Soft skills are also known as people’s skill or non-technical skills. They are a cluster of productive personality traits that characterize one’s relationships in a milieu. They define your relationship with others or how you approach life and work. The communication skills of physician impacts patients’ satisfaction and is an effective step of making effective relationship between doctor and patient. A Physician who does not have the soft skills of emotional intelligence, trustworthiness and approachability is not very highly regarded by their patients. In the corporate world, most organisations including large corporate hospitals have started investing a great deal of time and effort in elaborating training programmes designed to improve soft skills. Soft skills are the difference between adequate candidates and ideal candidates. A leader has a combination of hard and soft skills in right proportions. The communication skills of physicians play a major role in clientele satisfaction and trustfulness of patients on their doctors. Making the patient participate in planning the plan of action or the treatment plan by explanation of diagnosis and treatment process plays an important role in driving the satisfaction of patients. Courteous, approachable, smiling, soft spoken, empathetic Physicians with friendly behaviour have shown to have better doctor patient relationship and better patient satisfaction levels.
Soft skills are desirable qualities that do not depend upon acquired knowledge: they include common sense, ability to deal with people and a positive flexible attitude. They are also known as transferrable skills, people’s skills or social skills. They define your relationship with others or how you approach life and work. Ironically soft skills are hardest skills to develop, however they can also be taught and learnt. They are your ability to recognise and manage your own and others’ emotions. Unlike hard skills there is no exam which proves that you have them, however they can be roughly estimated by how well you manage relationships with your family, friends and co-workers.
Hard skills are job specific skills and are specific, teachable abilities that can be defined and measured, such as bricklaying, accountancy, typing, writing, math, reading, diagnosing a particular disease and the ability to use software programs.
Soft skills are also known as people’s skill or non-technical skills. They are less tangible and harder to quantify, such as etiquette, getting along with others, listening and engaging in small talk. They are a cluster of productive personality traits that char
acterize one’s relationships in a milieu. These skills can include social graces, communication abilities, language skills, personal habits, cognitive or emotional empathy, time management, teamwork and leadership traits. Soft skills have more to do with who people are, rather than what they know. The term soft skill describes a person’s Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQ) rather than his Intelligence Quotient (IQ). Soft skills predict success in life, and programs that enhance soft skills have an important place in an effective portfolio of public policies .
IQ tests, standardized achievement tests, and grades are often interchangeably used to measure “cognitive ability” . Success in life depends on personality traits like conscientiousness, perseverance, sociability, and curiosity that are not well captured by measures of cognition. A substantial body of evidence shows that stable traits exist. People tend to behave in the same fashion across a wide range of situations . Evidence from genetics and neuroscience provides a biological basis for the existence of such traits, suggesting that something tied to the person, not the just the situation, affects behaviour .
Fluid intelligence is the rate at which people learn and crystalized intelligence is acquired knowledge . Achievement tests are heavily weighted towards crystallized intelligence .
IQ tests are heavily weighted toward fluid intelligence . Personality
traits are manifested through thoughts, feelings, and
behaviours. Personality traits are the “Big Five,” which includes
Openness to Experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion,
Agreeableness, and Neuroticism .
People who score low on openness are closed to experience.
They tend to be conventional and traditional in their outlook and
behaviour. They prefer familiar routines to new experiences, and
generally have a narrower range of interests. Conscientiousness
is the personality trait of being careful, or diligent. It implies a
desire to do a task well, and to take obligations to others seriously.
Conscientious people tend to be efficient and organized
as opposed to easy-going and disorderly. Extraversion indicates
how outgoing and social a person is. People who score high in
extraversion enjoy being with people, participating in social
gatherings, and are full of energy. Agreeableness is a personality
trait manifesting itself in individual behavioural characteristics
that are perceived as kind, sympathetic, cooperative, warm,
and considerate. Individuals who score high on neuroticism are
more likely to be moody and to experience such feelings as anxiety,
worry, fear, anger, frustration, envy, jealousy, guilt, depressed
mood, and loneliness.
A large body of evidence shows that stable personality traits
exist and are predictive of many behaviours . There is compelling
evidence that, averaging over tasks and situations at a
point in time, people act in a predictable fashion with a high level
of reliability of average behaviour across situations. Conscientiousness
predicts educational attainment more than either of
the facets of intelligence .
The communication skills of Physician impacts patients’ satisfaction
and is an effective step of making effective relationship
between doctor and patient. The Physician’s ability to communicate
well with his patient is the most important part of medical
art is called the heart and art of medication . A Physician
who does not have the soft skills of emotional intelligence, trustworthiness
and approachability is not very highly regarded by
their patients. Physicians who don’t communicate with their patients
efficiently may fall in a wrong cycle such as patients’ dissatisfaction,
increased mistakes, misdiagnosing, increased costs
of health care services, prescribing unnecessary drugs, wasting
the time and money of patients, which may lead to the wrong
treatment process causing decreasing quality of health services
. When patients are dissatisfied, their real message is that
their emotional needs are not being met . They may feel disrespected,
confined, vulnerable, fearful and lonely and they expect
the healthcare provider to treat these emotional needs too
. According to the statements of patients, the friendly communication
of doctors are the most important sources of their
mental and spiritual support .
The skill of tolerantly listening to the patients extremely
helps for creating a trustworthy relationship between Physician
and patient which is an essential step for therapeutic success
. Gross et al.  found that there was a direct relationship
between devoting enough time for visiting the patient and the
satisfaction level of patients . Rezaei et al.  showed that
there is a meaningful correlation between showing the interest
by physician for listening to their patients and the satisfaction of
patients . A study by Suh revealed that explanation of diagnosis
and treatment process plays an important role in driving
the satisfaction of patients . Korsch et al.  showed that
there is a significant relationship between patients’ satisfaction
and respectful behaviour of physicians . It was further shown
that lack of warmth and friendly communication of Physicians,
failure in taking into consideration the patient’s concerns and
their expectations from medical visits, the lack of clear diagnosis
explanation and causation of disease and use of medical jargon
lead significantly to the patient dissatisfaction . Soft skills
increase confidence, professionalism, coordination, friendliness
and optimism in an individual . At certain times, Physicians
are perceived by the patients to apparently ignore and not to
care about them. This is because they are ill-equipped emotionally
by way of their training .
In the corporate world, most organisations including large
corporate hospitals have started investing a great deal of time
and effort in elaborating training programmes designed to improve
soft skills. Human resource managers and top recruiters
who come for campus selections to IITs and IIMs hire young people
who have soft skills in addition to their professional competence.
This demonstrates that companies understand the value
of soft skills and their impact on their organisations. Business
executives consider soft skills a very important attribute in job
applicants . Soft skills are the difference between adequate
candidates and ideal candidates. In most competitive job markets,
recruitment criteria do not stop at technical ability and specialist
knowledge, but recruiters look for a balance of hard skills
and soft skills when making hiring decisions. A study reveals
that hard skills contribute to only 15% of one’s success while the
remaining 85% is made by soft skills .
Leadership is not soft, it is hard. The general perception of
a popular leader is of an authoritarian who speaks well, is meticulous
in his job and has many followers. A leader has a combination
of hard and soft skills in right proportions. Leaders are
expected to have good oratory skills, but good leaders also are
patient listeners. Negotiation and motivation are a big part of
the job for leaders. When negotiating with employees, clients,
or associates, leaders need to be skilled in staying considerate
of what others want while remaining focused on pushing for
what they want. Good leaders also need to know how to make
their own work most efficient by strategically delegating tasks
Success in life depends on personality traits in addition to
those measured by IQ, grades, and standardized achievements
tests. The communication skills of Physicians play a major role
in clientele satisfaction and trustfulness of patients on their doctors.
Communication skills of Physicians are considered as core
skills required to be a successful healer.
There is a significant relationship between length of time
devoted for visiting the patient and the satisfaction level of patients.
Letting the patient speak and giving a patient hearing improves
patient satisfaction levels. Making the patient participate
in planning the plan of action or the treatment plan by explanation
of diagnosis and treatment process plays important role
in driving the satisfaction of patients. Courteous, approachable,
smiling, soft spoken, empathetic Physicians with friendly behaviour
have shown to have better doctor patient relationship
and better patient satisfaction levels.