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Why 71 percent of employers prefer employees with soft skills

9 Sep 2015

Why 71 percent of employers prefer employees with soft skills

What exactly are ‘soft skills?

Wikipedia says ’Soft Skills’ is; ‘a term often associated with a person’s “EQ” (Emotional Intelligence Quotient)… Soft skills contrast to hard skills, which are generally easily quantifiable and measurable (e.g. software knowledge, basic plumbing skills).’

Why 71 Percent Of Employers Prefer Employees With Soft Skills

Soft/EQ skills include:

Emotional control, communication, empathy, listening, motivating, questioning, teamwork, conflict resolution, adaptability, problem solving and resilience. These are the skills and traits that make people, teams and organisations successful.

Thus there is an increasing demand for these highly valued ’Soft Skills’

Of employers surveyed:

  • 71 percent value emotional intelligence (EQ) in an employee more than IQ
  • 59 percent of employers would not hire someone who has a high IQ but low EQ
  • For workers being considered for a promotion, the high EQ candidate will beat out the high IQ candidate 75 percent of the time.  Source
  • When asked why emotional intelligence is more important than high IQ, employers said (in order of importance):
Employees [with high EQ] are more likely to:
  • stay calm under pressure
  • resolve conflict effectively
  • Be empathetic to their team members and react accordingly
  • lead by example
  • make more thoughtful business decisions

HR managers and hiring managers assess their candidates’ and employees’ EI by observing a variety of behaviours and qualities.

The top responses from the survey were that those with high EQ:
  • admit and learn from their mistakes
  • can keep emotions in check and have thoughtful discussions on tough issues
  • listen as much or more than they talk
  • take criticism well
  • show grace under pressure
But hang on a minute!

Aren’t these essentially the same skills that would be valuable in relationships, parenting, teaching, nursing etc? It’s no wonder there is an increasing demand for them.

Admittedly, some people have some of these traits as a natural part of their personality. We all know people who are empathetic, others who can stay calm under pressure etc. But I don’t know anyone who has, innately, all the skills and traits encompassed under the ’soft skills’ or EQ labels.

These behaviours are often deemed personality traits

That tends to mean you either have them or you don’t. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact any observable behaviour can be copied, learned and taught to others.

Take rapport for example

Rapport is a crucial and basic skill for successful relating in any context. Most people think that you either have rapport with someone or you don’t. If you’re not able to gain rapport, you’re stuck! But, rapport has a structure that can be easily learnt and replicated. This enables you to build rapport with anyone, even with a ‘difficult’ person or someone for whom you feel no affinity. Let’s face it, being able to achieve rapport with a customer or potential boss might be the difference between success and failure. A person with ‘natural’ rapport abilities will struggle to get rapport with individuals they don’t like, simply because they have no conscious awareness of how they ‘do’ rapport. This makes it just as vital for them to learn rapport so they can gain conscious control of their unconscious behaviour.

But where do you learn soft skills?

Education facilities and tertiary institutes are generally focused on teaching academic or specific intellectual knowledge or ‘hard’ skills. It’s almost as if they too expect people to have the EQ traits innately – or absorb them by osmosis! So even though soft skills training is valued, it may not be taught because it’s considered to be personal development.

All development is personal development

You are a person – not a machine that can be turned on and off. So whatever you learn you have to take it on board personally before you’re able to use it. Fortunately you can learn these skills because I teach many EQ skills on, The Power of Personal Change – MetaMorphosis 101 course.

I frequently find participants who have learnt the technical, ‘hard’ skills required for their role but who don’t have all the EQ skills required to be successful in their career. Or they already have some EQ talent but have come up against some issues they struggle to resolve. At the end of this six-day training they have  more of the required skills. They transform themselves into inspiring leaders and I see their careers take off and their relationships improve.

EQ/Soft Skills need to be practised

Many of us are so accustomed to short courses where we simply sit and listen that we may not perceive the value that comes from a longer course. The  Power of Personal Change is a personal AND a professional development programme. The learning is integrated, layered and built upon, expanding your skill set, day by day. This means that by the end of the course you’ve not only completed and learnt a body of knowledge, but you’re able to use it behaviourally back on the job, at home and socially.

Such is the depth and breadth of learning

Describing The Power of Personal Change as a deep, expansive and transformative experience makes it sound vague and unattainable! Yet those are the things people comment on most frequently. Take a look

Understandably, participants talk about what was powerful for them. It’s difficult, in a short testimonial for participants to cover every insight, change and development they’ve experienced during a 6-day course. And, by the same token no one wants to read blow by blow accounts of individuals’ learning. So people either talk about the course as a whole or highlight a few points that were particularly pertinent to them. By necessity they leave out of their testimonials a whole lot of the deep and meaningful stuff that was experienced.

It would be worth your while reading the testimonials

Participants often clearly identify their own concerns prior to taking the course, as well as how these were overcome. I’m sure you’ll be able to relate to at least one of them, especially if you’re considering this training course.

Otherwise, I know of nowhere else you can gain these Soft/EQ skills in a safe, friendly and fun environment. And nothing else that will sky rocket your career and relationships the way The Power of Personal Change will do. Plus, there’s a money-back guarantee!