- May 9, 2020
- Posted by: Phil Gray
- Category: Leadership, Training
The Difference between Hard & Soft
Soft Skills has been described as a combinations of interpersonal and social skills. Hard Skills on the other hand include technical or administrative procedures that can be quantified and measured. Though Hard and Soft Skills are very different in many ways, they are complementary, and both are vital for anyone in business to be successful.
Skills such as active listening, collaboration, presenting ideas and communicating with colleagues are all highly valued in the modern workplace. Strong soft skills ensure a productive, collaborative and healthy work environment, all crucial attributes for organisations in an increasingly competitive world. Invest in your team by training them on essential business soft skills, from communication fundamentals and teamwork to advancing critical thinking.
Over the past two decades most industries and businesses within have recognised the relationship between employees’ soft skills and their businesses overall success.
Soft Skills are now more important than ever!
While both hard and soft skills are extremely important, it can be argued that a leader’s true value lies in their soft skills. Some studies indicate 57% of senior leaders today say ‘soft skills’ are more important than hard skills.
These intangible abilities are what entrepreneurs and business owners crave most in their managers. Soft skills are how employees effectively interact and connect with the people around them.
By being consciously aware of the experience they provide, business leaders are actively building their customer service skills. How you treat prospects, potential and existing buyers, as well as your employees, is how others determine if you are a good leader.
Why soft skills are essential.
HARD SKILLS ARE USELESS WITHOUT SOFT SKILLS: In most jobs, technical skills alone are not enough to be truly effective. A salesperson with an unrivalled knowledge of their product and market will have little success if they don’t have the interpersonal skills needed to close deals and retain clients. A business manager needs to be able to listen to employees, have good speaking skills, and be able to think creatively. All careers require at least some soft skills to make the hard skills valuable.
SOFT SKILLS ARE HARDER TO LEARN: Hard skills aren’t necessarily hard to acquire. They can be easily taught, and can be learned and perfected over time. Soft skills are more challenging to develop, since they have little to do with knowledge or expertise, but are closely linked with a person’s character. It takes conscious effort, ongoing practice, and a commitment to self-development to improve your soft skills. Hard skills may look impressive on your CV, but the soft skills are what will set you apart from the many candidates who have similar expertise to you.
THE MODERN WORKPLACE IS INTERPERSONAL: Skills such as listening, collaborating with others, presenting ideas and communicating with team members are all highly valued in the modern workplace. Strong soft skills ensure a productive, collaborative and healthy work environment, all vital attributes for organisations in an increasingly competitive world.
CUSTOMERS DEMAND SOFT SKILLS: The modern market offers consumers an unlimited number of choices through technologies such as the internet and smartphones. For these consumers, convenience and low prices are easy to come by, so customer service is often what influences the choice to use a particular business. The ability to communicate efficiently and effectively with customers is therefore a vital factor in an organisation’s success.
THE FUTURE WORKPLACE WILL RELY ON SOFT SKILLS: Automation and artificial intelligence will result in a greater proportion of jobs relying on soft skills. Thanks to cutting-edge technology, tasks that require hard skills are continuing to decline, making soft skills key differentiators in the workplace. As an example, a study by Deloitte Access Economics, which predicts that two-thirds of all jobs in Australia will rely on soft skills by 2030. This trend will inevitably be mirrored globally.
The most in-demand skills in 2019
To be a successful manager, you need a mix of both hard and soft skills.
And as we’ve highlighted in this article, having the right soft skills could easily set you apart from the pack. So what are the skills employers are looking for in 2019? Unsurprisingly, they are all soft skills:
Be intentional not complacent
Good News! You can make a start to improve your personal or team development today by taking one of the 180+ soft skill e-learning courses we offer. The other great news is they all are on sale the month of May 2020. With a strong set of soft skills complementing your hard skills, the most important foundations for success will be in place.