This article is reprinted with permission from Professional Accountant, published by Future Publishing
Getting in touch with your soft side…
Your numbers are good, so too your qualifications but aspiring to becoming a ‘great’ Professional Accountant requires more than technical ability. Kerry Dimmer uncovers 10 soft skills that will help define you as exceptional.
Soft skills are the people, social and interpersonal abilities that when well-developed enhance the quality of our business relationships. These abilities relate to self-development, self-management and self-awareness. We reflect these in our personality, our attitude and behaviour.
Because soft skills are intangible they are difficult to measure. It’s the X-factor that makes you shine and is both attractive and enviable.
Tobie Oosthuizen is the national training director of BDO, an audit, advisory and tax company, and Stefan Bezuidenhout, a lecturer in the department of accounting at the University of Pretoria. Both agree that the soft skills of the accountancy profession need attention.
Bezuidenhout says that the academic programme is already so full “that there just isn’t enough time to expand a student outside of the realm of hard skills”, so the onus to develop soft skills generally falls to the individual. Few companies offer in-house soft skills training however BDO is the exception, having created internal programmes that focus on employees aspiring to leadership.
The following are key X-factor dynamics that you may be lacking: