3 Chapter 1 Professionalism Copyright Goodheart-Willcox Co., Inc. Soft Skills You may be the most highly-qualified person in your field in terms of hard skills, but if you lack soft skills, it may be challenging to become or stay employed. Soft skills are the skills used to communicate and work well with others. They are considered essential employability skills, which are skills that help an individual find a job, perform well in the workplace, and gain success in a job or career. Some soft skills are gained through life experience and social inter- action. Other soft skills may be acquired from working at a job and interacting in professional situations. They are not specific to one career and are trans- ferable to any type of position. Examples of desirable soft skills are shown in Figure 1-2. When applying for employment, a job description may refer to soft skills as people skills or interpersonal skills. Employers look for well-rounded employees who have the hard skills to perform in the job and the people skills to get along with coworkers, managers, and customers. Soft skills come easier to some people than others. The people who find soft skills easy to acquire often have a high emotional intelligence quotient. A person’s emotional intelligence quotient (EQ) is the ability of a person to perceive emo- tions in one’s self and in others and use this information to guide social behavior. Many soft skills rely on a person’s ability to communicate with and anticipate the needs of others, as well as to meet those needs appropriately. Therefore, someone with a high EQ is often adept with soft skills. People who have a high EQ are able to understand emotions in other people easily and react accordingly. These individuals are seen as pleasant and empathetic. Having empathy means having the ability to share someone else’s emotions. This often results in better social interactions and relationships, including those with family, friends, coworkers, and supervisors. Individuals with a high EQ also tend to have a better self-image, which contrib- utes to increased self-confidence and positivity. This can have a beneficial impact on a person’s working life, which leads to higher work performance and better social interactions in the workplace. Overall, those with a high EQ tend to experience a higher sense of satisfaction in life and have lower incidences of feeling insecure or depressed. Goodheart-Willcox Publisher Figure 1-2 Soft skills are the skills used to communicate and work well with others. Examples of Soft Skills •• active listening •• adaptability •• assertiveness •• collaboration •• conflict resolution •• courtesy •• critical thinking •• digital citizenship •• effective communication emotional control •• ethical decision making •• goal setting •• leadership •• negotiating •• patience •• positive attitude •• problem solving •• professional image •• reading •• reliability •• respectfulness •• self-confidence •• self-motivation •• thinking on your feet •• time management •• trustworthiness •• work independently writing
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