The Importance of Soft Skills in the New Millennium
Students in the new millennium are tech savvy, authentic, liberal, progressive, confident and impatient. They are busy playing online games and are always hooked to social media platforms. They prefer online interaction rather than face-to-face interaction. They mostly prefer indoor games when compared to yesteryears when students would prefer playing outdoor games. Soft skills are generally related to competencies that complement hard skills when we are trying to complete any one task.
Organisations today are giving more preference to people with exemplary soft skills rather than hard, or technical, skills. Possessing only hard skills will not help you in achieving your goals, but having good soft skills will enhance the employability of students.
The following are some of the soft skills that must be focused on in the new millennium.
- Listening skills
- Communication Skills
- Team-building skills
- Leadership Skills
- Problem Solving Skills
- Time management Skills
- Persuasion skills
- Negotiation skills
- Analytical thinking skills
- Conflict management skills
- Assertiveness skills
- Feedback skills
- Counselling skills
- Presentation skills
Soft skills can be acquired and polished only by practising them. Students should participate in games where they can work in groups and develop skills like interpersonal skills, leadership skills, and time management and so on. Taking part in various competitions and actively involving in organising various events in schools, colleges and universities will also help in understanding the importance of soft skills. All students should be involved in various activities that will help them in acquiring and polishing various soft skills.
Working with nonprofit organisations provides a great opportunity for students to actively participate in community service activities but also gives an opportunity to work with different people, which will help in becoming more adaptable to situations and people. Taking feedback from your friends and teachers will help the students in identifying weak areas.
Soft skills are not something you can just study in a book to get better, improvement takes practise over time. Improving soft skills is fundamentally about changing your behaviour and thought patterns towards yourself and others, so every interaction you have with people at work is an opportunity to practise a soft skill.
Parents should ensure that their children are working in groups and actively participating in various activities, both at home and school. Building self-awareness to understand why you react to certain situations and people a certain way, why you become stressed, angry, shy, irritated, etc… In order to develop any self-management skills, you first have to understand yourself. Change starts at the point of awareness. Soft skills are critical for success in your career after finishing your studies. They allow us to effectively and efficiently use our technical skills and knowledge. They improve the way we interact with our bosses, co-workers and customers. They permit us to get our work done on time. They influence how we feel about our jobs and how others perceive us. Focusing and working on improving your soft skills right from your school days will help you not only in getting jobs, but also will help in sustaining, performing and excelling in your work.