What Are Soft Skills?

An auditor making use of his soft skills while helping a certificate body reach accreditation.

To be an effective auditor or assessor, it takes a variety of soft skills. But what exactly are they and how can you acquire them?

Soft skills are personal attributes, traits and behaviors that enable an individual to effectively interact with other people. They are a combination of people, social, and communication skills, as well as personality traits and attitudes.

This combination of skills characterizes how an individual interacts with others, whether professionally or personally, as the behaviors the individual displays in different situations. These skills are particularly important in jobs that require employees or contractors to engage with others, such as when performing an audit or assessment of a client.

These effective auditing tools are acquired over time based on the background and personality of the individual. Because they are similar to emotions or personal insight, it is difficult to teach these skills in a classroom but being aware of the importance of soft skills can allow an individual to hone these skills with practice.

It takes a variety of soft skills to be an effective auditor or assessor. Being an effective communicator, practicing active listening, and taking thorough notes are three areas in which auditors or assessors can focus on soft skills. Both verbal and non-verbal communication is important when interacting with a client. Attentive and reflective listening ensures that what was said is what was heard and understood. Finally, effective note taking documents objective evidence and can pinpoint side issues or audit trails. Do you want to learn more? Listen to the ANAB webcast titled “What are Soft Skills and Why Do I Need Them?”

You can also find other ANAB training options to enhance your knowledge and skills.

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