5 things you should know about soft skills for global development

Can soft skills make up for a lack of experience? Click the video to get one recruiter’s take.

In global development, technical skills may get you the job, but soft skills will ensure you succeed.

Soft skills, which define an individual's emotional intelligence, are "extraordinarily important in the decision-making process" when managing projects, according to Joseph Scheibel, an MSI technical associate and a veteran of supervising project teams in hardship posts such as Iraq.

And based on his experience, the balance between soft and technical skills in determining success in the field tips overwhelmingly in favor of the former, at a ratio of 90 percent soft skills to 10 percent technical skills.

Scheibel joined independent career consultant Jud Nirenberg and Scott Webb, currently a humanitarian response HR adviser for Catholic Relief Services and formerly a Peace Corps recruiter, in a panel session at the 6th Annual Devex International Development Career Forum held Friday, March 28, in Washington about the behavioral competencies that are necessary to thrive in the aid industry. The forum brought together nearly 250 delegates from 66 of the biggest development employers and more than 500 aid professionals.

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About the author

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    Ma. Eliza Villarino

    Currently based in New York City, Eliza is a veteran journalist focused on covering the most pressing issues and latest innovations in global health, humanitarian aid, sustainability and development. A member of Mensa, Eliza has earned a master's degree in public affairs and bachelor's degree in political science from the University of the Philippines.