Soft Skills and Emotional Intelligence

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Emotional Intelligence > Best Practices > Soft Skills and Emotional Intelligence

Soft Skills and Emotional Intelligence
Aries Musnandar, HR Consultant, Indonesia, Member
What are the differences between Soft Skills (SS) and Emotional Intelligence (EI)? What is the meaning and scope of the term SS? What categories of soft skills can we distinguish?

Soft Skills List
Peter Toffler, Management Consultant, United States, Member
On the web I found a very good list by LEI HAN. She classifies soft skills into 2 groups:
Soft skills group A: Self Management Skills
1. Self awareness – knowing what drives, angers, motivates, embarrasses, frustrates, inspires you
2. Emotion management – being able to control unexpected emotions like anger and frustration so you can think clearly and at your optimum.
3. Self-confidence – those who believe in themselves have access to “unlimited power” (wisdom from kungfu panda)
4. Stress management – being able to stay calm and balanced in stressful, overwhelming situations
5. Resilience – ability to bounce back from a misstep in your job or career
6. Skills to forgive and forget - ability to move on without baggage from a past mistake or something in your career that wronged you
7. Persistence and perseverance – ability to overcome challenging situations and obstacles and maintain the same energy
8. Patience – ability to step back in an emergency to think clearly or the ability to pause and wait when you are in a rush or want to rush others.
Soft skills group B: People Skills
9. Communication skills - general skills to listen and articulate your ideas in writing and verbally to any audience
10. Presentation skills – ability to maintain attention and achieve your desired outcome from presenting to an audience
11. Facilitating skills - ability to coordinate and solicit well represented opinions and feedback from a group with diverse perspectives to reach a common, best solution.
12. Interviewing skills – ability to sell your skills as an interviewee or accurately assess other’s ability or extract the needed information as an interviewer
13. Selling skills – this is not just for people in sales. This is the ability to build buy-in to an idea, a decision, an action, a product, or a service
14. Meeting management skills – at least 50% of meetings today in corporate america are a waste of time. This is the skill to efficiently and effectively reach productive results from leading a meeting
15. Influence / persuasion skills - ability to influence perspective or decision making but still have the people you influence think they made up their own mind.
16. Team work skills - ability to work effectively with anyone with different skill sets, personalities, work styles, or motivation level
17. Management skills – ability to motivate and create a high performing team with people of varied skills, personalities, motivations, and work styles.
18. Leadership skills – ability to create and communicate vision and ideas that inspires others to follow with commitment and dedication.
19. Skills in dealing with difficult personalities – Ability to work well or manage someone whom you find difficult
20. Skills in dealing with difficult situations – Ability to stay calm and still be effective when faced with an unexpected difficult situation.
21. Ability to think / communicate on your feet (under pressure) – ability to articulate thoughts in an organized manner even when you are not prepared for the question or situation you are in
22. Networking skills – ability to be interesting and interested in business conversations that motivates people to want to be in your network.
23. Interpersonal relationship skills – ability to build trust, find common ground, have empathy, and ultimately build good relationships with people you like or in positions of power/influence.
24. Negotiation skills – ability to understand the other side and reach a win-win resolution that you find favorably, satisfies both sides, and maintains relationships for future dealings
25. Mentoring / coaching skills – ability to provide constructive wisdom, guidance, and/or feedback that can help others further their career development
26. Organizing skills – ability to organize business gatherings to facilitate learning, networking, or business transactions
27. Self-promotion skills - ability to subtly promote your skills and work results to people of power or influence in your organization. This will build your reputation and influence.
28. Savvy in handling office politics - office politics is a fact of life in corporate america. This is the ability to understand and deal with office politics so you can protect yourself from unfairness as well as further your career.

Importance of Soft Skills and Emotional Intelligence
KATHRYN STEINER, MBA, Entrepreneur, United States, Member
Hello the information you present is very helpful for me to consider as a professional, and I will find this comprehensive list useful to refer to going forward. I find all the soft skills equally important.

Soft Skills and Emotional Intelligence
Jose Antonio Paulo, Director, Portugal, Member
I think that the summary of Emotional Intelligence already answers the second and third question of Aries Musnandar. I agree with Kathryn Steiner about the very helpul information about soft skills.
Who can give an answer to the first question: What is the difference between SS and EI?

Soft Skills and EQ
Benjamin Tien, Consultant, Australia, Member
The soft skill in managing EQ is to be become more self-aware of our emotions from the reactions and stories we told ourselves from what we saw and heard. To improve EQ, we must learn to withhold judgment and change our stories if we want to achieve the results we want.

Soft Skills and EQ (EI)
Pascal Jouxtel, Management Consultant, France, Member
You may find my opinion cynical: to me soft skills refer to actual abilities of a wide range very well described above. It is a helpful and realistic description of what a person can do using their "right brain hemisphere" instead of abilities based on logic, data, and proof.
While "EQ" is more a easy-to-carry marketing concept (or "attractor") that encapsulates a fuzzy bunch of notions and solutions, starting from EQ tests that you pay for and that lead you to buy more products, trainings and books.
It may also make a few authors popular in the process ;o) cheers, PJ.

Soft Skills are Informal Management Skills
D P BABU, Strategy Consultant, India, Member
Soft skills are mostly informal management skills through which objectives are easily modified, moderated and achieved.

Applying Soft Skills to Emotional Intelligence
KATHRYN STEINER, MBA, Entrepreneur, United States, Member
I believe that soft skills comprise a lot of what defines emotional intelligence, which is essentially the ability to be able to communicate effectively by understanding the differences in all people.

Defining and Measuring Soft Skills and Emotional Intelligence
Siva Nair
Firstly, "ditto" to Kathryn's points above.
It seems possible to define each of the 28 mentioned soft skills along a maturity scale to effectively define emotional intelligence as a measure of overall maturity of your soft skills library...

Emotional Intelligence is a Subset of Soft Skills
Jagdish B Acharya, Consultant, India, Premium Member
Soft skills is like science, a major part of people management. Emotional intelligence is the application of this science or the engineering aspect of soft skills.
Soft skills can be seen as the building blocks of EI.
Also EI is a weighted average of the soft skills someone posesses.
I tend to agree in this with Pascal.

Soft Skill Missing
Tony Fontana, Project Manager, United States, Member
Quite an impressive list of skills. I believe that an important skill may be missing:
29. The ability of making good quick decisions with little information.

Missing Skill
M Knight, Australia, Member
@Tony: I wonder if making good quick decisions is an EI or IQ attribute. Is it more a question of risk management?
Of course we need to combine our factual understanding of the question at issue and our understanding of the filters or feelings that influence our need for a quick decision.
Perhaps this is a question about intuition?

Missing Skill
Vernon Rupert Grant, United States, Member
Since crisis and risk management is my forte, I would suggest to Mr. Knight that making quick decisions in the area of EI or including such on the list of soft skills above, does not always relate to risk management. During the regular course organizational maintenance, or even in our personal lives, we will often need to make time-sensitive decisions for various reasons.

Decisiveness Associated with Self Management Skill Confidence
KATHRYN STEINER, MBA, Entrepreneur, United States, Member
In order to be decisive one must possess self confidence, from the self management list. There are some decisions that should not be made hastily, and that require consideration over a period of hours or days, perhaps even weeks. There are those rare individuals who do frequently make sound decisions consistantly, with limited information, although, I'm not sure about the degree of importance or the repercussions of these decisions.

SS & EI versus Core Personal Characteristics
Francisco Tupinamba Pereira da Silva, Manager, Brazil, Member
Reading the 28 SS items I keep trying to imagine a single person that be born or can accomplish all of them without losing their natural personal characteristics that define themselves as an unique person.
I believe that everybody could improve and get better along their lives, but we have to be careful in trying to follow all these skills, even if emotional unbalances that happen sometimes is not bad thing.
Often these occurrences are positive ones because they cause changes on people's behavior and alter inter-relationships inside the groups, that could create new possibilities.

Is Making Quick Good Decisions a Skill ?
Jagdish B Acharya, Consultant, India, Premium Member
@Tony: If one has good a-priori knowledge of processes behind a phenomon, one can use Bayes' Theorem of conditional probability and understand the source of a problem and take the right decision on it. This is analytical knowledge. Pattern recognition uses this.
Other help for quick good decisions could be past experience or intution. I do not know if we can view them as skills.

Ideal Professional Profile
Teca Pedro, Consultant, Angola, Member
The list of skills by Lei Han makes me think of an ideal professional of any field.
Being equipped with these skills will provide you with a very good generic foundation for career success.

Required EI and Soft Skills
KATHRYN STEINER, MBA, Entrepreneur, United States, Member
I agree we are all unique and possess some strong and weak emotional intelligence and soft skills. Some of the emotional intelligence listed belong primarily to specialists (human resource, sales, certain management levels).
It would be ideal to have a management team that balances each other, since no one person, with exception, possesses all of the traits, as Francisco stated.

Soft Skills and Emotional Intelligence
majeedah olori-aje, Manager, Nigeria, Member
Emotional intelligence could be considered to be subset of softskills and could fall under self management or people skills.

Soft Skills Include Doing the Right Thing When no One is Looking
KATHRYN STEINER, MBA, Entrepreneur, United States, Member
I suppose we could include in the list of soft skills-self management, making the difficult decisions, demonstrating integrity, even if money and profit may be at stake.
This was the problem behind the financial collapse, within the financial and real estate markets. Martha Stewart - already a billionaire - showed a complete lack of integrity combined with greed, when she knowingly committed insider trading. She could have said no, and not sacrificed her personal and her organizations integrity.
I personally will never view her in the same light, no matter what she does to make amends. One poor judgement can stay with an individual and organization for a long duration. People doing the wrong thing, when no one was looking.
Even if an individual or group of individuals within an organization possesses all the skills in both groups, they are worthless, without an implied and demonstrated understanding of maintaining the highest ethical standards in all circumstances. .

Soft Skills versus Emotional Intelligence
D P BABU, Strategy Consultant, India, Member
Soft skills channelize emotional intelligence in professional endeavour.

Soft Skills and Emotional Intelligence
Ram Mohan, Manager, India, Member
The events which unfold after a decision is taken and the result will determine if that decision was good or bad. Even very good decisions can turn bad later...
The key is to adapt, stay afloat and slowly progress towards what you consider as a destination. The rest is all manipulation of the environment to reach the destination faster.
In the process, you use knowledge and skills to achieve the same. For some reason people do not call it "emotions" but have added "intelligence" to it.
Your hormones play a major role in controlling your emotions, how do you control these is about managing yourself and what you will learn to manipulate the environment.
Each situation demands a set of combinations. Instead of trying to acquire the right combination, I suggest to change the situation where your combination will work...
Trial and error and that is experience and life...

Management Can Defer and Confer on Specific Decisions
KATHRYN STEINER, MBA, Entrepreneur, United States, Member
If someone is not sure if they are making the right decision, conferring with advisors would be best course. We have to admit sometimes that we are not sure which course to pursue. That is a sign of strength in leadership.

Relationship Between Emotional Intelligence(EI) and Soft Skills(SS)
Igbinovia martin, Business Consultant, Nigeria, Member
EI is all about knowing how and why we feel and taking advantage of such to achieve a positive result while SS is a manifestation of a controlled, balanced, positive and well managed emotions.
No doubt that there is a relationship between EI and SS. People with poor EI usually also will have few SS.

Difference Between Emotional Intelligence and Soft Skills
Shireen Kaur, United Arab Emirates, Member
Hi... Some of you may consider this view rather simplistic but in trying to answer Aries' question, I would think what is the difference between intelligence and skill? That to me further demarcates the difference between emotional intelligence and soft skills.
- Intelligence is the reference, context and variable data points available to each on of us basis our experiences, qualifications etc.
- Skills are more physical in nature where all that intelligence is brought into application and therefore far more visible when practiced.
To @Pascal Jouxtel's point, yes. EI may have become a more marketable concept amongst the 2 and I am thinking if marketing is great but the after sales (read soft skills) sucks... It will be lose lose for all concerned.

Sets of Soft Skills
D P BABU, Strategy Consultant, India, Member
- Soft skills are often a two-fold behaviour. One should be intravert while understanding people, things and situations in their right context. At the same time while responding to the above one should be extravert while exhibiting his behaviour in different pattrons - speaking, expression and influencing others only form all the sets of soft skills like communication, convincing, directing others.
- Emotional intellegence, as an independent trait of human personality, directs oneself as to which soft skills are to be differently used in different situations.

The Relationship Between EI and Soft Skills
John Ato Mensah, Consultant, Ghana, Member
The level of a person's EI is manifested in his/her ability to employ the competencies called 'Soft Skills'.

Can we Relate Emotional Intelligence with Soft Skills?
Aries Musnandar, HR Consultant, Indonesia, Member
An expert may say EI is an engine of soft skills. I think this idea may be true but may be not. For those who agree with this idea they may regard EI as a nature of human being that can be utilized to the improvement of individual soft skills. However, as far as I know there is no significant research that shows that EI will correlate with soft skills.

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