‘Soft’ Skills Are Hard to Measure and in Demand. Can They Be Taught?

The hard to measure talents can land you a job, or a raise.


11 May, 2019FORTUNE.COM

BEAM - ‘Soft’ Skills Are Hard to Measure and in Demand. Can They Be Taught? | BEAM

No doubt about it, so-called soft skills--those hard-to-measure talents like empathy, adaptability, and a knack for communicating your ideas--need a new name. “‘Soft’ sounds weak, or somehow less important than ‘hard’ or technical skills. That’s completely wrong,” says Heide Abelli, senior vice president for product development at Skillsoft. The company designs and delivers training courses to about 140 million employees in 160 countries around the world. “We refer to them as ‘power skills,’ because, without them, people’s technical skills aren’t running on all cylinders.”

“I call them durable skills,” says Jeremy Auger, a co-founder and chief strategy officer of training company D2L, which numbers Walmart, Procter & Gamble, Fidelity and American Express among its clients. He points out that the average lifespan of a tech skill now is roughly 18 months. Durable skills like creativity, adaptability, and time management, by contrast, never get obsolete. “You can take them with you anywhere in the company, or outside it.”...

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