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How Good are Your Soft (People) Skills?

By SRAI News posted 03-09-2022 03:34 PM


How Good are Your Soft (People) Skills?

Did you know that your “soft skills,” also known as “people skills,” are just as crucial for career success and progression as your technical skills?  This is especially true when you are in a management or leadership role. 

Have you promoted someone to a leadership role based on their hard (technical) skills and not considered their soft skills? In a Wall Street Journal survey of over 900 executives, 92% of them reported soft skills are as necessary as technical skills. However, 89% of those same executives said they have difficulty finding hires with soft skills. 

When we in leadership roles promote people to management positions, we do so because of their technical skills. Technical skills are concrete skills specific to our job. As research administrators, our technical skills overlap our soft skills. For example, we must communicate with our PIs, sponsors, and other stakeholders. The ability to connect with people and get along with everyone is an absolute must for our profession, whether you are pre-award, post-award, compliance, or everything in between. 

Well-developed soft (people) skills will make you an effective communicator, assist you in managing conflict positively, work productively as a team member, and work with integrity and ethics to motivate and inspire others. Soft skills can be learned and developed, and when actively worked on, they will enrich all aspects of your professional and personal life. 

Would you attend a session or webinar on improving your soft (people) skills?

Authored by Gloria Greene, CRA, Assistant Vice President, Contracts & Grants
The University of Alabama in Huntsville
SRAI President Elect

1 comment



03-11-2022 11:05 AM

Great article Gloria - soft skills are vital to an inclusive, well-functioning team.