Soft skills are what make you a good team player and leader. They will help you fit in with a business's culture. They can help you communicate your ideas to people at all levels of seniority. We asked an ACCA member at advanced career level what their most valued soft skills are and why.
Quin SQ Thong FCCA, MD Asia at Wilmington PLC
Up to 2006, I was terrible at public speaking - just terrible. Then I made myself take a course and since then I’ve started to improve. With it my confidence also, as well as my ability to engage. To cut a very long story short, the comment I keep getting is that ‘I am not too accountanty’. I think they mean I am interesting and engaging.
Not ‘la-la’ creativity, but the ability to provide insights into numbers, what the numbers really mean to a non-finance person. I can turn chunks of numbers into graphs or pictograms that enable a manager to literally see the picture and therefore make decisions.
Slightly different from pure public speaking, storytelling is the art of influencing. Being able to draw parallels, relate to everyday life, and make numbers and financial concepts come to life and not seem so scary. For example, I taught illiterate village women foreign currency concepts in English - they do not speak nor understand English, so we used interpreters. I used a world map, cucumbers, chilies and onions, and when they were comfortable, I switched to coins and notes in different currencies. I helped them feel less scared of learning something so difficult. Watch the video on YouTube.