Since 2016 – for the past three years – I have collected thousands of articles on the topic of ‘communication skills’ from any contextual category.
Initially, it was for my research into physicians’ communication styles during their consultations with patients. But I thought collecting articles (from any contextual category) would give me a chance to look at what features or skills a group of people seek, expect and assess.
Recently, my curiosity for communication skills has grown, and I have become more aware of how important having even just a hint of a solution is, for better communication with people you interact with.
The articles I’ve collected can roughly be divided into four categories:
- Recruiters’ perspective
- Educators’ perspective (for students, children, toddlers)
- Professional practice (for doctors, lawyers and business leaders)
- Relationship with the person you love
A term, soft skills is often used by employers to refer to non-technical abilities and how you work with others. Certain skills – listening skills, observation skills, curiosity and relationship building for example – are also considered as necessary across these contextual categories. But what these articles say is that despite a wide range of techniques being available, the skills are not often taught, even though they can be learned.
I loved an article published by Forbes on 22 January: 15 Soft Skills You Need to Succeed when Entering the Workforce.
What struck me was that the top 3 skills were identified as:
- Ability to influence peers
- Emotional intelligence
These three are just as important as the necessary skills, and I have seen those in all four categories above. Empathy is the most important skill for anyone. The ability to influence others and emotional intelligence are crucial skills successful leaders possess, and for any candidates.
I’ve seen how non-empathy can undermine a relationship (when a health professional was unfeeling to you, or a peer responded to you less emotionally or over emotionally).
People may think “yes, I know empathy is very important, but I’m not overly interested in academic arguments on empathy.”
Arguably, it is even more important for us to talk about how these skills can be practically used to solve a single problem in real life.
I’ll write more about it soon. 🙂