I came across this quote recently and it had a big impact on me.

"The soft skills are the hard skills."

As a child, I thought the soft skills – the “touchy-feeley” ones — were less important. I got the message that hard knowledge and facts were the things to value the most. As I’ve matured, I’ve become more and more aware that soft skills are just as important — if not more so – than the hard skills. Soft skills enable us to work successfully with others. They help us to know and motivate ourselves, and to really connect in a fulfilling way with the world around us.

A financial advisor I heard recently said the soft skills are the hardest thing to master. She said it drives her nuts when people discount the value of emotional intelligence because these softer skills are a vital part of our relationships with others. We need to incorporate soft skills into every part of our lives and not discount or de-value them.

I urge you to develop your “soft skills” like empathy, listening, leadership, etc. In order to be successful at work and in your personal life, you need to have a balance of both of these. You could be the smartest person in the world, but if you can’t communicate what you know to others in an effective way, it doesn’t matter how smart you are.

Some food for thought for you: What soft skills do you need to work on? Are there areas or times when you discount the value of these skills?

Career Path Coach Hallie Crawford