The business environment in the 21st century is fast-paced and continuously changing. Artificial Intelligence is integrated in almost every business process. But what remains the same is our ability to communicate, collaborate and increase productivity even without any interaction with the machines. This is where the Learning and Development professionals come in.

A LinkedIn study found that 58% of the hiring managers believe that the lack of soft skills in candidates is limiting their companies’ productivity. This has ushered in the immediate need for soft skills training for employees. So, what are these non-technical, soft skills that the L&D professionals must have? Let’s find out.

Communication Skills – It cannot be more emphasized that effective communication skills increase productivity tenfold. It is an underpinning skillset to a range of capabilities and competencies. It is critical to both the cultural and technical advancement in the workplace and ensures success in the 2 main roles of an L&D professional including:

  • Competency Development – L&D professionals must be able to clearly communicate the context and purpose of technical training. Transparency with the employees increases the chances of success in training.
  • Operational Excellence – L&D professionals are expected to bring innovation and range of media to the organization fit to meet the purpose of the business. With great communication skills, they can enable people to be effective in approaching new learning modules.

Leadership Skills – While focusing on small operational problems, L&D professionals often lose the sight of problems that may surface in the future. Hence, L&D professionals must be the leaders of change and train the employees to hone their leadership skills. They must empower everyone in the organization to grow and help others grow. Here’s what makes a successful leader:

  • The ability to identify strengths and work on them.
  • The ability to identify different learning curves and conduct the training accordingly.
  • The ability to prioritize tasks and create an action plan.
  • The ability to innovate and provide solutions that encourage employee engagement and motivation.
  • An employee-centric approach.

Decision-Making Skills – The lack of decision-making skills in L&D professionals has made many businesses fail since incompetent professionals tend to:

  • Overthink a decision already made
  • Focus on details that don’t matter
  • Underestimate how long training can take to complete
  • Obsess over negative outcomes
  • Base decisions on incomplete information

Learning and Development professionals must opt for soft skills courses that have decision-making as an important module. Decision-making skills help professionals consider all factors including the need of the business to conduct training as well as the willingness of the employees to undergo training. They help them incorporate critical thinking in their business practices and cut out the uncertainties and risks.

Emotional Intelligence – Emotional intelligence is as important in learning and development roles as it is in other leadership roles. Since L&D professionals interact with employees of the organization on a daily basis, it is very important that they understand how communication can impact them both positively and negatively. Emotional intelligence helps in understanding the mindset of employees, which then helps in:

  • A better understanding of how to communicate with the slow learners
  • Encouraging employees which would motivate them to learn more
  • Communicating with them without hurting their sentiments
  • Identifying strengths and assigning training modules accordingly

Humility – While everyone should practice humility in their everyday lives, it is extremely important for rapport building in organizations. Leaders and professionals who accept and correct their mistakes are genuinely loved by their employees. This gives them the confidence that they are under the wings of people who only want good for them and the organization.

Since humility builds trust within the organization, it directly leads to better office culture and increased productivity.

Organizations have now become dynamic and the L&D professionals are expected to grow and deliver consistently as the business grows. With an all-inclusive soft skills training course, they can be better equipped to adapt to every change and welcome the opportunities coming their way.

Author Bio:

An award-winning Image Management Professional, Suman Agarwal has helped students, home-makers, women on sabbatical as well as people seeking second career alternatives to explore Image Management and Soft Skill Training as a vibrant professional choice. She frequently writes blog posts about the urgent need of image consulting professionals and soft skill trainers in the 21st century and loves guiding people in exploring lucrative career options. Write to her at to seek advanced career guidance.