Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Developing soft skills

Today’s business is very much complex and competitive. It is not as simple as two plus two is equal to four now. Establishment of any business depends on how a businessman exercises certain fundamental things like attending customer complaints / queries, solving their grievances and problems, offering timely delivery of goods, maintaining quality of material, etc., etc. These are the basic things which every businessman is required to take care of with due commitment; but for that, he is required to achieve some talents which are known as soft skills.

Soft skills is a sociological term which relates to a person's "EQ" (Emotional Intelligence Quotient), the cluster of personality traits, social graces, communication, language, personal habits, friendliness, and optimism that characterize relationships with other people. Soft skills complement hard skills (part of a person's IQ), which are the technical requirements of a job and many other activities.

A person's soft skill EQ is an important part of his or her individual contribution to the success of an organization. Particularly those organizations dealing with customers face-to-face are generally more successful if they train their staff to use these skills. Training for personal habits or traits such as dependability and conscientiousness can yield significant return on investment for an organization. For this reason, soft skills are increasingly sought out by employers in addition to standard qualifications.

It has been suggested that in a number of professions soft skills may be more important over the long term than technical skills. The legal profession is one example where the ability to deal with people effectively and politely, more than his or her mere technical skills, can determine the professional success of a lawyer.  Interpersonal skills hold high importance in the field of hotel, hospital & service industries, where one has to come across and tackle different people for their varying requirements. Unfortunately, soft skills are overlooked in the Indian system of education, and hence, sometimes it happens that an excellent academic record holder fails to deliver desired results. However, it is not difficult to pocket these skills; they are possible through a special training.

Communication ability, interpersonal skill, guts to tackle various people and problems, etc., are the skills that can change the image of a business. These skills are not taught anywhere or found in any books, and to a big mishap, they are not even integrated in the Indian academic system. They are necessarily required to be developed by a person himself with consciousness. It is a need of the time that every businessman grabs hold over these skills along with his expertise on techno-commercial features.  Sometimes it happens that academic knowledge fails but the soft skills succeed to bring results and thrusts the growth of a business.  These skills can be further developed and honed by interacting with the people belonging to the similar field. For example, IT professionals can grow in their skills by setting up contacts with domestic and overseas wizards of the field.  Transmitting right information to a right person at the right time is called a proper communication, and this bears a huge significance in any business. All may communicate; but a few can skillfully communicate. 

CEOs of current time are very much required to sharpen the soft skills to ensure growth of the business. Even the CEOs having abundant business experience may feel the need of soft skills while dealing with global customers. Soft skills make a person more social in the field he or she relates to, and when it comes to the corporate world, they are very much useful. As discussed hereinabove, these skills develop friendliness with people through efficient communication, social grace and good interpersonal skill. A person having less command over technical skills may counterbalance the deficit by his mastery over soft skills.  In our day to day life, many a times we see that a person of good tongue sells a bit lower quality of goods very easily, whereas a high quality material cannot be discharged by a person who is not good at speaking.  Command over soft skills also grants a person required confidence which creates a win-win situation for him.  Half the battle is just won by showing a friendliness and sociality. However, it does not mean that the inferior goods or services are always accepted by people or a good businessman is allowed to do so.  But, it is an excellent scenario when the businessman offers better goods or services to customers with a bit of soft skills mixed with them, the results will surely be surprising. It is true that good material only does not serve the purpose, but the good behaviour which is a resultant of soft skills, turns the situation in businessman’s favour. Take an example of a shopkeeper who directs us to some other shop for the item we look for is not available with him. Though directing to other shop does not earn a penny to him, but he shows the right direction and this attitude of him will leave a good image on our mind which will in turn drag us to his shop for any other item in future.

Practicing soft skills in business as well as domestic life produces amazing results for us.
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