Soft skills are in demand in nearly every company regardless of the industry they belong to. A Wall Street Journal survey of 900 executives found that 92% said soft skills were equally important or more important than technical skills. And 89% of those surveyed said they have a “very or somewhat difficult time finding people with the requisite attributes.”
Similarly, LinkedIn’s 2018 Workforce-Report found that the four most in-demand soft skills are;
- Collaboration and
Now the question is, Are soft skills a better predictor of success?
According to Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence at Work, yes! In his research of 500 executives that emotional intelligence – soft skills – was a better predictor of top performance than previous experience or IQ.
CEOs at some of the world’s top companies (Amazon, Xerox, and Tesla, to name a few) leads with emotional intelligence have designed their entire corporate structure around soft skills.
And soft skills aren’t just great for creating a fulfilling and pleasant work environment. The link between profit and leaders with high emotional intelligence is clear. In one study, CEOs whose employees rated them high in character had an average return of 9.35% over a two-year period, nearly five times as much as companies with CEOs who had low character ratings. The case for recruiting for soft skills is strong: but, there’s something to be said for balancing good leadership and communication with individuals who have honed their talent.
Don’t Ignore Hard Skills
Cal Newport, author of So Good They Can’t Ignore You, believes that to have a successful career, you must hone skills that make you an expert in at least one domain. There will always be a market ready for those with a depth of knowledge in that one subject; certain fields will always demand new people with niche skills and technical expertise. Newport argues that the more expertise you have in a field, the more control and satisfaction it’ll provide you with respect to your career.
While it’s true that only technical masters do become top CEOs – like Bill Gates, Larry Page, Mark Zuckerberg – other experts note that eventually, soft skills and emotional intelligence should be learned.
Many programmers, for example, have some of the basic hard skills that it takes to run a company. However, they fall short on key EQ traits like listening.
We must remember, for every successful interaction, communication is the key.
Ready to raise your team’s soft-skills competency to level-up effectiveness? Then, Let’s talk!