What are Soft Skills?The term soft skills describes a range of skills that can be broadly categorised as 'people skills. It is a modern term derived to distinguish it from what we now call 'hard skills'. Hard skills are what we would usually associate with ones qualifications. For example - a Doctorate in Medicine would be considered a hard skill required of GP. Bedside manner would be a soft skill.Below is Wikipedia’s definition of Soft Skills;Examples of soft skillsSocialisingParticipate in a team (team building)Lead a team (leadership)Unite a team amidst cultural differencesTeach othersCoach othersMotivate othersNegotiationDecision makingProblem solvingObserve forms of etiquetteActive ListeningMaintain meaningless conversation (small talk)Maintain meaningful conversation (discussion/debate)Defuse arguments with timing, instructions and polite, concise languageEstablish rapportEmpathic communicationSelf-awarenessProactive AttitudeInterpersonal communicationSoft skills is a sociological term relating to a person's "EQ" (Emotional Intelligence Quotient), the cluster of personality traits, social graces, communication, language, personal habits, friendliness, and optimism that characterize relationships with other people. Soft skills complement hard skills (part of a person's IQ), which are the occupational requirements of a job and many other activities.A person's soft skill EQ is an important part of their individual contribution to the success of an organization. Particularly those organizations dealing with customers face-to-face are generally more successful if they train their staff to use these skills. Screening or training for personal habits or traits such as dependability and conscientiousness can yield significant return on investment for an organization. For this reason, soft skills are increasingly sought out by employers in addition to standard qualifications.It has been suggested that in a number of professions soft skills may be more important over the long term than occupational skills. The legal profession is one example where the ability to deal with people effectively and politely, more than their mere occupational skills, can determine the professional success of a lawyer.What makes soft skills so important? Soft skills are at the core of what it means to be human.Relationships, needs, purpose, interpersonal communication, emotional health, attitude, growth, sense of security, confidence, motivation, you name it - are all part of the equation.The more developed one becomes in terms of skills in these areas, the better one relates to themselves, and to the world around them. This can have a profound and positive affect not only on the person concerned, but also on those involved with that person. What we are talking about here is, promoting the development of mature, emotionally healthy, well balanced people.What has this to do with business and organisations?Everything.Well Balanced individuals with good 'people skills' are far more effective within the organisations they serve. Unfortunately the opposite is also true. Poor skills in these critical areas can cause disruption, and in some cases can be a serious risk that can potentially damage or even cause the collapse of an organisation.An organisation that is actively interested in the growth and emotional health of its people, is a healthy organisation and will be far more effective than one that neglects this crucial aspect.Neglecting the emotional needs of an individual can have disastrous consequences. Put simply - An organisation of emotionally well balanced people will be a well balanced, productive, and effective organisation.SoftSkills Ireland, Cork.Made with Xara Career Coaching - Development and Training - Consultancy ServicesSoftSkills Ireland, Cork.Delivering excellence in the world of workAbout Soft SkillsSoftSkills Ireland, Cork.