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The Most Underrated Yet the Most Demanded Soft Skill in Learning

The Most Underrated Yet the Most Demanded Soft Skill in Learning

Google Scholar shows over 140,000 results on the search for “soft skills in education,” published since 2000. While the concepts of soft and hard skills have long been part of our global vocabulary, these topics remain among psychology’s top research and book themes. Why is that?

As the world’s psychoemotional, economic, and political landscapes evolve, so do the conditions and methods of work and education. Approaches to child-rearing and training future professionals are also changing. Each new generation faces its own challenges and unmet needs.

Research Shows Soft Skills That Students Are Missing

Among the qualities students need, researchers mainly name these five:

  1. Communication is undoubtedly essential. If well-honed, it can help avoid numerous problems in teams. But it largely depends on a person’s experience, temperament, and emotional intelligence.
  2. Critical Thinking. There’s a good reason this skill is ranked as missed. Today’s world is overloaded with information. It’s crucial for students to approach any information critically, analyze it, and verify its authenticity.
  3. Problem-solving. The key skill here is the ability to identify and solve a problem’s root.
  4. Creativity. We live in the age of innovation, and this skill is now demanded as the default option for students.
  5. Teamwork is the ability to collaborate effectively within a team to achieve common goals. It is believed to foster critical thinking and the ability to find elegant solutions to problems.

Research suggests that all these skills can and should be developed. Let’s be honest: modern education precisely fosters these qualities. However, the students are responsible for taking advantage of what the program offers.

Go Beyond

Great question: which soft skill should we focus on most? But here’s a better one: why does research consistently overlook patience as an essential skill? It would seem straightforward: without being patient, little can be achieved. Yet, this very quality is not considered promising. And that’s a mistake.

We use it constantly and everywhere: in everyday life, in work, and, of course, in academia. The very nature of higher education requires a bottomless vessel of patience from the student. For higher education, where we are talking about academic degrees and research, a huge layer of patience and time is required, and this skill will become critical and decisive.

If you are writing a thesis, organizing your knowledge and daily work requires being patient. If you are conducting research, you need patience for every step, from preparation to conclusions. Even if you turn to the best literature review writing service for help, you will need patience to fill out the brief correctly and explain the task.

Patience In the Context of History

The metaphor comparing patience to a vessel is a common one. But its exact origins are shrouded in mystery. Some trace it back to ancient Greek philosophy, where patience was likened to a vessel that could be filled with water. Others attribute its genesis to biblical parables, where patience was compared to a chalice that could be brimmed with wine.

Patience finds its way into world literature in various forms. For instance:

  • “The Epic of Gilgamesh” (3rd millennium BCE): “Patience is a weapon that conquers all.”
  • “Hamlet” (1603) by William Shakespeare: “Patience is a virtue, but it has its limits.”
  • “Anna Karenina” (1878) by Leo Tolstoy: “Patience is the key to happiness.”

Overall, defining patience as some kind of vessel is a cool tip. This powerful mental tool can and should help students understand and appreciate the importance of patience in achieving their goals.

The Role of Patience in Learning

Patience is demanded so we do not stop and move toward each new goal. Earning an advanced degree is not an overnight endeavor. It’s a journey that begins with small steps, each requiring a renewed investment of patience. From high school to college, university, master’s programs, and doctoral studies, the journey intensifies with each step, requiring an ever-deepening reservoir of patience.

Patience is the lifeblood of soft skill application. When it comes to mastering vast amounts of knowledge and seeking and analyzing information, our psyche draws upon patience as the primary energy source, fueling soft and hard skills along the way.

Soft Skill or Skill Launcher?

That’s the crux of the matter. Of course, patience is an ability in itself. But it’s the very same switch that launches other essential modern-world skills, such as creativity, critical thinking, teamwork, and problem-solving.

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