I hate the phrase ‘soft skills’! Is it just me, or is there a connotation that those skills are somehow less important than the ‘hard’ or ‘technical’ skills? In some ways, they may be easier to learn — but in many ways, they are harder to apply.

Truth be told, the so-called ‘soft skills’, often referred to as Emotional Intelligence (EI), are the differentiating factor in overall success. Daniel Goleman captured detailed documentation of the core research findings in his book, Working with Emotional Intelligence, which confirmed the following about leadership and success:

  • 90% of the difference between outstanding and average leaders is linked to EQ.
  • EQ is two times as important as IQ and technical expertise combined.
  • EQ is four times as important in terms of overall success.
  • In a study of more than 2,000 managers from 12 large organizations, 81% of the competencies that distinguished outstanding managers were related to emotional intelligence.

So, how do you get this wonderful thing called EI, and what is exactly is a soft skill? Soft skills are people skills! They are the social skills that you need to cultivate in order to become skilled at holding and building relationships. They are the Laws of Likability

Perhaps you already knew this, but didn’t know what to do about it. 

To create a well-rounded reserve of skills for any job interview you’re looking to tackle, ask yourself these questions:

1. Are you relatable? One of the ‘pillars of trust’ in the work environment is authenticity — You can’t connect with and trust someone who isn’t being real. 

2. Do people look up to you? Leadership is the alpha and the omega of ‘soft skills’. The foundation of a good leader is the ability to build relationships with people. 

3. Can you handle your emotions? Energy is contagious. If your mood swings impact your productivity, expect them to impact those around you – and almost always negatively. 

These questions just barely scratch the surface of all the great information in the article – there are 17 ‘soft skills’ for you to focus on! Click HERE to read the rest and learn how to use them to strengthen your presence in the workplace.