What are Human Skills?

Human (soft) skills are skills that enable high performance and productivity in leaders and teams.

Everyone seems to value hard skills (technical skills) but aren’t as enthusiastic about soft skills (human skills). But why? Human skills like communication and adaptability are invaluable when it comes to being a high performing leader or team member. These types of skills have the longest shelf-life of any skills, can be transferred across projects, and allow for stronger working relationships.

Other people might describe soft skills as ​‘people skills’, ‘social skills’, ‘thinking skills’, ‘personal attributes’ or ‘emotional intelligence’. Essentially, soft skills represent a cluster of skills that help us increase self-awareness, build healthier, more constructive relationships, and optimise performance.

What are some examples of human (soft) skills?

To learn a skill is a practical exercise and it’s no different with human skills – we all have the power to grow capability in these types of skills.

Here’s a ‘top ten’ list of human skills that are popular among organisations training their teams:

1. Communication
2. Adaptability
3. Time Management
4. Presentation Skills
5. Coaching
6. Feedback
7. Empathy
8. Inclusion
9. Problem Solving
10. Resilience

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How will human (soft) skills training help my organisation?

The number one reason people leave their jobs is because of a lack of growth opportunities.

Investing in human skills development is an investment in your people for the long-term. By committing to the growth of the whole person, you are able to build greater trust and affect outcomes. With a healthy culture and a holistic development strategy, people are more engaged, and you can reduce absenteeism and employee turnover.

Businesses who invest in the development of human skills are actively building a sustainable talent pipeline, ready for the future of work. As jobs become automated and machines handle routine tasks, people’s value will be measured in more than just technical skills. The ability for people to adapt, build relationships, and influence others will become an essential part of high performance.

Put simply, an investment in human skills is an investment in the future of your organisation.

See Examples of Popular Human Skills

Learn more about adaptability, communication, time management and presentation skills and how to help employees grow capability in these human skills.

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Want to delve a little deeper into human skills? We’ve created the ‘5 Essential Human Skills: Practical Guide for Teams’ to help you!