You may have used the term “soft skills” to describe those intangibles that are desirable in employees but the language makes “hard skills” seem more valuable. In an effort to create some parity in importance, some are shifting the terms to “human skills” and “technical skills.”
No matter what label you use, developing your personal and interpersonal skills can enhance your emotional intelligence and enhance your contributions to your organization.
Based on its large database of job listings, ZipRecruiter created a list of the eight most-in-demand non-technical skills: communication, customer service, scheduling, time management, project management, analytical thinking, ability to work independently, and flexibility.
Another listing from the Farm Credit Knowledge Center offers a list of ten: creativity, teamwork, dependability, assertiveness, problem-solving, communication, flexibility, time management, accountability, and leadership.
Think for a moment about where you shine. Is there a way for you to leverage this in-demand ability to secure more meaningful projects within your organization or consider applying them in a different job? Can you become a mentor for others who are challenged in that area and thus help the whole organization flourish?
And on the flip side, which skill set do you need to develop? Consider whether you can strengthen those muscles by volunteering (within the organization or in nonprofit roles) for a stretch task or by applying professional development to hone your abilities.
Take care to develop these assets in yourself and your staff and look for them in potential hires. There is nothing soft about the value these skills provide.