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Soft skills are 85% of a person’s success in a profession

Business analyst Viktor Kublanov shares a list of key soft skills that every IT specialist should have, and suggests sources you can use to learn more about them.

Business analyst Viktor Kublanov

The Wearecommunity.io platform raised an important topic for the development of an IT specialist — upgrading soft skills. We’ve included some of the main points below.

Soft skills — highly personal, non-technical skills that help us handle our daily tasks and work with people. We need to develop and grow this skill set regardless of our work specialization. Soft skills are valuable in all areas of life and work; they are sometimes thought of as personality traits, and are related to emotional intelligence.

Hard skills — professional skills needed for specific tasks in daily work. They are based on technical knowledge or training. Hard skills can readily be learned and their effectiveness can be measured.

Research from Harvard University, the Stanford Research Center, and the Carnegie Foundation suggests that “soft skills” account for 85% of a person’s professional success, while hard skills account for only 15%.

Google’s Project Aristotle involved an internal investigation to determine the most productive teams within the company. It provided unexpected results, and Google discovered that its best teams were mixed groups of employees with strong soft skills, including such important skills as communication, empathy, and leadership.

The top 14 essential soft skills, and sources that you can use to learn more about them.

1. Communication. An information transfer process, an exchange of knowledge or information between people. Communication helps us build interpersonal relationships and resolve personal and professional issues.

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2. Critical thinking. The ability to manage information in a balanced way. We live in an intensive flow of information every day. It’s easy to lose focus. This skill helps us: verify and clarify all necessary information, clearly understand the connections between different facts, think rationally, make the right decisions, and formulate strong arguments. Without critical thinking you can easily become a victim of manipulation.

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3. Customer focus. The ability to identify the needs and desires of your audience. This skill helps you connect customers’ expectations and needs with your project goals.

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4. Project Management. A project involves different people: the customer, contractors, assistants, third-party entities. The project manager stands at the center of the system. They manage and control the life cycle of the project and are responsible for its success.

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5. Mentoring. The basic professional knowledge of a junior employee may be different from what is required for day-to-day work tasks. A more experienced mentor typically shares their knowledge and skills to assist the professional growth and adaptation of the less experienced employee.

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6. Nonviolent Communication. This is a subset of communication skills generally, it involves a method of communicating clearly and accurately, and getting your point across by first creating empathy between the parties to the discussion. In Nonviolent Communication, you communicate with the goal of establishing interpersonal harmony, gathering facts then expressing your needs and formulating a request. This skill helps to negotiate mutually acceptable solutions in meetings and in personal communication with colleagues and loved ones.

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7. Decision-making. The ability to consciously choose the best solution from among possible options. This skill involves making informed decisions after you have assessed the relevant information; it is key to achieving goals quickly and maximizing benefits.

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8. Problem-solving. This skill helps you solve challenges at work and in life. It generally involves multiple steps, including observation, analysis, and implementation. The more you practice it, the more difficult situations you’ll be able to handle and resolve. Problem-solving is similar to project management and decision-making — you overcome challenges to achieve goals and get results.

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    9. Emotional intelligence. The ability to understand and manage your own emotions, and to recognize and influence the emotions of others. This skill helps you solve practical problems, make decisions, and build communication with others.

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      10. Knowledge management. Knowledge management helps you choose sources of information, sort them, analyze the available information, and achieve the objectives of your organization by optimally applying the knowledge you’ve gained.

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      11. Working with uncertainty. Successfully working with uncertainty allows you to quickly respond to changing requirements, make optimal decisions with incomplete information, and leverage available resources.

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      12. Lean manufacturing. The ability to eliminate waste, find bottlenecks, and improve the process of creating something. This skill helps to optimize resources for a particular person or an entire production. It is necessary for entrepreneurs who are involved in small, medium, or large-scale production.

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      13. Ecological thinking. The ability to deal with events without causing harm to oneself or others. Ecological thinking recognizes the interconnectedness of individuals and systems and involves accepting responsibility for one’s actions and employing a positive attitude toward the world. The skill helps you to be passionate about what you do and derive satisfaction from the results of your work.

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      14. Self-reflection. An ability to analyze one’s actions, emotions, and thought processes. It helps you evaluate your actions, and has been shown to improve performance. This skill helps you make better decisions using your knowledge of yourself and awareness of your needs.

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      Do you want to know what skills you possess, what skills you need to further develop, and — most importantly — what IT profession best suits your collection of skills and abilities? Take the psychology and neuroscience test on the Anywhere Club website.

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