What if soft skills made all the difference?

The idea that improving professional performance is intimately linked to the development of behavioural skills is now accepted.

In a constantly changing world, shaken up by health crises or the emergence of AIs, the professional environment must adapt. While employees are expected to adopt new ways of working, they also have unique expectations of their superiors. This reciprocity can be anchored in the development of soft skills!

What are behavioural skills?

Behavioural skills, soft skills refer to the social skills that stem from each individual’s emotional and relational intelligence and communication skills. This unique set of skills reflects a person’s ability to adapt to different situations. Faced with their work environment and social interactions, each individual uses their own soft skills to meet the challenges they face. Hence the absolute necessity of knowing how to identify them in order to make the most of them!

Taking into account the psychological profile of individuals, soft skills complement hard skills, which refer to the technical skills acquired during university or training courses. Far from being useless or superfluous, behavioural skills have a permanent influence on people’s decision-making. So much so that they have now become an essential element in employability, professional mobility and career success!

Finally, soft skills are characterised by their cross-functional nature. Linked to a foundation of corporate values and qualities intrinsic to each individual, they are not attached to a particular job or professional activity. Quite the contrary! The way in which we position ourselves in relation to ourselves, our workload and others is transferable to many everyday professional situations. Valued in all sectors of activity, behavioural skills have become essential both for finding or keeping a job and for recruiting or retaining an employee.

Soft skills: innate or acquired?

Creativity, active listening, curiosity, flexibility, emotional intelligence, autonomy at work, stress management: these are all soft skills essential in the professional world. Praditus, an expert in the world of soft skills for over 10 years, has devised a repository of over 60 cross-disciplinary skills covering categories as varied as personal effectiveness, interpersonal effectiveness, business effectiveness, innovation potential, transformation potential and sustainable behaviours.

It is important for both individuals and organisations to know how to assess soft skills in order to understand which behavioural competencies are needed in their organisational environment. Contrary to popular belief, soft skills are not necessarily innate. While some may seem natural, others can be learned throughout a person’s working life. Knowing how to develop, improve and encourage the behavioural skills of your employees is one of the keys to creating a healthy working environment that is conducive to long-term performance.

Acquiring a soft skill is like adopting a new behavioural habit or modifying an old one. In the same way as quitting smoking or changing your lifestyle, learning these skills requires a great deal of motivation, a good dose of discipline and a realistic framework. But sometimes the will to achieve a specific goal is not enough, and outside help is needed to reach the target. That’s why Praditus has put in place various coaching solutions and individual or group training courses to enable everyone to express their full potential.

The right mix of soft skills

Despite rigorous recruitment processes, it sometimes happens that an employee does not follow the development path expected by his or her superiors. To get the best out of each of their employees, organisations need to be able to form a clear idea of their personality in order to determine exactly what work and results to expect from them. But also how to behave towards them! Producing results can only be done by taking into account the needs of employees and their behavioural skills…

Responding favourably to a change in position, adopting a positive attitude to technology, remaining curious about a new area of activity, showing empathy in all situations, including video: all these pragmatic behaviours are in reality only the visible reflection of underlying behavioural skills. Assessing behaviour must therefore always take account of the soft skills that underpin it!

Too much or too little of a skill can have a positive or negative effect on work and professionalism. As the saying goes, “too much of everything is a flaw”. It’s up to each of us to adjust our soft skills so that we can face each situation with confidence. On both sides of the coin, developing a sense of autonomy is an essential quality for teamwork. On the other hand, going it alone can only be detrimental to team spirit. On the flip side, on the manager’s side, the ability to delegate, motivate a team or prioritise work is the mark of a leader of men. Conversely, exercising these skills in an authoritarian manner and without listening to team members can only be counter-productive.

In short, developing your soft skills is a way of guaranteeing your professional performance throughout your career. What’s more, helping to develop the behavioural skills of your staff is an essential prerequisite if an organisation is to be able to adapt to crises and changes in the market in which it operates. So soft skills are now a major lever for success. At every level! Praditus is at the disposal of all those who wish to commit their organisation and their employees to the path of soft skills, to co-construct the coaching or training programme best suited to their needs. The revolution is underway…

Praditus glossary

Here is a glossary of 5 key words concerning soft skills:

  1. Behavioural skills (Soft skills): These are social skills based on emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills and communication skills. These skills are essential for adapting to various professional situations and influence decision-making.
  2. Emotional intelligence: Ability to understand, use and manage one’s own emotions in a positive way to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathise with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict.
  3. Adaptability: Ability to adjust quickly and effectively to new conditions, challenges and changes in the work environment, often linked to behavioural competencies.
  4. Employability: All the skills, knowledge and behaviours that make an individual capable of obtaining and keeping a job, as well as developing professionally. Soft skills play a crucial role in employability.
  5. Interpersonal effectiveness: The ability to interact effectively with others, to establish positive relationships and to work as part of a team. This is a major component of soft skills and has a strong influence on group dynamics and collective performance.