What are soft skills and why do we need them?

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At the core of Bettering Education’s ethos is the aim to help improve the youth’s soft skills, in order to help them acquire the skills needed to get jobs or pursue higher education. From this, many people may wonder, what exactly are soft skills? Today, we will be discussing what softs skills are, how they help us and why we need them.

 

Understanding soft skills

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, soft skills are “Personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people.”  Whilst this definition is vague, the best way to understand the idea of soft skills is through examples. Some of these include things like ‘people skills’ and ‘self management’ skills. In a recent TED talk, Andy Wible discussed this definition in greater detail. 

 

How can these skills help us in the everyday life?

In terms of everyday life, these skills are able to help us with our interpersonal communication. They can help us strengthen bonds between each other and when meeting new people. In a working environment, it can help us communicate with our colleagues and be more emotionally intelligent – this includes empathizing and conveying tone. The skills can encourage us to be more forward thinking, which in turn can encourage us to speak up in the working environment and potentially put forward ideas in the workplace. Similarly, since these skills include professionalism in the workplace, they can encourage a better working environment for all. Thus, these can lead to promotions and a stronger sense of belonging in the workplace.

 

The primary soft skill that we can use in everyday life is confidence. The fact that confidence can be directly linked to skills after education (such as in the workplace or relationships) means that is it imperative that we are able to encourage youth to speak up for themselves. Whether this is in a civic sense, such as casting a vote, or in a more practical sense, such as speaking up in a classroom, it is a skill that one must have to be successful in any endeavor.

 

How do we help instill these soft skills?

At Bettering Education, we strive to help youth between the ages of 16 and 25 to gain these soft skills, which they might not necessarily be able to develop in a traditional classroom setting. This is often conducted through workshops that teach youth the skills in more memorable, meaningful ways. Since there is a demand for soft skills in the workplace, they must be taught in a way that encourages youth to be more confident and comfortable in themselves.

 

How can you help teach these soft skills?

The best way for you to help instill these soft skills in 16 to 25 year olds is by donating to our cause! This can be done through our website, where you can see exactly how the soft skills have benefited those below the poverty line. Why do you think we need soft skills?

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You do a wonderful job with those kids that need us so much. I will definitely join you as a volunteer!

Lorraine Franklin

It's always a pleasure to work with these guys - they know what they want and that is why they achieve their goals. Thanks a lot for the team spirit and your work!

Brett Lewis

My daughter learned a lot from the team in the workshops she attended. She's growing into a very personable young lady!

Dianna Young