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Soft skills or natural abilities

What are soft skills?

Sought after by businesses and considered to be essential qualities, these skills can’t be learned from books and you don’t get a diploma for mastering them, but they enhance your day-to-day work and can help you plot your career or reveal your true calling. Manpower’s consultants pride themselves on identifying these skills that make a difference.


It appears as though nothing can change the path of this winding river. For us, this image represents initiative, because sometimes you need to have the confidence to take an indirect route to achieve your goal.


As water vapour crystallises on a window, subtle patterns begin to form. The delicate arms of these ephemeral stars unfurl to a level of detail that is barely perceptible to the human eye but is remarkable in its precision.


Standing firm, refusing to give up and pursuing goals to the end: some actions need a great deal of tenacity and perseverance in order to make everything come together and bring about the desired result.


The plant that best represents adaptability and flexibility is the reed, with its elegant stems that bend in the wind before returning effortlessly to their upright positions.


An interplay of light and rocks. Antelope Canyon is a symphony of colours and materials with a supernatural appearance, all created by water and time. The Navajo Nation in Arizona is home to the bewitching treasures of creativity.


A sacred plant in Japan and a symbol of reincarnation in China, bamboo has the unique ability to grow very rapidly, giving it remarkable resilience – so much so, in fact, that it is used as scaffolding for building skyscrapers. Bamboo grows in colonies as its rhizome allows the shoots to multiply.


Honesty and loyalty are vital traits in many professions. Rays of light dance across the Caribbean Sea, its scintillating surface and soothing clarity reflecting this soft skill with perfect transparency.

Team spirit

The bees’ hierarchical society makes the hive a perfect model of an organization. Over the course of their lives, bees also take on different roles, acting as cleaners, nurturers, storekeepers, builders, guards and foragers. Whether they are working in a team or on a production line, bees work together successfully because they communicate with each other. The key to their organisation thus lies in the communication that fosters their team spirit.

Interpersonal skills

Keen foragers know that the discovery of one mushroom almost certainly means there are more close by. Mushrooms have the extraordinary tendency to grow in circular formations, or “fairy rings” – a term stemming from medieval folklore that tells of fairies meeting in these rings in meadows and woods. For us, these clusters of mushrooms represent interpersonal skills.


Discretion, represented here by the mist enveloping the mountains and softening their features, is a desirable quality in a number of roles. It is often associated with self-restraint or even a certain sense of wisdom.


“A few drops of dew on a spider’s web create a river of diamonds,” wrote Jules Renard in his diary. This poetic vision is a world away from our contemporary use of the word “web” to mean the Internet, the network that allows us to exchange information around the globe and facilitates the organisation of our professional and leisure activities.


This unchanging material has always been regarded as a precious metal. Gold adorned the mightiest leaders of the ancient Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Aztec civilizations. In the modern world, gold is used in jewellery and decorations and as a monetary standard, as well as in electronics, medicine and the food industry. Its exceptional reliability makes it an indispensable material.