Today’s employers say they need employees with excellent employability skills, often called “soft skills.” What are they, and how do you acquire them? Joann Ingulli-Fattic, president of the human resources consulting firm Transcend3HR, defines soft skills as interpersonal relationship skills “that are used in every situation, school course or position in which you interact with people.”
“Technical skills are baseline requirements for a position; what distinguishes a person is their ability to use soft, or transferable, skills in a variety of situations,” she says. These three are key:
Are you easily understood when sharing information, ideas or suggestions?
Are you seen as a person who respects, works well with, and can influence others?
Are you perceived as someone who gets involved, offers suggestions, helps others and accomplishes things with a positive, enthusiastic attitude?
How do you know if you need to improve? “Throughout life, feedback will come your way,” says Ingulli-Fattic. “The secret is to listen to it. The best way to improve your soft skills is to practice them, continually.”