You’re probably familiar with the term “soft skills.” They’re things like conflict resolution, communication, creativity, and active listening. Unlike “hard skills” like math and science, soft skills are more touchy-feely. And although most people see them as valuable, they’re generally not viewed as essential.

Current research, however, suggests that soft skills are more important than most people realize. They are, in fact, essential. You need to know how to interact with others in order to successfully get work done.

In its Future of Jobs report, the World Economic Forum identified crucial skills that all employees will need in order to succeed in the global workforce. These skills included the following:

  • Complex problem solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Creativity
  • People management
  • Coordinating with others
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Judgement and decision making
  • Service orientation
  • Negotiation
  • Cognitive flexibility

Similarly, in a recent study conducted at Google, it was found that the best predictor of success was whether or not their employees had certain soft skills. The most essential skills included things like being a good listener, being supportive and empathetic, and being a good problem-solver.

So what if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t have strong interpersonal skills? Don’t despair! These qualities aren’t innate. They’re not something that you’re born with. You can develop soft skills through training and practice. With the right instruction, you can become the type of employee whom everyone loves to work with! It just takes a little knowledge and effort.


O’Sullivan, T. (2019, January 4). Why there is nothing soft about soft skills. Skillsoft. Retrieved from: