WHAT ARE SOFT SKILLS?
What are soft skills?
“Soft skills” refers to what some call interpersonal skills or “people skills”. It also includes character traits. This includes things like:
- Written and oral communication
- Emotional Intelligence
- Problem solving
- Decision making
- Collaboration and teamwork
- Conflict resolution
The term was first used by the US Army in 1972. Very quickly it came to be used by human resource specialists, leaders, educators and trainers.
The term “soft skills” is derived as being distinct from “hard skills”, which refers to the knowledge and skills required for a particular profession or job. For example: “Hard skills” are what a physician learns about diagnosing and treating illnesses in the human body. Soft skills then refers to how the physician approaches his job and how he relates to his patients as people.
Soft skills, though more difficult to measure than “hard skills” are vital to organizational success and can be learned.