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Students Learn About the Importance of Soft Skills



Feb 03, 2014

John Tyus, career center director for the Columbus Campus, is dedicated to making sure the students have the professional skills necessary to succeed when they graduate.  Recently, he gave the students an opportunity to improve themselves by offering a workshop on soft skills.  Soft skills are defined as knowing how to communicate to and relate with other people.  Additionally, soft skills involve any personal attributes that enhance a person’s interactions with other people.  They are distinguished from hard skills, which involve the skills that directly relate to a person’s ability to perform his or her job—for example, a computer programmer’s knowledge of programming languages. 

Throughout the session, John challenged the students to think of situations that would require strong soft skills, and he also challenged them to think of ways to implement those skills.  One scenario discussed involved a customer service situation in which the customer was upset about a negative experience they encountered with a company.  A person dealing with this situation on the job would need to have soft skills in order to handle it in the most professional manner possible.

Campus Director Wes Smith helped out with the presentation, taking a few moments to talk about how little things like your tone of voice, body language, and words like “please” and “thank you” can greatly improve your soft skills and your interactions with other people, both professionally and in everyday life.  He talked a little bit about proper etiquette for a job interview, emphasizing how soft skills can be applied there.  For example, shaking the interviewer’s hand professionally and looking him or her in the eye can greatly influence how the interview goes for you.

Johnny Lahai, a student at the campus, found the session to be very informative.  “I learned a lot about the difference between soft skills and hard skills,” he said.  “This will help me very much when I look for a job.”

The picture shows John Tyus (back row, second from right) with some of the students after the soft skills workshop.

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