Soft skills are not less important to an employee’s chances to succeed on a job than the hard skills. Soft skills or, as I call them, one’s SOUL, consist of empathy, patience, self-motivation, creativity, open-mindedness, sense of humor, and hard skills are a knowledge of a specific field/ trade (obtained thru schooling and work experience).
As you see, the soul is the spiritual or immaterial part of our being, translated to Hebrew as “neshama,” which means breathe or breathing. Just like air, we need to have soul to have a meaningful and joyful existence.
Why is it so important to have a soul in the workplace? What’s the big deal? Well, I’m here to say that the bigger the soul, the happier and more fulfilled an individual feels, the more productive s/he will become. And isn’t it the desire of every manager to have such an employee on their team?
The big question is: How can we quantify the size of one’s soul? Based on Kaballa, it is a measure of one’s willingness to give or contribute to others. When an individual is giving for the pure sake of contributing to the well-being of others, her soul becomes bigger. By the way, giving to get tax benefits does not count. The larger the soul, the more industrious and dynamic one becomes, and this leads to a better state in your organization and his career.
During a job interview, to assess the measure of a candidate’s soul, consider including questions such as: Why did you choose this career path? Do you like sharing knowledge? Do you mentor anyone and what do you like most about it? What are your relationships with your subordinates? Who is your role model and why? What volunteering activities do you do? How often you do you spend time with your kids?
Our soul is developed from birth into our adulthood but the rate at which it grows varies from person to person. For example, when selecting a career direction, those of you who pursued Public Health and Law Enforcement had bigger souls that those who selected a career in IT and Engineering. But that does not mean one cannot grow his soul — on the very contrary. Self-awareness is the key. Keep working this “muscle” and it will pay you huge dividends, beyond anything you could imagine.
So, the next time someone knocks on your office door with a question, smile and say, “Please come in. How can I help?”