation;
  • Socialising with co-workers and clients;
  • Collaborating with team members.
  • Problem-solving: If you are easily able to analyse upcoming issues and develop creative solutions to overcome them, you are a problem solver. These people are critical thinkers, decisive, willing to ask questions and explorative. You need to be a problem solver to:
  • Discuss a problem objectively;
  • Examine how a problem affects the team and its productivity;
  • Come up with possible solutions;
  • Make plans to implement the solutions.
  • It was reported that generally students were more
  • satisfied than faculty about the coverage of soft skills.
  • Realizing the importance of soft skills, several studie
  • have also emphasised the point that these skills
  • should be embedded in the curriculum, thus making it
  • easier for students to acquire them

Embedding the training of soft skills into hard skills courses is a very effective and efficient method of achieving both an attractive way of teaching a particular content and an enhancement of soft skills. Soft skills fulfil an important role in shaping an individual’s personality. It is of high importance for every student to acquire adequate skills beyond academic or technical knowledge.

During their studies, students are preparing for their future professional roles, i.e. the role of experts in their chosen fields. With that in mind, the importance of soft skills for students is rather obvious, because after a few years of studying, the next step is finding a job where they are expected to behave adequately toward their coworkers, to be able to express their thoughts and feelings, to be cooperative, accommodating and capable of teamwork, to possess stable ethical principles to guide them, to be cordial and assertive, and professional and principled in interpersonal relationships.

The aim is to prepare students for their chosen professional career during their studies, so soft skills are all the more important for students to acquire for their future professional roles.

For these reasons, you should immediately begin to develop your soft skills. You will be grateful that you have worked on them when you find yourself in the business world with well-developed soft skills that your employer will surely appreciate.

Soft skills and the business world :The modern business world places certain requirements before us that we need to meet if we want to achieve professional success, be noticed and competitive. In today’s business environment everything is extremely dynamic. It also changes, transforms, and advances quickly. So, business people are expected to keep up with these changes and to be open to modification, even if that means changing themselves.

This doesn’t mean that you will be expected to change your personality for the sake of success, to be something you are not, or that you are not good enough the way you are.

It just means that in the business world (and everywhere else), people value certain characteristics that anyone can adopt and implement in everyday communication and interaction with just a little effort.

The quality of interaction of people who have developed soft skills has been proven to be much better, which is of great importance for the employer and thus, for the job you do together. Soft skills are equally important for students as they are for employed people, because studies prepare students for the labor market in several ways.

First, they develop a theoretical system of their chosen science, then apply that theory in practice thus preparing for specific work situations, while simultaneously developing some fine skills better known as soft, or transversal skills, with the help of which the quality of one’s performance both during studies, and later in their professional career is raised to a higher level.

What are these soft/transversal skills?
Soft or transversal skills are skills that allow harmonious and efficient interaction with others, our positive personal traits, and a positive attitude toward our work environment and work processes. Soft skills are all those personality traits that make a person cordial, kind, decent, cooperative, and that enable successful interaction with others, as well as successful mastery of challenges and work tasks. Let’s list these soft skills and explain why they are so important for students – future business people with a successful career ahead of them.

Communication:

Skills of verbal and written communication are an essential element of successful, effective and constructive interaction with other people. A person who has developed communication skills is capable of adequately communicating their views, opinions, ideas, suggestions, demands, arguments and feelings. All these elements are necessary for successful interpersonal relationships, both during studies and in one’s professional career. Communication improves relationships between coworkers and improves their cooperation, and better cooperation in turn leads to improved performance, especially when they need to join forces to perform a task, and when each team member is expected to contribute to the task by expressing their point of view and suggestions on how a task could be done or a problem solved. In addition, the brainstorming method can be very effective for overcoming certain study or corporate challenges, where each team member takes part in the discussion, expresses their opinion, and thus helps to find the best idea or solution, and in order to make this happen, we need developed communication skills.

Teamwork:

An individual’s ability to cooperate with a team of people is one of the most valuable business skills. Teamwork can help us achieve excellent results as a group, so every employer highly values an employee’s cooperativeness and openness to cooperation with their co-workers.

Assertive approach to conflict resolution:

Assertiveness is another highly valued trait, i.e. interpersonal skill, and it is especially beneficial in the business world. An assertive approach to people is generally desirable, and when it comes to coworkers or fellow students, this trait helps us achieve a friendly atmosphere in the group, so everyone should develop this skill so as to make their business environment supportive and dependable. When it comes to conflict situations, it is important to know that it is impossible to always agree on everything, and that the atmosphere will not always be how we want it, but it is even more important to know that conflict as such never brings anything good, so we need to develop the skills of resolving disagreements in a peaceful and assertive way. Even if a conflict arises, it is important to resolve it so that neither side is disadvantaged, or the atmosphere in the group. The priority is to maintain civilized interpersonal relationships so that the environment would have a positive effect on us, instead of being blocking or frustrating.

Responsibility and self-awareness:

These skills should be developed during studies, because they are equally important for one’s performance as a student, and as a paid professional. Responsibility toward one’s studies/job is reflected in conscientious performance of tasks, adherence to deadlines and established rules, requirements and parameters, dedication and effort to performing work tasks, adherence to the principles of professional ethics, and healthy ambitions to do the job entrusted to us as best as possible. Self-awareness has a regulatory role here, to help us view ourselves, our actions and approach to people and the job objectively, to learn from our mistakes, and to continuously strive to be better as people.

Flexibility and willingness to learn:

These two skills are highly valued both in the world of education and business. It is very important to be willing to learn, and to be prepared for changes, because the world we live in demands it. If a person is not ready to learn and improve themselves, if they are inflexible, i.e. unable to adapt to various demands imposed by the environment, they are unlikely to succeed in the increasingly competitive world, where the ability to adapt to new circumstances is one of the most valued skills. But, don’t let that discourage you – let it motivate you instead to develop in a positive and desirable direction as a person, with qualities that both your university professors and your future employers will appreciate, and that will make you a desirable and competitive employee in the business world.

The Soft skills Training Programs:
Properly planned and executed Soft Skills training programs help to enhance the many capabilities that are inherent in individual and also pick up new ones. During many such sessions, it has been observed that the individuals themselves were completely unaware of their inherent skills till the time. One of the critical objectives of the soft skills training programs is to remove the existing mental or psychological blocks and barriers that prevent the individual from utilizing his/her skills effectively. These training also make the individual aware of his or her hidden and unexplored capabilities and to refine it for overall development and success of the individual both at professional as well as personal walk of life.
With all the above discussion about the importance of ‘Soft skills’, one must not, however, undermine the significance of the ‘Hard skills’. Any employer who advocates the necessity of the soft skill, do so only with the assumption that the candidates are qualifies and have the necessary ‘Hard skills’ with them. It is important to understand without any ambiguity that the ‘Hard skills’ and the ‘Soft skills’ are complementary to each other and not substitutes. For success, both are essential.

Balance is the key:
Students must understand very clearly that the ‘Technical skills’ that they are learning during their formal education are absolutely ‘Essential’ without an exception. They need to be ‘good’ in these skills. It is these hard skills that will get them hired for a role. No one would be interested in hiring a ‘Software Engineer’ with excellent communication skills but with no grasp over any of the computer languages.
In crafting a successful career path, both these skills go hand-in-hand. The ‘Hard skills’ will get you hired, will get you the role you have been preparing for and the ‘Soft skills’ will help in growing out of that initial role. The ‘Technical Acumen’ with establish your credential within the team/ department/ organization and the ‘Inter-personal Qualities’ will help you move forward to the next role or the higher role efficiently.

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mamta singh

Dr. Mamta Singh

B.A | B.Ed | M.A | Persuing M.Ed
School Principal at Rahul Education, Queen Mary’s High School

FAQS

Students who recognize the importance of soft skills on time are able to master their studies more successfully, complete their student obligations smoothly, make more acquaintances that may prove useful in the future, and better present themselves to professors who can also play an important role in their future.

Academic and career success require soft skills as well as “book-smarts.” I define soft skills as “a collection of abilities, behaviours, and attitudes that increase your effectiveness.” Successful students demonstrate soft skills such as commitment, effective communication, problem solving, accountability, and time.

In the modern workplace, you need more than technical skills to be successful in your career. Soft skills are attributes that enable you to engage in meaningful interactions with others. Since most jobs require teamwork, it’s important to possess soft skills to enhance your employability and achieve your dream job.

Soft skills in the workplace allow organizations to effectively and efficiently use their technical skills and knowledge without being hampered by interpersonal issues, infighting and poor public and market perceptions.

Soft Skills are the foundation of building good relationships and are integral in one’s personal as well as professional life. Be it with the people at the workplace or our loved ones, these skills make it easier to form relationships, create trust and dependability, and lead teams.

Soft skills are the backbone of leadership. Technical skills do matter, and in some areas, we have a shortage of talent (while in others we have genuine surpluses). For example, software development expertise is in short supply, as is expertise related to manufacturing and skilled production.

Through soft skills training programs, students will be able to better handle interpersonal relationships with a strong sense of empathy. They will also be in a favourable position to monitor the emotions of others so as to come up with well-informed perceptions about others’ behavior and thinking patterns.

  • Enthusiasm and attitude
  • Teamwork
  • Networking
  • Critical thinking/problem solving
  • Professionalism
  • Develop it at college
  • Make the most of your internship
  • Get a part-time job while at university
  • Ask for feedback
  • Take an online course
  • Learn from an expert
  • Practice the skill you’re developing
  • Practise self-reflection.

One of the most important academic skills is research; it is, after all, the foundation upon which the whole of academia is based. It may not sound like a skill, but in fact there’s an art to it that you’ll need to master

Academic achievement is important for the successful development of young people in society. Students who do well in school are better able to make the transition into adulthood and to achieve occupational and economic success.

In the modern workplace, you need more than technical skills to be successful in your career. Soft skills are attributes that enable you to engage in meaningful interactions with others. Since most jobs require teamwork, it’s important to possess soft skills to enhance your employability and achieve your dream job.

Soft skills are character traits and interpersonal skills that characterize a person’s relationships with other people. Sociologists may use the term soft skills to describe a person’s emotional intelligence quotient (EQ) as opposed to intelligence quotient (IQ).

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