Home Lifestyle It’s time to ditch the term “soft skills.”

It’s time to ditch the term “soft skills.”

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the Soft skills Covering all skills and non-technical skills that allow everyone to develop in life, from a personal or professional point of view. However, this term is now outdated and should be dropped.

The leadership development sector, which is valued today at $67 billion which should be approached $180 billion By 2032, a glaring, obvious, and longstanding problem must be rectified: There is no Soft skills “.

It has long been mistakenly referred to as smooth (read “soft”), these skills are actually the foundation of effective leadership. It’s time to drop that outdated term and disdain and embrace their true essence: those Soft skills She actually is Professional competencies.

Dispelling the myth: Soft skills Not sweet

Interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence are still misleading on it Soft skills. However, this designation does not accurately reflect the true importance of these skills and maintains the erroneous notion that they are less important than technical skills. Professional skills are more important than ever in today’s increasingly complex and interconnected world of work. However, it is not “soft” at all.

The US Army is certainly at the origin of this definition. In the late 1960s, the US military realized that so-called “soft” skills played an important role in determining the outcome of military training. Far from being associated with the use of machines or weapons, these skills centered on the human element: the social ability required to lead groups, inspire troops, and ultimately emerge victorious from battle.

After this discovery, the military wasted no time delving into the intricacies of so-called “soft” skills. Recognizing its importance, I classified and studied it, cementing its place as an essential component of military strategy and personal leadership. Finally, like command and control tactics, the concept of ” Soft skills He made his way into the corporate world.

Outside the US military, defining these basic skills as “job skills” or “leadership skills” is key to dispelling myths about their value.

Power of professional skills

As all leaders know, effective leadership requires a diverse and consistent mix of skills. Leaders must manage complex relationships, inspire their teams, and design innovative strategies while fostering a culture of collaboration and continuous improvement. There is nothing “soft” about these responsibilities: they are the foundation upon which successful organizations are built.

While technical skills are essential, Soft skills (which can also be translated as soft skills in French) is the glue that unites people, teams, and business units. These skills encompass a wide range of abilities, including communication, problem-solving, critical thinking, emotional intelligence, and teamwork. They form the foundation on which leaders and their teams develop trust, collaboration, and performance. However, we can’t keep calling her “sweet,” because that’s far from the case.

Moreover, these skills have a direct impact on the results of the organization. According to a study conducted by Human Resource Management Association (SHRM), companies that invest in developing professional skills benefit from greater employee engagement, improved productivity, and higher employee retention rates.

Become the hero

With the world of work still changing at a rapid pace and inflation and potential recession still looming large, we will remember that successful leaders are those who invest in their teams to avert disaster today. And those who work skillfully to plan and achieve a better future. Of course, this requires the development of professional skills.

the World Economic Forum He also emphasized the growing importance of vocational skills in the workforce. In its 2022 report on the future of jobs, the World Economic Forum has identified critical thinking, complex problem-solving, emotional intelligence and creativity as essential skills for success in the workplace of the future. None of this is “sweet”. The report highlights the need for organizations to invest in professional skills development in order to remain competitive in an ever-changing business landscape.

In addition, organizations must focus on building a culture of continuous learning, where professional skills are continually honed, and where the wisdom of others is sought.

The value of professional skills

Many CEOs understand the importance of job skills to business success. The best of them don’t use terms like “soft skills,” either.

for example, Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, highlights the role of professional skills in driving innovation and growth. She said, “Promoting a culture that encourages collaboration and creative problem-solving is critical to our success. Our commitment to developing professional skills within our organization has allowed us to adapt to change, meet our clients’ needs and stay ahead of the competition.”

In the same way, Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, talks about the importance of professional skills in delivering a great customer experience. in his book Click Update Published in 2017, he wrote: “At Microsoft, we believe that investing in developing the professional skills of our employees is key to delivering exceptional products and services to our customers.”

It is necessary to abandon (finally) the term ” Soft skills and replace them with “professional skills” (or at least “leadership skills”) to accurately reflect the true importance and role of these skills in organizations today.

An outdated idea Soft skills It underestimates the importance of these skills and minimizes their role in business success, fostering innovation and solving complex problems in the modern workplace.

Adopting the term “professional skills” gives these essential human elements the appreciation and value they deserve.

Translated article from Forbes US – Author: Dan Pontefract

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