A short definition about hard and soft skills
Behind the term “Hard Skills” are simply our professional competences that we have learned in the course of your education and developed through our professional life. Therefore “Hard Skills” are easy to define: They include such things as finance, data analytics, cloud computing, artificial intelligence and strategic thinking. What “Hard Skills” does your position requires ?
It is harder to define soft skills. And indeed, they are also harder to measure.
Soft skills, also known as core competencies, are skills that apply to all professions. They include critical thinking, problem solving, public speaking, professional writing, teamwork, digital literacy, leadership, professional attitude, work ethic, career management and intercultural competence…. so also interpersonal emotional skills such as empathy and resilience.
They are in contrast to hard skills, which are specific to individual professions and they are really hard to train and a hell of a lot depends on them! Because they represent a tremendously large field of “faux pas” which, if committed, can be very, very expensive.
So soft skills are actually the most difficult skills.
But you already know that.
But you already know that. You’re a people person, right?
Richard Feynman once said “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool.”
And isn’t that true for all of us no matter where we stand in life?
Feyman’s 1st principle does not distinguish between billionaires and first-year students, or whether you are busy founding your first start-up or have completed your third million-dollar exit.
A psychology research paper, Unskilled And Unaware Of It, by J Kruger et al., says:
“We all lack self insight some of the time. And, in particular, when we’ve strayed beyond our sphere of competence, we may lack the competence to know it.”
And the follow up paper, Skilled Or Unskilled, But Still Unaware Of It, by Katherine A Burson et al., points out that on more difficult tasks, high performers are even less accurate than the worst performers in their judgments.
Smart, successful, wealthy people are at greater risk of their own errors of judgement, each time they start a new project.
So to be amongst the very best impacting leaders is to recognize that even you can’t trust the way we think.
Which is why every great leader needs the support of a modern concierge-system. And the good news is in this so called “century of coaching” you can easily have this support.
As Hugh McLeod once said, “The trick isn’t being successful. The trick is being human.”