You have probably heard the terms soft skills and hard skills thrown around at conferences or meetings but what is everyone talking about and why does it even matter? There are a lot of businesses that focus solely on hard skills and it really hurts them as a company and impacts their overall business. Soft skills are important because they improve your work culture, helps your customers, and gives your company a safe atmosphere. The difference between soft and hard skills are that hard skills refer to the knowledge that someone has. Soft skills refer to skills that are not tangible but are skills that are still very important. You cannot major in soft skills or get a degree in it, so how do you measure it? Many of these skills are something that can be learned and cultivated with any company or individual. Here are five soft skills your company needs if you want to become a great company:

Communication

This is so crucial for any work environment. Whether you are the employee or you are head of the company, you will need to communicate well with each other. If a manager wants something done but cannot effectively communicate that with their employees it can become a sticky situation where both sides of the party are unhappy.

Choose to be good communicators with what is expected from your employees and also what you as a manager are expected to do. If your company really struggles or certain employees struggle with communication you can always consider negotiations training, which can help your company learn to communicate well with one another.

Leadership

Yes there are different kinds of communication styles but there are some leadership skills and styles that are more effective than others. Learn from the best by reading a variety of leadership books and attend conferences and workshops that are hosted by people who know what they are talking about.

Management Skills

You can be a brilliant individual and know everything there is about a specific field but if you do not have management skills you probably won’t get very far as an individual or as a company. There are a lot of different management skills. Some of the biggest management skills include time and financial management. Employee management is something that is important if you have a lot of employees or different teams that collaborate together on a regular basis. You can tailor your interview questions to ask about how individuals manage their time so you can get a good idea if they are a good fit for your company.

Dedication

If an employee is not passionate or dedicated to your vision or goal, they probably will not stay in the position very long. They may also not get a lot of work done or they will product work that is not up to par with what you expected from them. You can tell when a person is passionate about something by how they talk about a certain subject and how their eyes light up during a conversation.

Empathy

This is completely different than sympathy. Empathy is having understanding of what a person is going through and not blaming or shaming them. This is so important if you are a manager or in some sort of leadership position.

It can be painful as an employee if they have a blown out tire on the freeway and you fire them because they didn’t show up on time. It sound harsh but it happens more than you think. Give your employees the benefit of the doubt and build trust with them. This will help them improve their productivity and effectiveness of work if you stress empathy as a soft skill in your management style.

What is your favorite soft skill that you enjoy? Share with a friend or comment below to start the conversation.

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Finn Pierson
Finn Pierson is a freelance writer and entrepreneur who specializes in business technology. He is drawn to the technological world because of its quickly paced and constantly changing environment. He believes embracing technology is essential to capturing success in any business and strives to inspire and encourage top technological practices in business leaders across the globe. He's a fan of podcasts, bokeh and smooth jazz. His time is mostly spent learning the piano and watching his Golden Retriever Julian chase a stick.