How to Acquire Soft Skills and Measure Them Successfully
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Teaching and measuring hard and soft skills is a unique task. It is much easier to measure and teach hard skills. Usually, teachers teach hard skills and trainers teach soft skills.
Soft skills are behavioral skills. Trainers must put extra effort into it. They use a variety of tools and techniques, including role-playing, interaction, role-plays and experiential learning, to bring about desired behavioral changes in participants. It is often difficult for educators, scholars, and researchers to find the right tools and techniques to measure soft skill to ensure that effective training takes place.
How can you learn soft skills?
Observation, reading and training are the most popular methods. It is important to interact with others in order to acquire soft skills. There is some trial and error because soft skills are behavioral skills. It requires emotional intelligence, flexibility, and adaptability. To acquire soft skills, you must be realistic, practical, and able to adapt to situations. To be able to work well with others, you must learn from your mistakes.
You must learn interpersonal skills and be able to observe and understand others’ behavior. You can learn to understand other people by traveling to foreign countries and speaking with people from different backgrounds. Understanding different cultures and behaviours helps to build tolerance and soft skills.
Reading soft skills is one thing, but applying them is another. Participating in workshops and training programs will help you identify soft skills and how to best acquire them. These are some of the most popular tools and techniques:
- Be self-aware.
- Avoid preconceived notions.
- Keep your body language positive.
- Listen to the speaker carefully.
- Make eye contact with the speaker and reciprocate positively.
- Empathize with the speaker.
- Be flexible.
- Praise people lavishly.
- Make the speaker feel important.
- Accept criticism graciously.
- Interact with different types of personalities who are introvert, extrovert, assertive, submissive, and aggressive.
- Above all, be adaptable.
Succinctly, listen well, be proactive and improve your interpersonal skills.
Can soft skills be measured?
Using feedback from participants to match the objectives of soft skill training can help you measure your soft skills. Each training program has a set number of objectives. The program is then distributed to participants according to those objectives. Participants are asked at the end of each training program if they feel the training has met their expectations, aspirations, or objectives. It is difficult to measure soft skills training because it is behavioral. However, getting timely feedback at the end helps greatly to achieve the training takeaways.
Meka’s five-level model to measure soft skills
Evaluation helps to assess the effectiveness of any training program. It helps to understand how the training has impacted participants and how it has improved their behavior and performance. It helps to assess the strengths and weaknesses and the pulse of participants in order to improve the delivery of the training program next time. Let’s take a look to the innovative Meka five-level evaluation model for measuring soft skills training:
- Conduct the training needs analysis to identify the current skills gap in the participants.
- List out core objectives clearly to deliver the training.
- Execute the soft-skills training program meticulously as per the objectives.
- Align the deviations or distractions from the training program.
- Measure the training takeaways from the participants through questionnaires and effective feedback.
Sample questions to measure soft-skills training
- Consider using the following questions to measure the soft skills training program:
- Did the soft skills training transfer the knowledge, skills, and abilities to the participants effectively?
- Did the soft skills training improve the attitude and behavior of the participants successfully?
- Is the training worth investing time, money, energy, and resources?
- Are the training outcomes as per the training objectives? Are the training outcomes in line with the objectives? If so, identify and correct any deviations.
List the top three soft skills training tips that can improve attitude, change behavior, and polish personality.
Soft skills are an evolving discipline
Many people take the importance of soft skills lightly. Soft skills are an evolving field that people need to understand.
People resist new disciplines and sometimes don’t accept them because there isn’t strong research to support their validity. Over time, however, people accept and begin to respect the discipline. Many people did not initially take management seriously and expressed reservations. Management as a discipline is now a reality. It is a respected position. Soft skills will also evolve as a discipline after more research.
I have been writing professionally for over 20 years and have a deep understanding of the psychological and emotional elements that affect people. I’m an experienced ghostwriter and editor, as well as an award-winning author of five novels.