TIMING/LENGTH (IN MINUTES): 60’
Next, we will work on different concepts to understand better what soft skills are, why they are important for companies, which are the most important ones for entrepreneurship. Finally, we will identify which soft skills we have.
To start, please first do an exercise to reflect on the concept of “soft skills”. How would you define the term soft skills? What does it mean to you?
After having thought about what we understand as soft skills, read the following definition:
Soft skills (the Anglo-Saxon term) or interpersonal skills (all synonyms) can be considered as a combination of social skills, communication skills, the characteristics of the person himself… and are measured by the effectiveness of communication and relationship with others.
Hard skills are those that are acquired in a formal way at school, institute and higher education, and have to do with the requirements, knowledge and skills, both technical and formal, to be able to develop a specific activity.
Hard skills are those that help us to specialize in a specific area in a professional way, acquired in an educational institution. Soft skills are those learnt in a continuous way in our personal development and that serve us to develop in the private and professional area of our life. We can learn hard and soft skills.
All types of skills are important and necessary depending on the job to be performed.
In the following, we want to shortly describe how a skill is acquired and learned.
PHASES OF LEARNING A SKILL:
Learning a skill usually has 4 phases:
1. Unconscious incompetence: we don’t know that we don’t possess a skill.
2. Conscious incompetence: we know that we do not possess a skill, we are aware of our “lack”.
3. Conscious competence: I have decided that I want to acquire this skill. I get training to be able to perfect it. This is the moment when I have to think about what I am doing at all times.
4. Unconscious competence: I have satisfactorily acquired this skill, in fact it has been so acquired and is so ingrained in our mind that we develop it and put it into practice without even thinking about it.
In short, interpersonal skills help us to differentiate ourselves from other people.
When I am not aware of what I know because I have automated it, I still have to be conscious that there are more things to learn.
We must know that we can improve, that we can continue to learn and that we can reinvent us again.
SOFT SKILLS AND THE WORLD OF WORK
Companies are increasingly looking for specific soft skills that fit the profile and identity of that company, but we can find a common profile of desirable soft skills in a job candidate.
Soft skills are very important in the characteristics that companies are looking for. It is more and more common to find workshops or projects that want to increase those skills.
|1. Good communication
2. Effective organization
4. Critical thinking
7. Adaptation to change
8. Corporate culture
9. Stress management
10. Conflict resolution
These two articles that talk about the importance of interpersonal skills when looking for a job, and which are the ones that companies look for when hiring someone (so you can complete the list that we have proposed).
DO the following exercise:
Imagine that you are the personnel manager of a big company working in the communication area. You have to select a person to be a project manager. What are the soft skills you would look for in that person?
SOFT SKILLS AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP
It is important for us to know the soft skills and use them to improve our relationships. Also, if we have a business idea, we can see how these skills can be used.
Each person is unique, and so are our skills. We can use them for our goal and business idea. Many entrepreneurs have a number of common specific characteristics:
Computer, paper, colour pencils