Gateway Piece“Soft skills are the ones that make people stand out as high performers at work, in business and in life, they are under-appreciated.” 

Soft Skills include but are not limited to, skills for communication, teamwork, problem-solving, time management, critical thinking, decision-making, organizational skills, stress management, adaptability, conflict management, leadership, creativity, resourcefulness, persuasion, openness to criticism, emotional intelligence, skills for resilience and skills for managing money. They are a combination of people skills, social skills and self-management skills and are “transferable” since they are not specific to a particular profession or job. The term “Soft Skills” came from the US military as a technological way of contrasting with “Hard Skills” which involved working with military machines. In ordinary life, “Hard Skills” are our technical, professional, and vocational skills.

While soft skills are the ones that make people stand out as high performers at work, in business and in life, they are under-appreciated. With only hard skills you can do your job but to excel at it, you need soft skills as well. For example, an employee with good time management skills knows how to prioritize tasks to meet deadlines, an employer is more likely to hire or promote someone who is more collaborative and flexible, willing to learn, who has an adaptive personality, is resilient, knows how to negotiate and has excellent communication skills.

Seventy-five percent of long-term job, business and life success depends on soft skills. People with soft skills are more likely to turn their knowledge, hard skills, talents and experiences into effective employment, career progress, lucrative businesses and fulfilling lives. Individuals with higher levels of soft skills get jobs easier, learn better on the job, earn more and are in better health. The education system almost exclusively focuses on providing hard skills and pays very little attention to soft skills. Almost all skilling initiatives focus on hard skills. Don`t let the fact that they are called “Soft Skills”
deceive you that they are unimportant, optional, or easy to acquire. ROUTE International trains, supports and mentors young adults in the education system, individuals in the community, teams in companies and businesses, and families soft skills for Employability, Business and Life.

Author – Dr. Jane Kengeya – Kayondo