The idea of “soft skills” is ridiculously stupid


A process is only as good as the human behavior behind it yet people usually want to focus only on process or tools. Big disconnect. Then we you try to address root problems it’s “just fix the process.” Spinning wheels and ineffective.


Hi Troy,

The dichotomy between hard and soft skills is a strange one. The “hard” skills are those which use our muscles and require motor-skills. The “soft” skills are those which use our heart.

Seems to me, the hardest skills I’ve had to learn through life are those related to the heart. Emotional intelligence, intrapersonal perception, overcoming bias, regulating anger, sharing. Those are really hard skills to learn.


My pet theory is this is a result of it being easier to identify variation in process and tools than behavior or attitude. Is that team self organizing? Must be, they stand up for 15 minutes every morning!


I think the term soft skills is inherently sexist. There are plenty of terms that are only used to describe characteristics and traits in women, and often pejoratively so. (Nice article charting the different use of adjectives based on gender.) Given that in Western traditions what we mean by soft skills are socialised more to the females than males, I can’t help but draw a comparison.