Soft skills define effective management
By Binu Paul, SiliconIndia
Wednesday, 02 February 2011, 01:25 Hrs
Bangalore: The era of hard skills is over. Now, in this highly competitive professional world, employers crave for managers with critical soft skills that are key to effective performance across all job categories. Acknowledging the importance of soft skills, some refer them as 'life skills' and researchers even call them the 'hard stuff' of management.
The transferable quality is the key differentiator between hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills are domain specific and cannot be transferred, but soft skills are transferable skills which are necessary for every domain. While technical skills are necessary to impress in job interviews and to get a job, soft skills are essential to retain it. Here is our take on some of the most important business skills a person should have in professional life.
1. Interpersonal Skills
A man's success largely depends on his relationships and interactions with others. A modern day manager does not solely rely upon his position or power. It is the manager's personal power base that makes his work easy and efficient. This skill makes him to get along with others very well. It demands respect for the views and sentiments of others. This is one of the key human relations skills necessary for success at all organizational levels.
2. Communication Skills
Many feel that communication forms the corner stone of soft skills. Proper verbal and written communication is an unavoidable aspect for management. Management being the process of getting things done through others, effective communication is essential. The technological advancements should be aptly used to reach out to people to disseminate information faster. The traditional chain of command is not strictly followed in today's organizational communication process as people skip levels in the chain of command to directly get to people they need. The biggest challenge here is to keep the personal touch while using the modern techniques of communication even when the nonverbal component is missing.
3. Team Work
A team includes people of different age groups, gender, qualification, status, skills and only a coordinated effort of all can bring in success. In another scenario, those with whom you cooperate are also those with whom you compete. Agreeableness and co-operation are the key factors here. The aspect of diversity should be seen beyond demographical characteristics because in an organization you will have to coordinate with engineers, human resource managers, marketers, and will have to deal with every other functional area.
4. Professional Ethics
India has been listening to series of stories where professional ethics have been drastically deteriorated. The modern day work culture demands high level of ethical behaviors. Employers do not wish to hire unethical people and teach them ethics. They prefer people who already possess those great qualities of ethical behaviors. As each employ is a part of the organization, the employer expects them to contribute their share to the successful functioning of the organization. It is high time that we promote employees who do the right things.
5. Time and Stress Management
To maintain your work schedule and pace of functionality, you should have a proper time management system. Prioritizing the work and scheduling your time accordingly will help you achieve this. Important works should be taken first and allotted more time. Calmness of mind brings an excellent working condition. The physical, mental and emotional stress associated with your job should be reduced by finding proper methods of relaxation to your body and mind.
Soft skills such as self-awareness, analytical thinking, willingness to change, agility, flexibility, creativity, diplomacy, and problem-solving skills are essential for professional success. Soft skills are obviously not a replacement for hard or technical skills, but they are as essential as hard skills for organizational and personal success.