Soft Skills

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DEFINITION of 'Soft Skills'

The character traits and interpersonal skills that characterize a person's relationships with other people. In the workplace, soft skills are considered a complement to hard skills, which refer to a person's knowledge and occupational skills. Sociologists may use the term soft skills to describe a person's "EQ" or " Emotional Intelligence Quotient" (as opposed to "IQ").

BREAKING DOWN 'Soft Skills'

Soft skills have more to do with who we are than what we know. As such, soft skills encompass the character traits that decide how well one interacts with others, and are usually a definite part of one's personality. Whereas hard skills can be learned and perfected over time, soft skills are more difficult to acquire and change.



The soft skills required for a doctor, for example, would be empathy, understanding, active listening and a good bedside manner. Alternatively, the hard skills necessary for a doctor would include a vast comprehension of illnesses, the ability to interpret test results and symptoms, and a thorough understanding of anatomy and physiology.

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RELATED FAQS
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    Although it is valuable to demonstrate experience in a particular industry when applying for a job, employers are more interested ... Read Full Answer >>
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    A manager is typically someone who supervises multiple employees and therefore requires a strong core of emotional intelligence ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What are some training & development techniques used to improve interpersonal skills?

    Strengthening your empathy through deep listening techniques is essential to improve your interpersonal skills. Until recently, ... Read Full Answer >>
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    Interpersonal skills influence business cultures because they affect job performance, which in turn helps to decide the outcome ... Read Full Answer >>
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