How Important Are Soft Skills Vs Technical Skills
It is amazing how many business people have the same initial response to the phrase “Soft Skills Training”. Be honest, what was your initial reaction when you saw the newsletter entitled “Soft Skills vs. Technical Skills”? Was it positive or were you sceptical? I believe that we have all been conditioned to think “soft skills” means fluffy nonsense that might be good for us and nice to do but only if time and budget allows or any other excuse can be made to avoid them.
For a legal firm or IT organisation, technical skills are mandatory
Soft play areas are a brilliant place for toddlers to visit for a number of reasons, not least because they are places which are incredibly enjoyable for them. If you want to see the benefits in your child, take them to soft play kmspicosoft areas regularly, so that they can continue to grow and develop.
Allowing your child to play in a soft play area may be essential for their proper development, because it provides them with a proper, controlled environment in which to test their limitations without risking serious injury. Although there are many special toys that a toddler can play with at home, soft play areas are much bigger and safer spaces. Because these areas have been designed for toddlers, they are soft enough to take a tumble in, without having to worry about getting hurt. It is much easier for a toddler to tumble in a soft play area than it is for them to tumble onto a hard wood floor or a rough carpet, as they would in the home. Knowing that they aren’t going to hurt themselves too much (other than the initial shock of falling) gives youngsters a much needed confidence boost to try out new things and develop their skills. They will be able to then transpose these skills to other environments.
Soft play areas have been designed to show children a multitude of different colours and shapes. All of the equipment which is included in a soft play zone will have been designed with a specific purpose (in addition to fun) in mind, even though you might not be able to identify that purpose at first glance. Brightly coloured equipment is always used because colours help to stimulate young children and stimulation can encourage brain development, which makes children more receptive to knowledge. Many of the pieces of play equipment can also be used for educational games, so your child will be able to learn about colours, shapes, numbers, letters and animals whilst they play.
As well as building their brains, play equipment can help young children to develop their motor skills. Soft play equipment such as ball pools and soft see-saws can help to teach children how to be more co-ordinated. They also help children to develop better spatial awareness skills. See-saw type toys help children to understand that the ways in which they use their bodies can affect other things around them.
Communal play areas help children to develop their social skills by allowing them to interact with other children. If your child does not have any other young siblings, this can be especially important, as it allows them to interact with people who are the same age as them. Building social skills at a young age is very important, as it can help children to communicate better in later life. In a play zone, children will learn important skills such as sharing and teamwork. They will also learn that playing well with others can increase their own level of enjoyment and happiness.
– be that professional CPD requirements or the need to be up to date with the latest software and enhancements. So why then, when the training is not counted as technical skills, do they become “soft”?
I believe soft skills training should be rebadged as “hard skills” for a number of reasons.
It can be very difficult for companies to measure the immediate success of soft skills training. Many soft skills take a long time to learn or old, bad or indifferent habits take a long time to retrain and break out of. This means that there isn’t an immediate response. Take for example first aid training, at the end of it there is a certificate for the attendee and should someone in the office fall ill then there is someone on hand that may well have a massive impact as to whether the person lives or dies; there is also a legal requirement to have the right number of people certified as first aiders. Contrast that with coaching difficult people, customer care or speaking skills – none of which have a legal requirement to be in place, all of which are so important to the survival of a business yet all are stereotyped as “soft” skills and treated as a nice to have.
For accountants to be able to complete their work they need to know where to put the numbers to create the documents that balance the books and pay the right taxes. Without technical accountancy training they cannot do their job. That is just one aspect of their job but they still need to know how to communicate, how to manage, how to overcome adversity or simply put, how to become better business people.
“Soft skills” are not soft, they are hard, very hard in places and can take a lot of financial and time investment to have maximum impact. Without the “soft skills” a business will never stand out in the crowded marketplace, they may be technically excellent car valeters or carpenters but do they possess all the necessary skills to be the best business they can be?
The reason why you had that gut feel at the beginning of this newsletter when you read the title was because many people use the phrase “soft skills” in a dismissive way, often to hide the areas of our lives that we really need to work on but try to avoid doing. By giving it the less than important title of “soft”, we can permit ourselves to pay less attention to it and what it means and therefore avoid it more easily. Rebadging these training skills as “HARD” skills makes them stand out and be seen – not so easy to avoid!
Mike Pagan is a highly sought after professional motivational speaker, conference speaker, and business coach. He has half a lifetimes experience in the corporate world with HSBC Group and Forte Group with Granada Group. “My passion is productivity, one of my greatest frustrations in life is seeing talent and opportunities go to waste because of faffing about.”