The biggest Titans on the block, now is the battle between the hard and soft skills ; in the recent months, we have seen a huge emphasis on the importance of skills development. Skills development is the process of determining the skills gap and how to fill up the skills up through continuous development.
Now you could make a rash decision and start attending courses after courses to develop skills, but wait a minute! Why are you developing those skills? because it is necessary for your career development? Because you have the interest to grow that skill? Because it helps you do your current role better? If you answered "Yes" , then read on!
Hard skills, also called technical skills, are job-specific, relevant to each position and seniority level. Hard skills are measurable, functional or technical skills. Each role in every company will require a unique hard skills list. For example, an accountant needs to know how to reconcile bank statements, while that knowledge is unnecessary for a developer. At the same time, reconciliation is important for accountants no matter their level of experience, but preparing business budgets is a skill that’s not usually required of a junior accountant.
Soft skills are general characteristics, relevant to personality traits. Some soft skills you’d like to see in all employees regardless of their position or expertise, while other soft skills make sense in certain jobs and are less important in others. For example, if you value collaboration in your company, you want to hire employees who are great team players and can communicate well with others. On the other hand, networking and relationship-building skills might be essential for sales and marketing roles, but irrelevant for engineering roles. Likewise, leadership abilities make sense for people who’ll manage a team no matter their department. Soft skills can be split into 2 categories
Cognitive skills include literacy and numeracy. They refer to the ability to understand complex ideas, adapt effectively to the environment, learn from experience, and reason.
Socio-emotional skills refer to the ability to navigate interpersonal and social situations effectively and include leadership, teamwork, self-control, and grit.
Wait a minute, did you know that we can also measure soft skills just like hard skills.
Think about following situations in certain professions : A Quality Engineer who is highly skilled in quality audit frameworks and troubleshooting skills, but does not get the respect from his team members.
A surgeon who is calm and stable when interacting with patients but has a record of high mortality rates for high risk operations. A manager who has the leadership qualities but zero knowledge on our products and services. A trainer with all the relevant certification but does not seem to be able to interact easily with the audience.
Now what is your verdict?
Hard skills is more important?
Soft skills more important?
Or Both Complements One Another
Of course, in certain professions, there could have slightly high preference for one over the other because of the nature of the role, like as a software developer who will need to possess the hard skills to do the work also need soft skills as he/she could be receiving instructions on the brief and need to learn how to raise objections if any in a non-confrontation manner.
Therefore, 2 is definitely better than 1 , an over reliance on one may get you this far but trust us, it will not be the same in the near future.
Both skills are necessary to succeed
There is absolutely still need for hard skills in a changing marketplace. It’s still crucial that a
consultant has accolades and experience, a HR professional knows the employment laws and a pilot who can fly a commercial aircraft. Both skills cannot exist independently, they need to have a symbiotic relationship where both can complement one another.
Here is the good news!! Soft skills can be developed too! just like your hard skills!
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