What Are Soft Skills In The Workplace?


For any job, you need at least a couple of skills related to the work at hand. But what are some skills that can be transferred to literally any kind of job there is out there?

Soft skills! That may sound like an exaggeration. But soft skills are the top skills a hiring manager will look for in new employees.

What Are Soft Skills In The Workplace

So, what are these invaluable skills that you should be implementing in the workplace? Read on to find out.

See Related: Why Are Interpersonal Skills Important In The Workplace?

Essential soft skills needed for the workplace

Every organization may have a different definition of what kind of soft skills they’re looking for. But below is a comprehensive list of soft skills you can use at any job.

#1. Communication skills

One of the most important skills for any job is good communication. And yet, good communication skills can often be difficult to spot within the hiring process.

As a soft skill, the ability to communicate effectively with colleagues not only allows people to share their own ideas. But it allows for colleagues to develop relationships with one another.

There’s developing a rapport. Then there’s informational communication when project deadlines are due.

Then, there’s the ability to have difficult conversations and come out of it unscathed. That’s communication – something every work environment needs.

#2. Critical thinking skills

You might consider critical thinking a technical skill. But it actually boils down to creativity.

A great way to test job candidates’ critical thinking is to ask them behavior-based questions. Ask them how they might solve a difficult problem.

Or how they may deal with a coworker that proves difficult to work with. Their answers will tell you more about their social skills than any cover letter could convey.

Besides, many employers will want to see how a potential hire behaves when thrown a curveball question. This is the perfect way to test their reflexes and their critical thinking.

#3. Interpersonal skills

Social skills are an important aspect of any workplace. Just think of how many times you’ve come home to family members to vent about that one person in the office.

Clean Comedians can teach your employees soft skills

But interpersonal skills give an employee the ability to navigate such obstacles with grace. Whether it’s focusing on the job at hand.

Or coming to a consensus with the person in question, interpersonal social skills can help improve your satisfaction in the office. And maybe even improve your work life balance.

If you feel like interpersonal skills are lacking at your workplace, consider suggesting a comedian for hire. They could certainly brighten up the conference room and get folks laughing in no time!

#4. Time management

An employee could have the hard skill of knowing how to do ten different projects perfectly. But they end up taking too much time on the project because they’re worried about it being perfect.

Good soft skills teach employees how to manage their time. And where to direct their energy.

Every job description will vary based on whether they’re a results-oriented operation or a process-oriented operation. But either way, having an employee with good time management skills can go a long way.

As is with most companies, time is money. So time management truly is the best investment for your company’s future.

#5. Leadership skills

It takes a certain kind of person to lead a group of others. And those qualities can all be defined as soft skills.

That being said, you don’t have to be a leader to possess leadership skills. In fact, many companies are looking to hire employees who have leadership tendencies like taking initiative or making decisions.

This soft skill in and of itself makes an employee a strong candidate. Because they’ll understand how to navigate various work environments no matter where they end up.

#6. Team player mindset

Being a team player is one of the best soft skills to possess in the workplace. Any job will require that colleagues lean on one another from time to time.

And if you have an employee who’s only focused on their own interests, then your company is going to suffer. On the other hand, a team player knows that they have skills to offer.

And does so willingly for the collective good. Like when you’re tasked with a project by the comedy magician the boss brought in. Besides, having a team player mindset makes for a much more inviting workplace.

One where folks can rely on one another to have their back. And celebrate the big wins altogether from everyone’s collective efforts.

#7. Problem solving skills

Problem solving skills in the workplace are an absolute must. Because problems will inevitably arise.

Again, this boils down to creative thinking. But ultimately, employers will want to hire professionals who know how to analyze a situation and create a plan of action.

This willingness to engage so readily is a key trait to problem solving. And it makes for a versatile soft skill.

#8. Creative thinking

We’ve talked about how thinking creatively is similarly related to thinking critically. But out of the other soft skills, this one focuses on an employee’s ability to be open-minded and receptive to new input.

Generate positivity in the office with clean comedians

When working with others, that kind of trait is invaluable. Because you don’t want to work with someone who has their mind made up and won’t accept any other answer.

Instead, employers want someone who can take in new perspectives. And piece together insights to make for new and refreshing solutions.

Not only can this revive the workplace. But it can expand the collective consciousness of its workers too.

#9. Active listening

When it comes to communication and teamwork, there’s nothing more important than listening. Sure, you might have some amazing ideas.

But being able to step back and hear others out first is a skill in and of itself. Active listening also cultivates an environment of respect amongst colleagues.

So everyone feels heard and valued for what they have to contribute. If everyone talked and nobody listened, nothing would get done.

But having the right balance makes the perfect recipe for success. So yes, you should definitely add “active listening” to your cover letter and resume.

Bonus: What Does An Event Planner Do?

#10. Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is all about knowing how to navigate emotional situations. Not only in oneself, but in others too.

This is one of those soft skills that can be incredibly hard to teach. But when implemented in the workplace can make for some great results.

Besides, those with high emotional intelligence are more apt to empathize with their colleagues. And this kind of working relationship makes for one based on mutual trust and respect.

#11. Work ethic

You might have all the hard skills in the world. But what about your work ethic?

Work ethic refers to those who take their work seriously. Because they realize it’s not just about the company; it’s a reflection of themselves.

#12. Flexibility

Things can change on a dime. And if an employee is unwilling to change with it, then they’re in big trouble.

Instead, soft skills in the workplace like flexibility can make for versatile employees. Because they know how to adapt to new circumstances and all with a positive attitude.

Take corporate entertainers, for example. They don’t know what’s going to happen up on the stage – just so long as they’re able to keep the company entertained!

#13. Collaboration

Collaboration in the workplace is all about knowing how to give and take. It’s about bringing new ideas to the table.

Find team players to add to your staff

And coming up with unique solutions. Other close soft skills related to collaboration include teamwork, creativity, and interpersonal skills. So it really does tie everything together.

#14. Organization

Organization essentially boils down to being prepared. Whether it’s being prepared for presentations, meetings, or otherwise.

This preparedness is one of those soft skills that indicates not only one’s work ethic. But one’s reliability and accountability for their actions.

#15. Openness to feedback

Being open to feedback is a critical soft skill. Because often, receiving feedback can feel quite personal.

But when an employee is open to notes, they’re demonstrating their willingness to change and adapt. Not to mention that their self-awareness will also benefit them in the long run too.

#16. Conflict resolution

Conflict is bound to arise within any group of people. But those with the soft skills able to manage conflict constructively are the ones hiring managers want to keep their eye on.

Because conflict doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Instead, it can serve as inspiration for new ideas or new ways of doing things.

Soft skills vs. hard skills in the workplace

By now, you understand what soft skills are in the workplace and how everyone can benefit from them. But let’s take a look at how soft skills differ from hard skills in the workplace.

Soft skills focus more on innate personality traits

Often, people don’t cite their soft skills on a resume. Because they’re somewhat difficult to define. But soft skills are often something that people innately possess.

That being said, you can still improve soft skills

Soft skills can absolutely be improved through study and practice. So don’t think you can’t improve these skill sets in yourself or in your co-workers.

Hard skills center around technical knowledge

This may mean computer programming or any type of skill you would learn at a trade school. And this is what we most often associate with what’s listed on a resume.

Hard skills are also known as technical skills

Technical skills are often easier to obtain through study and practice. Whereas soft skills are a little more intangible.

Soft skills are more difficult to measure

There’s no clear way to measure soft skills. But that’s also what makes them so desirable across multiple fields and disciplines.

But they focus on human interaction and interpersonal relationships

The core of soft skills resides in a person’s ability to communicate and work well with others. Think of it as the Human Resources of skill sets.

Hard skills are measurable and can be obtained through formal training programs

Plenty of workplaces will actually train their job candidates to learn the hard skills required for the job. But they’ll likely have chosen these candidates based on their soft skills in the first place.

Learn the difference between hard and soft skills

Hiring managers will often look for potential employees with both

That being said, having the right balance between soft and hard skills is the way to get a hiring manager’s attention. Because it really is the best of both worlds.

Soft skills are often transferable skills in any work environment

Plenty of companies have cited soft skills as the number one quality they look for in a candidate. And that’s due to its versatility and effectiveness when put in action.

Though soft skills training is often difficult to teach

Training programs do exist to teach soft skills. But it’s much more of a personal journey than an intellectual one.

Hard skills tend to suit niche technical jobs for skilled workers

Hard skills absolutely have their place in the workforce. Namely, in craftsman or trade professions.

Whereas critical thinkers with soft skills give companies a competitive edge

Many companies are now saying that soft skills are what set job candidates apart. So keep that in mind as you go job hunting.

Final thoughts

Soft skills in the workplace can be many different things. But the one thing that’s for sure is that it can serve you in both your personal and professional life. 

Keep Reading: How To Promote Teamwork In The Workplace

Adam Christing is a professional comedy magician, virtual MC, and the founder of CleanComedians.com. He is a member of the world-famous Magic Castle in Hollywood and a popular corporate entertainer, magician, and virtual speaker.