Soft skills are the range of interpersonal, social and professional abilities that help us reach success in both our personal relationships and professional lives. Although in the past the world of work valued candidates’ technical abilities, nowadays soft skills are just as important as academic qualifications or professional certifications.
Therefore, schools must teach their students how to develop these skills. In educational centres belonging to the Best Schools in Spain network, we work on these skills from an early age and continue to develop them throughout subsequent stages of schooling.
Below, we list the 12 most in-demand soft skills:
The ability to adapt to unforeseen or adverse situations and to be patient, strong and calm in a crisis.
2. Critical thinking
The ability to conceive new ideas and be more analytical, inquisitive and curious.
Commitment. In both professional and academic settings, it is important to be committed to the company or school’s goal. This implies an increased level of motivation and concentration, as well as higher quality work and, therefore, productivity. People with this skill know how to use their time and energy to help others without receiving a direct or personal benefit in return, and often have a multiplier effect to improve the group atmosphere.
At complicated or uncertain times, we must be flexible to adapt to new ways of working, using new tools and accepting any changes that may arise over time.
Teamwork is highly important in the context of teleworking so we can collaborate with the other people on our team. A person with good teamwork skills understands how to share out tasks, can communicate in a group, and knows how to show authority and get great results when working with others.
6. Growth mindset
A person with this characteristic perseveres when faced with a problem, is willing to make an effort to learn new skills, and is ready and raring to take on new challenges.
An empathetic person can put themselves in other people’s shoes, both when they fail and when they succeed. These people have social intuition, which allows them to tactfully and respectfully react to any complicated situations that their colleagues are going through. Empathy is important to humanise relationships, even in high-pressure situations.
The ability to communicate with conviction is one of the most important and valuable skills for companies. It is the ability to express our thoughts concisely and connect with the other party, whether that be a person, a group or a large audience. Nowadays this also refers to digital platforms.
In our day-to-day work, we have to undertake numerous tasks that we cannot complete at the same time. The ability to manage these tasks intelligently makes you an efficient person. Therefore, a person with a special gift for organisation is able to prioritise tasks and structure their own and their employees’ daily work as efficiently as possible.
10. Problem solving
This soft skill is closely linked to analytical abilities. Problem solving requires a suitable strategy, and to reach this point we need to have a clear understanding and have analysed the problem. If a person is able to solve problems, they will have an alert mindset and be able to provide creative ideas when faced with any challenges linked to new changes.
11. Stress resilience
If we want to be able to tackle unforeseen changes in our daily lives, there are three skills that work together: the ability to deal with stress, personal responsibility and motivation. There are many techniques that allow us to develop this skill, but stress resilience is generally associated with a solid personality.
12. Knowing how to use new digital media
Our current digital environment offers numerous opportunities, but it also involves some dangers. Knowing how to make good use of new communication tools (social media, online platforms, professional networks, etc.) is an important soft skill that allows us to present ourselves and our company to the world. Nonetheless, there may be negative consequences if these tools are not used correctly. Therefore, we must develop our media awareness to ensure we use our personal and social skills correctly in the digital environment.