Did you know that 77% of employers say that “soft” skills like communicating effectively are just as important to getting hired as technical job requirements or “hard skills” like knowing a computer programming language?
What Are Soft Skills?
In a recent college and career counseling LiveLesson® session, we discussed soft skills and why they matter to high school students who are starting to explore career paths. Soft skills are the personal traits and attitudes that allow you to succeed in the workplace, college, and life. They’re the cluster of skills that enable you to work well with groups, solve problems, manage your time, and take personal responsibility for your work. In today’s competitive job market, these are the skills that can set someone apart from other candidates. In college, they’re the skills needed to stay on top of your studies.
With many employers saying they can’t find employees with the soft skills they need, students should know that there are strategies they can use to develop these in-demand skills while still in high school:
Build Your Communication Skills
To become an effective communicator, you have to first become an active listener. When conversing with family, friends, or teachers, listen carefully, paraphrase their comments back to them, and ask questions to clarify their meaning or draw them further into the conversation.
In “Five Ways to Listen Better,” TED Talk speaker Julian Treasure refers to this technique by the acronym RASA: Receive, Appreciate, Summarize, and Ask. Not only does ...