Soft Skills are Permanent Skills

Pal Chris Corrigan shared an article during a client call yesterday. Together with Caitlin Frost, we are working with the client, a university system that is daring to rethink education. Not just creating more degrees, but rather, learning to change the way that learning happens. From individually accessed to communally accessed. Learning to think together for change and for a change.

I love the reference to soft skills and hard skills. The latter is things that can be trained. Even automated. The former is things that can be approximated my complicated algorithms and artificial intelligence, but really is the deep practices of collaborative connection. It needs humans. It needs us to dare to be more fully human, not less.

Here’s a snippit. The full article from Harold Jarche, a Canadian man is here.

Are soft skills the new hard skills? I asked this question six years ago. I would now suggest that hard skills are really temporary skills. They come and go according to the economy and the state of technology. Today, we need very few people who know how to shoe a horse. Soft skills are permanent ones. In a recent New York Times article the company LinkedIn had identified a number of currently in-demand skills.

 

HARD SKILLS
Cloud Computing Expertise
Data Mining and Statistical Analysis
Smartphone App Development
Data Storage Engineering and Management
User Interface Design
Network Security Expertise

 

SOFT SKILLS
Communication
Curiosity
Adaptability
Teamwork
Empathy
Time Management
Open-Mindedness

 

Companies are realizing that they can train for hard (temporary) skills so they are focusing on hiring for soft (permanent, meta skills).

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