In broad terms soft skills might refer to the "EQ" (Emotional Intelligence Quotient) of an individual. Daniel Goleman’s research has shown that it is the academic qualifications that might get you into a job but it is the EQ or soft-skills that will be the biggest determining factor in your success.
Such things as:
- Creative problem solving
- Being a team player
- Language used
- Time management
- Presentation skills
- Methods of giving and receiving feedback
All play a big part in an individual’s success at work.
Soft skills complement hard skills which are the occupational requirements of a job. Effective soft skills enhance an individual's interactions, job performance and career prospects. The soft skills displayed by members of an organisation very much determine the success within the organisation through the organisational culture.
Soft skills are increasingly sought out by employers in addition to standard qualifications. Many organisations now realise that that soft skills may be more important over the long term than occupational skills.