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Today, academic knowledge and technical skills are no longer sufficient to integrate and evolve into the labor market. Globalization, the acceleration of technological developments, the permanent emergence of innovative activities and models involve the mastery of new skills, essentially relational skills, the Soft Skills. Decoding by Alexis Desouches.

How can we define Soft Skills?

These are personal qualities, oriented towards human interactions, corresponding more to a knowledge-being rather than to a know-how. Complementary to the traditional “Hard Skills”, Soft Skills involved here at several levels : cognitive (concentration, resilience, perception and mastery of thoughts, emotions, stress management, self-confidence, curiosity, Capacity for innovation and creativity), relational (leadership, team spirit, collaboration, caring, attentive listening, non-violent communication, collective emotional intelligence), operational (organization, working time management, objectivity, public speaking, adaptability, convincing and undertaking), and transversal (being able to work in multidisciplinary, multicultural teams).

These are skills related to our personality, of which we are often not aware, and which, once identified, can be stimulated, cultivated and developed in remarkable proportions.

How is mastery of these competencies professionally useful?

“Soft Skills” are today key competencies in the labor market, and more specifically in the digital world, where companies expect their employees to be immediately operational and able to work as a team, Efficiently and agilely. Soft Skills support the integration, professional development and international mobility of employees. Recent studies (*) confirm, moreover, that the first criterion for the selection of companies lies in the candidates’ know-how and personality, before their professional experience. This know-how also influences the level of remuneration of young graduates according to these studies.

How can we develop and enhance our Soft Skills?

This presupposes, first of all, that we are in a state of concentration, presence, attention and openness sufficient to connect with the mental and physical resources that sleep in each of us and that require only to be trained, like a muscle. From this point of view, practices such as Mindfulness or Positive Visualization (which involves using one’s imagination to achieve one’s goals) are particularly effective in identifying and developing “Soft Skills”. Enterprising,  thinking otherwise,  be curious,  engaging in associative projects,  defending causes that are close to our hearts,  combining our forces with others,  overcome linguistic, cultural and geographical barriers are all opportunities to develop this type of skills. Concerning the valorization of its “Soft Skills”, I recommend taking the habit, on his CV, to highlight his activities extraprofessional or parallel to his studies, linking with the specific relational skills that they have allowed the candidate to cultivate or discover. The idea is to decompartmentalise the approaches in order to complete and give credibility to the educational and professional path of the interested parties.

In my opinion, the next revolution, which is already underway, will not be industrial or technological, but cognitive and behavioral. This makes learning Soft Skills of particular relevance. It is urgent that these skills are systematically taught, from an early age.

Alexis Desouches is a lawyer, mediator, and founder of the consulting firm KAMILEX, specializing in the development of innovative companies and their human capital, the teaching of Mindfulness and Soft Skills.

Studies cited: 

http://www.cereq.fr/publications/Net.Doc/L-effet-des-soft-skills-sur-la-remuneration-des-diplomes

http://www.cge.asso.fr/actualites/perception-des-grandes-ecoles-par-les-francais-resultats-du-sondage-national-cge-tns-sofres

Interview by  BusinessOFéminin : http://bit.ly/29yiuSJ

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