Soft Skills and Why You Need Them
What skills do you need to thrive in your career? Skills are often classified in two categories, hard skills and soft skills. You may be wondering, what is the difference between the two and how do they impact your career success?
Hard skills can be defined as the specific knowledge and abilities that are learned through education or training, according to Resume Genius. These are the types of skills you see listed on job descriptions. Examples of hard skills include; proficiency in a foreign language, computer programming, copywriting, and the ability to use Microsoft Excel.
Soft skills are the personal attributes, personality traits, inherent social cues, and communication abilities needed for success on the job, according to The Balance Careers. Soft skills are often referred to as “people skills”. These skills are not easily taught and are difficult to quantify.
Importance of Soft Skills
Even with the rise of insurance careers available, employers are still struggling to hire and retain qualified candidates. Hard skills alone are not enough to be truly effective as an employee or team member. In the insurance careers market, there is a great need for employees who have a variety of soft skills.
Below are some examples of insurance careers and how soft skills play a role in their duties.
Claims adjusters correspond with medical specialists, agents, witnesses, and claimants to compile information to determine the extent of the insurance company's liability concerning personal, casualty, or property loss and/or damages.
While working with a claimant who has just experienced loss or damage, the soft skill of empathy is important to display. Empathy helps make the person feel like you understand what they are going through and share in their feelings of frustration. Without this soft skill, a claims adjuster may come off as insensitive, resulting as a bad customer interaction.
Human Resources Manager
Human resources managers are responsible for leading mediations between two colleagues or an employee and his or her employer if conflicts arise.
When working with conflicting or disgruntled employees, the soft skill of conflict management can help parties feel respected and heard. Managing conflict through patiently listening and being respectful are more likely to yield a resolution. If an HR manager did not possess conflict management skills, conflicts would go unresolved leading to a tense work environment.
Soft skills like displaying a positive attitude, communication, critical thinking, and leadership go a long way in working with team members.
Insurance agents sell insurance to clients. They communicate with clients to find out their needs and budgets and then find them the best policy.
While working with potential clients who have specific needs it is important to use the soft skills of flexibility and adaptability. An agent may come in with a plan of what policy they would like to offer their new client. However, after hearing their needs and budgets they need to be flexible and modify policies to make sure it is the best fit for the client.
If you possess these soft skills, you may have what it takes to thrive in an insurance career. Visit Insurance Careers and check out the different career descriptions available. See if your soft skills could propel you into a new and exciting position in the insurance industry.