Soft skills is a simple term for a complex set of personal qualities that help make an individual a positive and contributing member of any organization. Soft skills include personal qualities such as positive attitude, communication, planning & organizing, critical thinking, teamwork and more.
The National Soft Skills Association was created for the dissemination of research and best practices in the assessment and teaching of soft skills.
The term soft skills has many definitions, however all definitions include an element of effectively interacting with other people. There are many different competencies included in soft skills, such as communication skills, interpersonal skills, professionalism, critical thinking, and more. But the competency that trumps them all is attitude; not just any attitude, but a positive attitude.
A positive attitude is an intrapersonal skill, within oneself, and needs to be developed before interpersonal awareness, awareness of others, can be developed. Attitude is the core upon which all other soft skills are developed. With that said, we would like you to meet Tasha, a person who truly exemplifies how a positive attitude can change your life.
For over 100 years the focus of our career training programs in this country has been on technical skills or hard skills, while ignoring the teaching of soft skills. The reason the focus is on hard skills training is based on the incorrect assumption that hard skills are knowledge-based and therefore can be assessed and taught, while soft skills are not knowledge-based and cannot be assessed and taught. Another reason is that soft skills are “touchy-feely” and have no place in a technical training program.
The real fact is that those touchy-feely soft skills are costing our nations businesses many billions of dollars in lost revenues every year! These false assumptions have led to the educational and training crisis we face today in our schools and workplaces.
It is interesting to note that these statistics were taken from the work by Charles Rigborg Mann, A Study of Engineering Education, in 1918. That’s right—1918!
Almost 100 years have passed since Charles Rigborg Mann published his extensive research on the need for soft skills education in our schools and workplaces, yet little has changed. This is why the National Soft Skills Association has been created.