What are Soft skills (Sociological perspective)? 

Soft skills are personal attributes that encourages an individual to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people. This takes place with the use of proper training and experience. It deals with the capacity of an individual to settle arising issues in a unique way by slashing out challenges, encouraging communication, effectively utilizing time and setting sustainable goals. Thus, soft skills are generated from 4 basic sociological habits which are character, social intelligence, career traits and interpersonal skills. 

Soft skills in the legal profession can be defined as a combination of people skills, social skills, communication skills and occupational skills to enable effective practice in the legal world. Legal practitioners who are equip with soft skill are often ingrained with specialist knowledge that make them approachable for a healthy environment where different perspectives are exchanged and conflicts resolved. 

Soft skills expected of a legal professional can be either be communicated verbally or non-verbally. This skills are social skills needed to facilitate interactions and effective communication between  a Lawyer and a Client by applying social rules. In law the basic soft skills required are persuasive skills, active learning skills, negotiation skills, decision making skills, motivation skills, empathy skills and act of responsibility skills. These all boil down to encourage efficiency in the legal profession. 

Interpersonal conflict of legal professional are exhibited in actions related to: Dominance v Submission, Love v Hate , Affiliation v Aggression; & Control v Autonomy (Leary, 1957). Barriers to resolving quarrels or disagreement are bad listening skills, poor use of language, combative attitudes and poor confrontational skills. It is better to reorganize your thinking and action taking in order not to hurt clients or people around you with avoidable mistakes. Thus, conflict Resolution skills comes into place. 

Conflict Resolution skills is a situation where parties involved in a case have different objectives, different opinions, different operational styles, these conflict can be resolved using verbal communication. Such a scenario encourage parties to be calm and control their emotions. Always have this in your thoughts that a legal practitioner who can effectively resolve conflicts has a Leadership Trait. Conflict may arise as a result of different personal habits and cultural diversity, so as a legal practitioner always try to talkless and listen more as though you will be asked to repeat all you heard same way it was said and most importantly take note, in law documentations are essential for precedence purpose. 

Steps to resolving a conflicting party using the Alternative dispute Resolution (ADR) techniques.

1. Take note of what triggered the conflict and agree on a plan for resolution. 

2. Understand the perspective of both parties and try to come to a consensus on the case which both parties will be comfortable with.

3. Encourage parties to stay calm, embrace peace & unity.


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About Author

A legal luminary @ Edo University Uzairue, Estako West, Edo state, Nigeria A 300 level Student, born 21st of January An intern @ O.M Obayuwana & Nosawema Chambers, Advocate and Solicitors located at No 117, New Lagos Road, New Benin, Benin City, Edo State. Nigeria.