In our latest episode of Test. Learn. Grow., our hosts, Myles and Allyn, dive into soft skills, focusing on Myle Bigg’s experience with growing soft skills and the importance of developing them.
Rather listen than read? In this podcast episode, Myles and Allyn talk about the origins of soft skills, how to learn them, and their role in everyday life.
What are soft skills?
Soft skills, while they have always inadvertently existed, weren’t a focus until the late 60s. The US military was the one to coin the phrase and to recognize its importance. Soft skills are the aspects of roles that do not apply to technical skills. This includes problem-solving, public speaking, leadership, work ethic, and much more. These skills are more personal, are used to effectively interact with others, and help you to appeal to people’s emotions and motivate them.
How do you learn soft skills?
There is no exact formula for learning soft skills, everyone’s path is different. What worked for Myles, won’t work for everyone. As Myles reflects on his past and what drove him, it all began when he was a child. His parents got him involved in sports and boy scouts, pushing him out of his comfort zone. Up through his college years he participated in competitive swimming, it was all on him. The water’s cold can’t be used as an excuse when it is the same for everyone. It is all applicable to work life. You have ownership and learn soft skills without even realizing it a lot of the time. But there are then the times where it takes work to learn. In his college sociology courses he was challenged to think differently. You can also learn anything from reading, but then sharpen it by applying and doing it. You learn a lot through trying and making mistakes.
What data supports the importance of soft skills?
As a data driven agency, we are always looking at the hard facts. It is abundantly clear from the countless number of studies and research conducted those soft skills are essential to being successful.
In the Future of Work 2021: Global Hiring Outlook conducted by Monster, the top skills employers wanted were dependability, teamwork, problem-solving, and flexibility. Notice how they are all soft skills?
LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends 2019 report stated that 92% of talent professionals thought that soft skills are equally or more important than hard skills when it comes to hiring, with 89% saying that new hires fail due to lacking the critical soft skills.
Yale recently published a study on emotionally intelligent bosses making happier and more creative employees. At a certain point, everyone can do the technical skills. How you can motivate others and who you are is what makes a good leader. You want to inspire people and be able to recognize what needs work.
Myles was not surprised by these findings in the slightest. Humans are social beings, pack animals. It doesn’t matter how good you are at a job if no one can stand to work with you.
How do soft skills correlate with marketing?
Whether you are in marketing or another industry, you are in the people-pleasing business. In a leadership role, you have to get people to go along with you towards a goal to create the product or service. In marketing, we are thinking critically to create audiences and tailoring the messaging to them. If the message doesn’t resonate, it won’t be effective. You need to understand the people to put it into the marketing and to lead a team to accomplish your goals.
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