5 Jul 2022


How to Build Soft Skills for the Workplace

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Academic level: University

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The continued preference of hard skills rather than soft skills is a major concern on the inefficiency and increased recruiting expenses in the health professions. According to Hires (2018), the focus of the current health education system focuses on hard skills such as care plans, pharmacology, clinical administration among other tangible practices rooted in sciences. However, the increased efficiency in teaching hard skills does not solve the challenges of inefficiency in the health careers due to the neglect of venturing of soft skills. Hires defines soft skills and the intangible personal skills such as communication, empathy, leadership, patience, persuasion, teamwork, ethics, motivation, emotions, advocacy, and patience among others (Hires, 2018). Unlike the hard skills, which change based on a profession, soft skills help; develop personal, social and integration of an individual with the society thus complementing the hard skills.

The Soft Skill I Need to Improve

The evaluation demonstrated that as a Millennial, embracement of technology and digital communication have inhibited face-to-face communication and reduced social bonds. The loss of social face-to-face integration demonstrates means that Millennial lack the ability to build strong friendships. The change of social space to online social platforms means that people have lost their values and sympathies (Brown et al., 2010). The essence that we know very little about our online friends affects the human emotional connection to feel a friend’s pain during tough times because we lack extensive knowledge and willingness to understand these social friends. The social platforms broaden our social lives but hindered true and genuineness of most of these relations. For instance, it is easier to ignore a text message or phone call more than face-to-face conversations. Therefore, we tend to text more to limit building any meaningful relations. Hence the need of improving my empathy to succeed as an occupational therapist.

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Occupational therapists base their success on the ability to engage and build trust with the patient. The therapist must ensure that the patient understands that they are there to help them face their problems and live better lives rather than forget the traumatic events ( Brown et al., 2010). The scope of trauma means that the patient needs to feel and know that opening up to the therapist is the best thing to do for their treatment. Therefore, empathy is one of the most important soft skill for occupational therapists (Brown et al., 2010). It helps in building a therapist-patient relationship based on truth and trust.

Steps to Solve the Communication Problem

Social media may have transformed the scope of ways of integrating but it also enhanced the scope and cultural diversity of social interactions. It also contains easier ways to reach out to past friends whom we built strong bonds as children. I intend to reach out to these long lost friends and share our paths and problems. The love and family bond we held is likely to trigger my empathy. The internet provides access to materials and journals on the different ways of building empathy by integrating with people on face-to-face bases rather than through texting. Therefore, using these guidelines and engaging in face-to-face interactions is likely to enhance my abilities to be empathetic and understanding.

Volunteering and mentorship are vital in practical learning and molding the best techniques from experienced and informative therapists in the area (Brown et al., 2010). Hence, the move to volunteer at the local community clinic. This clinic provides an opportunity to understand the anxiety and issues faced by patients. It also provides a real-world understanding ways the experienced therapists and healthcare professionals handle such issues. The mentor will be vital in helping mold and focus my empathy not to affect my objectivity or hinder professionalism later in my career. Learning this soft skill will complement the hard skills I learn from the therapy classes.


Brown, T., Williams, B., Boyle, M., Molloy, A., McKenna, L., Molloy, L., & Lewis, B. (2010). Levels of empathy in undergraduate occupational therapy students.  Occupational Therapy International 17 (3), 135-141.

Hires, K. (2018, January 18). Five ways to help millennial develop soft skills. Reflections on Nursing Leadership . Retrieved on August 7, 2018, from https://www.reflectionsonnursingleadership.org/features/more-features/five-ways-to-help-millennials-develop-soft-skills

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 16). How to Build Soft Skills for the Workplace.


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