It has been suggested that in a number of professions soft skills may prove to be more important over the long term than occupational skills. Public relations is one example where the ability to deal with people and effectively and appropriately communicate can determine the success of a public relations practitioner.
Possessing soft skills includes but is not limited to: being a good listener, persuasion and teamwork skills, decision making and problem solving skills, motivating others, knowing negotiation tactics, and being optimistic and friendly. Hard skills, on the other hand, include the occupational requirements of a job, such as computer protocols, safety standards, machine operation and sales administration. Hard skills are also easy to train because most of the time the skill sets are brand new to the learner and no unlearning is involved. Introducing new soft skills is more difficult because it means replacing old, well-known and comfortable skills.
Eric Davis, i4cp’s associate editor states that, “More often than not, it’s who we are, not what we know, that seals the deal.” He goes on to explain, “The most technically competent people will still flounder if they can’t communicate properly or play well with others in the business setting.” This goes to show that skills some may look past as being so simple, may actually be the most marketable.
The development of our soft skills is something that should be paid close attention, as they are highly valued in the workplace. It is also something to keep in mind during interviews because soft skills are increasingly sought out by employers in addition to standard qualifications.
This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations firm member, Trish Wyatt.