Familiar But Strange - 3 Soft Skills Needed in Digital Context 

Familiar But Strange - 3 Soft Skills Needed in Digital Context 

September 11, 2023

In the future, it is possible that “soft skills” and “hard skills” will no longer have a clear distinction, as workers need to develop a common set of skills, all of which must be forged for hard. 

Soft skills are different now. 

In the book Hit Refresh, author Satya Nadella shared the “key” to Microsoft’s success. Surprisingly, the values that help a brand leading in technology come from people-related skills. In fact, these skills are becoming more needed than ever in a world where technology is dominating and ready to replace humans. 

People-related skills or known as “soft skills” have been seen as an important DNA in the organization. In an internal study, Google had shown that the most successful teams at work are individuals with strong soft skills. 

However, not only encapsulated in communication, teamwork, or integration into the work environment, soft skills are evolving. 

In the context of hundreds of millions of new jobs coming up that need humans’ interactions and guidance on machines, judgment skills, critical thinking, emotional intelligence… become more necessary than ever. Ms. Nguyen Thi Thanh Huong, Deputy CEO at Talentnet Corporation said: “Soft skills are gradually going beyond the familiar ‘auxiliary’ concepts and becoming the core factor for developing a common set of skills for workers. A “hard” team of people-focused skills will help businesses increase their flexibility and adaptability to the organization, especially in the context of a constantly evolving and changing society”. 

Soft skills in the digital age. 

Under the influence of the digital age and technology, the landscape of the job market has changed a lot. Ms. Huong said the work environment automates skills related to emotional intelligence, among 3 groups of soft skills which “rise” to become the main skills, with a clear impact on individuals or organizations’ development. 

First, the group of skills related to “Contextualized intelligence” includes how individuals analyze and appropriately interact within different contexts. Combined with research, data is provided from technology applications. “Contextualized intelligence” helps employees increase their ability to analyze multi-dimensionally with the same situation to make an interaction and appropriate decision. 

Next, the skill group “Cognitive flexibility” describes the adaptive state and flexibility adjustment of individuals in each specific work environment. 

Lastly, the group of skills focuses on “Social and emotional intelligence” – the factor that makes differences between humans and AI (Artificial Intelligence). This skill helps individuals accept varied factors and reconcile them in a group. 

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What can business do? 

To develop these soft skills, many businesses conduct structured training for their employees. 

Ms. Huong noticed that both businesses and employees have changes in their mindset about the role of soft skills in career development. The average amount of training for soft skills in businesses tends to increase, in which skills such as critical thinking, emotional intelligence, and flexibility are the top evaluation for employees.  

In reality, investing in soft skills also contributes to helping businesses equip themselves with the best tools to adapt to the rapid change in the digital age. 

To build suitable training courses, businesses can seek support from human resource consulting units to have more perspectives from experienced experts. 

Finally, Ms. Huong noted: “However, businesses should not fall into the plan of developing soft skills for employees and ignore other factors. “Soft values” will be the essential requirements to help businesses strengthen internal resources and increase resilience for the next stage.” 

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