Plugging in, Zoning out

Developing soft skills needs to become a priority

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Plugging in, Zoning out

Natasa Dobras, Staff Writer

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In any personal workplace, certain attributes are important to posses in order to guarantee success in a work environment. According to the Growing Leaders website, these attributes can include an ability to listen, empathy, patience, and physical communication. With the rapid advancement of technology, soft skills are beginning to diminish among young people. This year, many teachers at Randall made a goal to discuss the topic of soft skills the first day of school to their students. It may not seem relevant to many students right now, but failure to possess these soft skills can be quite harmful in the future.

With texting becoming a prominent form of communication, people are losing their empathy because they are subjected to dealing with many situations through messaging. A lack of empathy can cause someone to appear distant and rude sometimes. In a work environment, it is important to portray empathy towards other in order to gain a likeable reputation and mutual respect.

The ability to listen is seen as another form of soft skills. When participating in a class or a conversation, being attentive is seen as respectful. Most teachers ban the use of cell phones or headphones in class in order to ensure their students’ comprehension. Having a headphone in one ear while engaging in conversation or participating in class can be seen as disrespectful, and a lot of information is lost in the process. Practicing attentive listening can help comprehend lessons in class, and earn respect from peers.

Technology provides information to people at rapid speed which can explain the decrease in patience among the population in recent years. The population is accustomed to receiving information at such a high speed the need to wait has simply become irrelevant. This adapted impatience causes people to become frustrated easily in environments. For example, people often grow extremely impatient in a short amount of time having to wait to order their food at restaurants, because they are so accustomed to receiving everything immediately. Patience is a valuable soft skill because it decreases stress in environments such as work, restaurants, or even school.

Finally, one of the most valuable soft skills is physical communication. The vast majority of the population communicates with each other every day, but mostly through the form of online messaging. Physical communication is slowly diminishing because technology has become a distraction. For example, at restaurants some couples spend more time paying attention to their phone screen than their actual date. Barely any physical communication can occur in these situations, thus resulting in a possible separation or lack of interest. Raw communication is key to building up relationships.

With technology constantly distracting the population, it is important for students to make an effort to practice these soft skills since they are important in work and school environments. These soft skills will not only improve students’ character, but it will also help students become an active part in the classroom. Practicing these soft skills now will allow students to exceed their performance in work environments in the future.

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