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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Soft Skills for Success

Jody Tu and Anna Chung

Recently, when walking by the Jong-Chin Building about 12 o’clock, you might have been attracted by activities promoting the “FCU Soft Skills Representative Competition.” This competition, hosted by the FCU Center for Student Advising and Learning, is to choose six students to be “FCU Soft Skills Representatives,” but just what are “soft skills”?

Compared with hard skills, also called specialized skills, soft skills are more critical to achievement. What are the six soft skills? Basically, there are two kinds of soft skills, skills involving interpersonal intelligence and skills involving personal intelligence.
 
Winners are 吳其芳、謝宛容、張維驛、謝沛凌、徐佩瑄、粘家榆.
 Photo from http://learningportfolio.fcu.edu.tw/index.aspx

Interacting with people is not that easy. In order to have good relationships, it’s necessary to develop your interpersonal intelligence. Interpersonal intelligence requires communication, teamwork and problem solving skills. First, you need communication skills to understand fully people’s ideas, to express your own thoughts freely and clearly, and to reach an agreement with others quickly. Then when you’re working with other people, you need to identify the team’s main goal, respect your teammates’ different viewpoints, and accomplish your mission efficiently; these are teamwork skills. Finally, problem solving skills include identifying the problem clearly, facing the problem positively and solving the problem quickly.

The second kind of soft skills involves personal intelligence. Personal intelligence includes innovation, self-management, and lifelong learning skills. Innovation skills give you the ability to recognize opportunities, to have the courage to try new things and to break your old pattern of thinking. Self-management skills help you to manage your time appropriately, create a clear plan for your future, and be responsible for what you do. Once you set a goal, don’t stop! Finally, lifelong learning, the most important of the six soft skills, gives you the courage to pursue personal growth and personal development by setting new goals after the old ones have been reached.

These six soft skills are not only practical but also helpful for everyone. No matter who you are or where you are on your life path, these six soft skills will help you to adapt to new environments and will improve your relationships with your coworkers. Now that you know what “soft skills” are, you can get started developing your own soft skills and preparing for next year’s competition!

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