Bookmark and Share

Professionals Who Need Soft Skills the Most to Succeed in Green Energy

0 Comment

Succeeding in any field of business requires a pertinent set of soft skills, and the green energy sector is no different in that respect. The universal effectiveness of soft skills across the various industries remains as strong as it always had been because of one very specific reason; just like always, it’s still the people who make key decisions. Like soft skills, in general, are all geared towards establishing rapport and communication with the other party, someone who has mastered them will always have a huge advantage over everyone who has not.

What Exactly Are Soft Skills?

Soft skills are hard to define, as some of the earlier definitions do not hold true anymore. For example, soft skills are often defined as innate qualities that are usually not a part of formal education. In 2020, that’s just not true. Management courses, leadership courses, and specialized, formal soft skills training courses are now an essential part of corporate education. Similar to hard skills, they are also being taught, practiced, and repeated until perfected, making the distinction harder than before.

Despite all that, soft skills can be differentiated and defined as a set of personal, people skills that an individual might already be predisposed to. Having them embedded in your personality by birth is not a necessity today, but those that are naturally inclined towards building excellent relationships with others will also be able to hone and finetune those skills through formal training and education faster, with more success in real-life application. The most important soft skills with respect to business are as follows:

  • Communication: verbal, non-verbal, written, visual, body language, etc.
  • Listening actively and observing visual/verbal cues
  • Negotiation
  • Persuasion
  • Diplomacy
  • Public speaking
  • Networking
  • Presentation
  • Problem solving
  • Logical reasoning
  • Lateral thinking
  • People management
  • Conflict resolution
  • Decision making
  • Strategizing, planning and managerial skills
  • Teambuilding and collaboration
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Organizational skills
  • Motivational skills
  • Interpersonal skills and social skills
  • Time management and task planning
  • Dynamic thinking: on-the-spot problem solving
  • Crisis management
  • Inherent leadership skills

Are There Soft Skills Specific to the Green Energy Sector?

The core skills are always the same, but it’s the dynamic modifications that make them suited for a particular industry or a subsegment. In other words, soft skills are always the same, but certain adaptations will need to be made accordingly so that they have the maximum applicability and success rate. For example, most high-level executives have at least some degree of effective soft skills. However, unless their skills in leadership and communication are also backed up by a thorough knowledge and understanding of the green energy sector, they won’t be able to use those skills to any significant effect.

Which Jobs in Clean Energy Require the Maximum Usage of Soft Skills?

This is not a particularly easy question to answer, since a lot is dependent on the circumstances, the structure of the company, its size, manpower, available human assets, etc. Despite the differences, there are certain roles in clean energy which require the employee/executive to be more skillful in how they deal with people than others. We will discuss some of the most prolific examples next.

The MD (Managing Director)

Let’s start the list off with one of the most powerful head executives in any company, the Managing Director. A leader who is in complete or partial charge of:

  • Setting and achieving clean energy production targets and various sales goals
  • Improving and expanding the company beyond its current performance and size
  • Maintaining environmental and industrial compliance standards
  • Talent identification, recruitment, nurturing and developing
  • High profile client relationship management and ensuring collaboration across all associated departments with the client

Anyone who wishes to assume a leadership role within the industry will need to master and adopt soft skills to best suit their specific needs. The most essential soft skills for a Managing Director would be:

  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Problem solving
  • Decision making
  • People management

As clean energy generation and distribution are still in its nascency as a business, the senior executive must have a relevant background in green energy to take up the role of MD in this industry. They might also be required to frequently establish lobbies with politicians and high officials within the government to help facilitate eco-friendly commercial policies and promoting beneficial agendas for their own business model.

Engineers in Sustainable Energy

Engineering is the most diversified profession in the industry, and in order to save the environment from further irreversible damage, a vast number of engineering professionals must collaborate. From bioengineers and electrical engineers to software engineers and civil engineers, they all must work in perfect synchronization with each other if the company has to succeed. 

Engineers from the various fields might have to remain interdependent on each other continuously, or they may only need to collaborate on certain projects. Either way, in order for it all to work seamlessly, engineering managers with superb people skills are essential assets within the sustainable energy sector. Click here to find out exactly which soft skills engineering management professionals need the most and how the right training program can help make their jobs easier.

Solar/Wind/Water/Nuclear Energy Project Manager

Are the soft skills necessary to manage projects in a software development company any different from those necessary in managing a sustainable energy project? There might be differences in kind, but that is variable and solely dependent on a particular project’s parameter. Where it differs, however, is in the intensity and frequency.

It was mentioned earlier that sustainable power generation and distribution still needs to grow a lot more. This presents massive opportunities for all associated professionals to grow along with it. However, in order to usher in that growth, every project manager in sustainable energy must possess a solid set of soft skills, reinforced with deep knowledge about the project in question and its implications.

Senior project managers with relevant experience will often take up the role, but whether they will succeed or not may depend to a great extent on factors such as their:

  • Emotional IQ
  • Ability to lead with confidence
  • Ability to listen and communicate ideas effectively and clearly
  • Non-verbal communication skills and the ability to read non-verbal cues
  • Ability to strategize dynamically and solve problems as they come up
  • A thorough understanding of the project, the planning behind it, the most important tools and human assets, its financial aspects and the project’s ultimate goals

The MD and the PM will often have to collaborate as well, and their duties will also coincide with each other at times. However, what differentiates the two is the magnitude of their responsibilities. The project manager has to micromanage a project, in addition to acting as the external connection to the client. The Managing Director, however, supervises every sustainable energy project within the company/branch/sector under him/her. Both roles require mastering most, if not all of the core soft skills. 

Sustainability Consultants

A sustainability consultant can either be hired on a permanent basis by a company, or they could be consulted on a contractual basis. There is virtually no limit to their applicability today, as the work which they do is not limited to the sustainable energy segment only. The sustainability consultant can work in any segment within any industry, as long as the company wishes to:

  • Become more energy efficient
  • Lower their power consumption expenses
  • Lower their overall carbon footprint
  • Stay compliant with EPA guidelines
  • Maximize production while minimizing waste
  • Maximize profits by minimizing wasted resources and expenses
  • Optimize the supply chain for minimal carbon emission, and ultimately, reduced fuel expenses
  • Help rural communities and the natural ecology around them stay safe and healthy

In order to achieve all this, thorough scientific, technical, environmental, and commercial knowledge is essential. However, soft skills play a huge role here as well. For example, if a rural branch is facing issues with the local community, a sustainability expert can help identify and then nullify the problem. That, however, may not be enough at all, if the same expert is unable to communicate what they are doing to improve the situation in a convincing manner to both parties. They may also have to request a higher budget for installing additional equipment necessary for maintaining a clean and green factory process. It should be apparent by now that every sustainability professional needs to be proficient in:

  • Communication
  • Presentation
  • Public speaking
  • Reading and sending non-verbal cues
  • Negotiation
  • Persuasion

Now that we have gone through some of the professions in clean energy generation and distribution, the idea behind it all should be much more understandable at this point. To sum it up, soft skills are important in every field of work today and not just in green energy, but due to the fact that this is a fairly new and growing segment, interpersonal skills are particularly important here for building long term business, formal and mutually beneficial relationships. The need for effective collaborations and cohesive relationships could be ongoing or only temporary, but the need itself is constant.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

No Responses so far | Have Your Say!