Soft skills are the difference makers in organizations.

Yet for too long they have been relegated to the sidelines, considered an afterthought, if any thought at all was given to them.

Soft skills are what make employees’ technical skills and expertise valuable in an organization. A great accountant can only do so much with spreadsheets and reports. But when she can explain how those numbers affect a client, then her soft skills carry the day. Organizations stumble into their soft skills.

For organizations to thrive in the increasingly complex world, they must actively elicit, court and develop their employees’ soft skills as much as their technical skills.

Focusing on both technical skills and soft skills positions employees, managers, executives, entrepreneurs and the organizations they work for gives them a clear edge. Intentionally integrating technical skills and soft skills will mean they will achieve more; they will be more focused; teams will collaborate and innovate more; and employees will be happier.

We developed our view of the role of soft skills in a unique way. We have studied soft skills, taught soft skills and written and presented research on their evolution. We also have experienced their role during our industry careers.

This broad lens empowers us to help companies ferret out the existing soft skill portfolio of their employees and how they can bolster, support and enhance it both internally and externally.