Soft skills by Randy Bancino and Claire Zevalkink. •Students in technical professions are required to master mathematical skills, science skills and detailed technical skills directly related to the specific discipline they are planning to enter. •Technical Professions increasingly require a broader skill set, but career and technical educators can help their students add soft skills to their hard-core technical skills. Soft skills compliment hard skills, which are the technical requirements of the job! •But why are soft skills becoming important?
Three driving forces: 1) Necessity for improvements to the bottom line (Requirement for a higher rate of project success). 2) Increasing competition (Puts pressure on companies to operate more efficiently and effectively). 3) Globalization. •The biggest reason for project failure is a lack of soft skills. When non-technical skills are developed to complement technical skills, personal productivity, collaboration and synergy are increased. This translates into improved project success rates, sustainable competitive advantage and increased profitability. Soft skills used to be less important, but today’s fast-paced global marketplace, they are more important than ever. •In order to move into management or supervisory positions, candidates must show that they have skills in such areas as communication, interpersonal skills, teamwork and leadership. •What soft skills are important? *Communication: face-to-face communications, nonverbal communication, active listening, writing and presentation skills. *Basis Interpersonal Skills: self-awareness, social awareness, relationship anagement, conflict management and diversity are excellent compliments to communication skills. *Leadership and teamwork: empowering others, emotional intelligence, negotiation skills, change management and team problem solving. •Hiring people with both hard technical skills and the softer people skills, had a direct impact on customer satisfaction. •Soft skills are the cluster of personality traits, social graces, facility with language, personal habits, friendliness and optimism that mark people to varying degrees. The more soft skills that can be integrated directly into technical training programs, the more successful the graduates will be in the increasingly demanding global economy. •Here are some soft skill tips: *Create a safe place by being acknowledging. *Become actively involved: by making eye contact, smiling genuinely, tuning out distractions, focus on the complete attention of the speaker. *Avoid the temptation to evaluate: don’t judge and criticize. *Search for meaning: Discover the real messages *Confirm your understanding: acknowledge,restate and paraphrase. *Bring Closure: summarize and agree on actions taken