01 Aug Why Are Soft Skills so Important and How Do You Find Them?
A 2017 Harvard study found that between 1980 and 2012, there was a 12% growth rate of jobs that required a “high level of social interaction.” It also determined that employees who possess a high level of soft skills allowed them to more efficiently work together with coworkers.
Soft skills look at who a person is, as opposed to what they are. For example, intimate knowledge of computer coding is considered a hard skill. A soft skill is a person’s interpersonal skills, or how they communicate and interact with other people in their work environment.
The long-term success of any organization is highly dependent upon their employees and how they interact with one another. This especially holds true with management, as the higher the rank or occupation, the more critical the need.
Given the critical need for soft skills in leadership and throughout the workforce, the question we often get from our clients is “how do we teach our leaders and employees these skills”? Well, it’s long been said that women tend to naturally possess more of the coveted soft skills than men. There have been many different scientific studies performed that have found that women tend to have more soft skills than men.
Given the above research, it seems as if the first thing companies should do is promote or hire a bunch of female employees and leaders.
Obviously, that is not a viable solution! So, the question is how do you go about cultivating soft skills regardless of how many women you have in your organization?
Interestingly enough, if you employ science and data, you can objectively measure which people, regardless of gender, are most naturally “wired” to cultivate and develop soft skills.
An objective way to determine which employees can most naturally develop or teach certain soft skills is to use a predictive behavioral assessment that will enable you to understand how people are wired—regardless of gender. This enables you to utilize data to predict and identify those leaders who can most naturally develop and therefore, teach those coveted soft skills to the rest of your workforce. Another benefit of utilizing this data is that you can build self-awareness in leaders and employees who are not as naturally wired to develop certain soft skills to help them learn how to modify their interactions, communication and other critical skills to prevent performance issues and reduce operational friction.
Predictive Index is a full cycle data driven solution, housed within a software that includes a behavioral assessment that measures important soft skills such as how quickly someone connects to others and how driven they are to share ideas and collaborate.
Regardless of how many women you have in your organization, utilizing a data driven solution like Predictive Index gives you the ability to scientifically measure and identify leaders with natural wiring to develop soft skills as well as identify development opportunities for leaders in the organization who are not naturally wired this way. Our experience has shown that soft skills can be taught once an individual has self-awareness of their natural wiring and has received training customized to their “wiring” on how to modify workplace interactions to get better results.
If you’d like to learn more about Predictive Index and how it can help your organization identify job candidates and current employees who are internally wired with these much needed soft skills, give us a call at (214) 242-2033 or contact us via our website.