Psychologists and other scientists often talk of qualitative vs. quantitative skills. Quantitative skills can be measured and accurately assessed, while qualitative skills are more subjective and harder to measure. Vital business skills -- such as resilience, trust and creativity -- all fall into the qualitative category.
Resilient individuals have a natural ability to bounce back from rejection and failure. These skills are very important for business owners, because they often fail more than once before they achieve their goal of a successful company and a winning product. Resilience means getting back up after a defeat, analyzing what went wrong and forging ahead in a new direction. Resilience is one of the most important qualitative skills in the business world -- but it is also one of the hardest to teach. Resilience seems to be innate in many people, although others can learn to be more resilient through experience.
Many problems in the business world have more than one possible solution. The ability to look at a problem from all angles and come up with a creative and original approach is an important qualitative skill. Creativity is an often overlooked skill in the business world, but it can be a very valuable one. Creative individuals might look at a particular business problem and find a solution that no one has thought of before. A creative individual might also be able to come up with new processes and new ways of doing things that can save the company money and make it more productive.
The ability to trust others -- and to foster trust in others -- is another important qualitative skill. Trust is an important factor in any business relationship, and those who have the ability to instill trust in others often enjoy great success in the business world. Teamwork is a critical component of business success, and that teamwork and cooperation can only take place when the members of the team are able to trust one another.
Good people skills are essential in the business world. In fact, the ability to get along well with co-workers and clients, and to work effectively as part of a team, can be even more important than actual technical skills. People skills -- including the ability to forge lasting personal and professional relationships -- and the ability to influence the decisions of others are considered qualitative skills. As with other qualitative skills, it is difficult to measure these assets objectively. But when you watch a group of people interacting with one another, from children on the playground to workers in the office, it quickly becomes apparent which individuals have the strongest people skills.