Soft skills are getting recognized more and more as being important in the workplace.
Rainer Starck’s TED talk predicts a crisis with regard to the workforce around 2030. It’s an interesting listen. If you don’t want to listen to the full talk, head over to Boston Consulting Guru Explains How To Prepare For The Workforce Crisis That Is Coming In 2030 for a summary on Business Insider.
In this talk Rainer shows what workers find important about their jobs.
Salary doesn’t even make it into the top 5.
The first four are about appreciation, relations, balance and relations again. You’ll need soft skills to deliver those to the team you are in, to the team that you lead and to the people that lead you.
I’d say that should put developing your soft skills at the top of your priority list. Soft skills are all about emotional intelligence. If you aren’t convinced yet about the importance of emotions and emotional intelligence in the workplace, you may want to read these articles:
- How Emotional Intelligence Became a Key Leadership Skill
They probably do a better job of explaining the importance than I ever can.
To get a feel for their importance, just think back to a time when someone’s failure to display soft skills, frustrated you. For example, when someone didn’t show appreciation for your effort, how that made you feel and what effect it had on the way you collaborated after that.
My guess is that you had a lot to say about what the other person should change. Not detracting from that. S/he probably could improve. But how about you yourself? When have you – inadvertently – trampled over someones feelings? How did that affect your working relationship? Probably not positively. And that will have had an effect on your communication, your effectiveness and your productivity.
Emotions may be inconvenient, especially for those of us that are very rationally inclined, but they are unavoidable. We are all human after all.
Improve your emotional intelligence and you will improve your effectiveness and your productivity. You will also improve your positive impact on your colleagues. And that will improve the effectiveness and productivity of your organization.
Emotional intelligence pays.