Dr. M.R. Parakandi, Abu Dhabi University , U.A.E. & Dr. T. Asokan, Kannur University, India A skill is the ability, talent or competence to perform a task well or better than average. There are essentially two types of skills: soft skills and hard skills. Hard skills are defined as technical skills while soft skills are the skills that make an individual smart in dealing with himself ,others and the situation. Soft skills are crucial to an employee’s ability to work better, smarter and more effectively. The most important element in any organization is its human capital. With the advent of globalization and the resultant competition, more and more corporations around the world are recognizing the fact that, in order to gain competitive advantage, in addition to the technical expertise, employees also required to possess `soft skills’. In an increasingly competitive world of business and industry, these skills are not optional but it is the skills that determine individual performance, leading to organizational excellence. Candidates who have both technical skills and soft skills are becoming a hot cake for recruiters and organizations. Increasing importance of soft skills creates the context for this study. 107 studies closely related to this topic of research were reviewed. Soft skills are crucial to a worker’s ability to work smarter. Business and industry representatives have expressed considerable dissatisfaction with the general level of preparedness of prospective entry-level employees. It was found that more than half of young people leave school without the knowledge or foundation required to find and hold a good job. (Alpern, 1997)1. Employers have serious concerns about the non-technical abilities of graduates because this deficiency reduces their performance at work and their ability to hold a job ( Wentling 1987) 3 87% of persons losing their jobs or failing to be promoted were found to have ‘improper work habits and attitudes’ rather than insufficient job skills or knowledge. The special focus needs to be given to reinforcing the value of being able to refine their soft skills. (Beach , 1982)4 This study reveals that components of soft skills can be classified into three categories such as self management skills, people skills and technology skills. Self management skills refer to the ability to manage one’s own intra personal features such as attitude, emotions, personality, perception, stress, etc for better personal effectiveness. Interpersonal skills mean the skill sets required to deal with other individuals and also the ability to influence people’s behavior and performance. Soft skills also include technical skills, which is now treated as an essential generic competency for most job situations. This include skills to handle technical gadgets like computers, mobile phone, multimedia presentation tools, etc. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. Conformity to work ethics Self confidence Self discipline Presence of mind Positive attitude Time management and punctuality Self esteem Self awareness Adaptability/ Flexibility Motivating self Decision making/ Problem solving 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. Acceptance Initiative Managing non-verbal behaviour Stress management Assertiveness Conformity to trends/ norms Emotional consciousness Control over temper Managing own perception Managing non-verbal behaviour 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. Building trust and rapport Creating relationship Socialising skill Maintaining relationship Impressive speaking skill Presentation skills Motivating others Team player skill Decision making (group) Agreeableness Leadership Courtesy Listening Delegation with respect Generosity Empathy 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. Forgiveness Persuasiveness Mentoring/ coaching skills Negotiation skill Promoting change Appropriate use of power Affectionate Managing expectations Counselling skills Sensing other's non verbal behaviour Managing other's perception Conflict management Managing remote relationships Tolerance to criticism Sensitivity to diversity Computer skills Mobile phones Email etiquettes The components of soft skills such as Self management skills, Interpersonal skills and technology skills are measured and then compared with performance index. There is significant relationship between performance index and soft skills. Attribute Performance Self management skills People skills Technology skills √ √ √ √ Association is significant × Association is not significant Job positions require frequent use of soft skills Soft skills can be classified into three broad categories, namely, self management skills, Interpersonal skills, and technology skills. There is strong link between soft skills and performance. This is a gentle hint to the youth and educators to equip to ensure possession of soft-skills to increase the chances of better employment and better performance at work. The results of this study are encouraging and we are extending our work to study the factors behind the development of soft-skills, training for developing soft skills, impact of soft-skills on the human relations at work.