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Explore reasons why soft skills are critical

We all know how dizzyingly fast technology moves.

While staying current with the latest tech trends and practices is crucial, the fast turnaround means that tech skills can quickly become outdated. And, while it’s always good to be ahead, employees can get completely caught in a cycle of learning new solutions or methods and unlearning old ones as part of their job. It’s exhausting!

However, the good news is that one thing doesn’t change: the importance of soft skills.

Tech turbulence

The tech industry is dynamic, and nothing stays still for very long. New programming languages, tools and technologies emerge seemingly overnight, while skills that every tech employee once needed can quickly become obsolete.

Working practices are shifting all the time. We’re increasingly moving from on-premise systems to cloud-based subscriptions, programming languages are evolving, automation is having a significant impact and cybersecurity is a constant battle to stay ahead of the game – not to mention the rapid rise of artificial intelligence (AI) over the last 18 months. IT professionals can’t rest on their laurels for even a second without the risk of falling behind.

Soft skills serenity

While technical skills may sometimes have a more limited shelf life, soft skills such as communication, problem-solving, leadership and empathy are increasingly recognised as the key to successful technology careers. These skills enable IT professionals to navigate complex work environments, lead diverse teams and drive innovation. And, as technology becomes more integrated into every aspect of business, employees must learn to interact on a human level with AI and machines in parallel with their colleagues.

4 reasons soft skills count

1. Communication calls. Employment has changed and, these days, remote work and global teams are a regular occurrence. This means the onus is on tech professionals to ensure they can communicate clearly and collaborate effectively across different mediums. Tech projects often require collaboration between various parties, so being able to explain complex concepts so that everyone can understand can bridge the gap between tech teams and other departments.

2. Agile work. In the face of constant technology developments, attributes like adaptability and willingness to learn are more desirable than ever. Soft skills such as open-mindedness and learning from experience allow employees to quickly modify their approaches to respond to changing technologies and market needs, ensuring employers remain competitive.

3. Capable leaders. Technology is getting more complicated – just think of the possibilities of AI; it’s mind-boggling! It follows that as projects become more complex, there will be an increased need for capable leaders. Leaders need a broad skillset. It’s not just about the technology and managing projects and timelines but also inspiring and motivating their teams. Emotional intelligence is high on the list of a leader’s required skills, and this plays a significant role in building strong, united teams who can think innovatively and solve problems.

4. To create is human. Creativity isn’t just about inventing something new; it’s also about thinking differently to change things or overcome challenges. Creativity is an intrinsically human trait and, now AI is in the frame, will become more valued than ever.

Soft skills don’t just happen

We’ve all met leaders who are great with people on many levels, whether it’s checking in with individuals, motivating teams, delivering company briefings, speaking at events or leading mega-projects! It seems they have a natural gift, but you can bet that they have given conscious thought to their soft skills and have worked on them.

These days, investing in soft skills development is essential, whether it’s formal training, mentoring or self-improvement. As technology advances, employees with technical expertise and great soft skills will certainly be the ones better able to navigate working in the sector into the future.