The Importance of Non-Technical Skills
Don’t make the mistake of underestimating the importance of non-technical skills — even in this high-tech world. The lone artisan working at his bench is more and more rare. Businesses these days increasingly achieve their objectives by relying on diverse and dispersed teams of workers with varied needs and skill sets.
Technical Skills Form the Foundation
We know from people manager assessment data that to contribute and be a high performer at work, employees must have the basic technical competencies required to “do the job.” But, even more importantly, they need to have the non-technical skills — the so called emotional intelligence and soft skills in order to effectively collaborate with others in a way that makes the whole greater than its parts. In other words, you need the soft skills in order to leverage the hard skills.
The Research Regarding the Growing Importance of Non-Technical Skills
We know from leadership simulation assessment data that business leaders are recognizing how very much soft skills matter in improving business performance:
What This Means
In general, technical skills, given the basic intelligence required, are a ticket to play the game and can be learned fairly quickly and easily. The ability to build relationships, cooperate with co-workers, and effectively manage others is a skill set that takes a greater level of focus, investment, and reinforcement to develop and sustain. And, unlike technical skills that can become quickly outdated by shifts in the marketplace, people skills never become obsolete.
The Bottom Line
When you are trying to hire top talent or looking to boost performance, don’t make the mistake of underestimating the importance of non-technical skills. Look for the minimum of hard skills needed to get the job done. Then hire, promote, develop, and reinforce the soft skills required to create high performance.
To learn more about building soft skills, download The #1 Reason Soft Skills Training Fails According to Executives
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