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In the past, soft skills were not necessarily seen as important for success in work or business. It is only relatively recently that soft skills have become a reliable indicator of performance and the ability to deliver profit. Soft skills enable people to communicate and engage with others, help them manage and develop staff effectively, and give them the potential to deliver good customer service. Peggy Klaus quotes studies by Stanford Research Institute and the Carnegie Mellon Foundation among Fortune 500 chief executive officers, which found that 75 percent of long-term job success depended on people skills and only 25 percent on technical skills.

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What precisely is meant by “soft skills,” and what types of skills can be said to be “soft skills”? The research and ...

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