Why soft skills are future competencies? 92 skills you should know about

Professional knowledge is very important for career progress and business development, but it provides only 15-20% success. For both employees and leaders. Now it is not enough to know the mechanisms of work and perform tasks according to templates. Now hiring managers are very attentive to soft skills (personal qualities) of candidates. And it is on these qualities that 80% of your income depends today.

How do hard skills differ from soft skills? 

You can learn hard skills all your life, you can measure skills. For example, take a test and determine the level of knowledge of a foreign language, the ability to drive a truck or computer programs. 

Soft skills are more and more complicated. Soft skills often depend on a person’s experience and character. And they haven’t yet invented exams to determine the level of competence in them. There are, for example, tests to determine the level of emotional intelligence. But no one will be able to give you an official document confirming that you are able to inspire confidence in customers, and this will affect the number of transactions.

Soft Skills Categories


Cognitive functions are the highest functions of the human brain: the ability to remember, recognize, analyse, and understand the world. They are associated with such skills as learning, thinking, memory, attention, emotional-imaginative ability, the ability to ask questions, predict prospects, formulate assumptions.


It is the ability to build relationships with people, create long-term relationships, and work in a team to achieve common goals. Social soft skills also include the ability to articulate your thoughts, help others, motivate others. So they’re all connected to communication and interaction with others. 


Understand your emotions and feelings, self-control, empathy, emotional intelligence. Ability to express feelings in words, listen to the interlocutor, self-confidence, attachment to loved ones. 

We studied the research of McKinsey Global Institute experts, who conducted it in 15 countries. They identified 56 skills that are growing in demand in a rapidly changing world and in the marketplace. Comparing their findings with other sources, we have identified 92 soft skills that will help you grow professionally, have more money, recognition and communication:

Cognitive (33)

Analytical and critical thinking

Ability to set and achieve goals

On-the-job training



Coping (Solving Challenges)

Being able to express your point clearly

Ability to speak well and beautifully

Ability to see and prevent risks

Attention to detail

Knowledge management and learning

Decisional skill

Predictive ability

Problem structuring



The ability to focus on action

Be critical of peace and information

Thinking beyond patterns



Logical reasoning

Long memory

Relevant information retrieval

The ability to ask the right questions

Ability to summarise and extract meanings from information

Creative thinking and imagination

Applying knowledge in different contexts

See things from different angles

The ability to go against established norms

Result orientation



Social (24)

Communication skills


Business etiquette

Public speaking

Ability to negotiate and win over a person






Apologizing correctly

The ability to receive compliments correctly

The ability to have a comfortable conversation for everyone

Motivating others

Building and building trust

Ability to take interest in others

Negotiation ability

Ability to guide and inspire others

Customer focus

Project management

Ability to build relationships and long-term relationships

Bias recognition

Stimulating change and innovation


Psycho-emotional (36)

Respect for yourself and others

Ability to be considerate and polite

Active life stance and positive emotional setting

Conflict resolution

The ability to be inspired by new ideas

The ability to take responsibility

Self-organisation and self-discipline


Ability to ask and accept help


Identifying the needs of others

Self confidence


Ability to defend personal boundaries and say «no»

Normal perception and reaction to criticism


Ability to understand and analyse your own emotions

Staying conscious in all situations

Honesty and sincerity

Keeping calm

The ability to motivate



Will to learn

Emotional intelligence


Personal effectiveness

Seeing things through





Understanding your strengths and weaknesses




What software skills do managers appreciate in employees?

Triangle: Soft skills for career (cognitive: self-education; going beyond your role; data skills; social: teamwork; conflict resolution; communication skills; emotional: adaptability and flexibility).

Adaptability and flexibility

Business is a state of uncertainty because of the speed of development of the market and technologies. Therefore, it is often necessary to quickly change the strategy and mode of action. It is important for staff who are striving for success to be able to grasp the essence of the case and to respond to new challenges. 

Startups in Silicon Valley often change the business model to increase efficiency. But the issue of flexibility and adaptation is relevant now not only for IT – businessmen and in other industries are creating mobile structures within their companies. 


In both large and small companies, the role of one employee often overlaps with others. For example, financiers do both accounting and can meet with an investor and help with product analytics. Developers can participate in brainstorm promotion, sales people help marketers, and vice versa. And that’s cool. This is appreciated by managers and other employees when you can work «for yourself and for that guy». Such people are valued in times of crisis. 

Teamwork and conflict resolution 

In Google and Microsoft level companies, hiring managers always test candidates for conflict and teamwork. That is, you can be a very cool professional in your business, but if you do not know how to accept criticism and conflict with other employees – you can «ask» from an international company. 

It is therefore important to be able to build good relationships with colleagues, to openly discuss claims and not criticise others for their mistakes. And being supportive of others in a team in difficult situations is also valuable. 

Information processing 

Ability to search for information, analyze it and make decisions based on it. That is, before showing the boss the offer of advertising, it is tested among potential customers, discussed with marketers and sellers. Internal analyst is now a navigator for business.

Communication skills

The ability to communicate with partners, investors and customers is the key to success in today’s highly competitive world. If you also speak English (hard skill), it will help to enter the international market and conclude super profitable deals.


This is both a skill and a way of pumping other attributes. First evaluate your soft skills. You can use Hogan, Gallup, MBTI tests. And you will understand where you are going, what to develop first. 

Books, courses, trainings, work with psychologist etc.

What flexible skills does a leader need to develop?

Triangle: Soft skills for leader (psycho-emotional skills: empathy; energy; social: communication skills; charisma; cognitive: creativity).

For better results, a leader needs to build natural authority in a team and inspire his or her subordinates. Tough and criticizing leaders are finally out of fashion.

To lead people, develop soft-skills:


This skill helps not only to understand the needs of others, but also to motivate them. Often only 15% of employees are really involved in the work, and this affects the results of the whole company. 

If you learn to let people talk about their problems, then earn their respect. And they will be better able to take your comments better, and with attention – new challenges. Empathy improves people’s perception of each other.


Energy helps to cope with fatigue and stress, and speeds up brain activity. When you feel younger and more focused, you influence others and become an example to them. 

Leaders often load themselves full-time and leave no time

Leaders often load themselves with full tasks and do not leave time for rest. This negatively affects their personal motivation, decisions, and relationships with the team. If you feel emotionally exhausted after 2-4 hours of work – take 10-20 minutes of break, and relax. Take a walk, drink a cup of tea, talk to a nice person or just sit in silence. Do not get used to stress. 

Communication skills

Steve Jobs changed this world not only by his inventions, but also by speaking out in public. Develop communication skills to stimulate employees, convince partners in negotiations, find new customers. 

History remembers many people who were good specialists, but because of poorly developed communication skills could not monetize their ideas.


Leaders create products of the future, profitable strategies and companies. They have a distinctive vision of this world. And all this thanks to creative thinking. 

Learn and evolve every day to see what most people cannot. 

Creativity helps to avoid routine. Routine is repetition, not creation. If you start to develop this skill, your business will also change for the better. Creativity can be as developed as muscles. Train them every day – write in a notebook all «crazy» ideas and solutions.


Charismatic people see and hear, they kind of glow from the inside. Yes, it is also connected with energy. Energy and charisma help to influence others, such people are taken more seriously, trusted and trusted. 

Now people don’t want to follow those who instil fear. Become the one who creates, understands, communicates and is the symbol of the winning strategy.

Instead of conclusions

Flexible skills are now becoming more important than professional skills, and they account for 80% of your career and business success.

The hiring managers are already conducting tests to determine candidates’ behaviour in crisis situations and how they will work in a team.

We’ve done some research, and we’ve given you a list of 92 soft-skills that will bring you closer to the dream job, help you get a natural leadership boost, or strengthen your natural leadership authority.

All soft-skills are divided into three categories: cognitive, social and psycho-emotional, so that you can easily choose which skills you need to develop.

In employees, managers value the ability to adapt quickly to changes, flexibility, the ability to work with data, work in a team and solve conflicts, the ability to learn from oneself, to communicate effectively. 

The leaders of modern times possess empathy, charisma, creative thinking, «great» energy and are able to inspire their speeches.

How to leve up all 92 soft skills? – We are writing a manual «Practical Desktop Manager Manual for Soft Skills (Soft Skills)» – by the end of the year we will publish it in free use!