Does soft mean weak? p. 28

…Dan remarked dryly. “In one hand, we’re talking about how critical soft skills are, and how tough it’s to develop them. On the contrary, we use a label like ‘soft.’ If you ask me, it’s confusing.”

Without waiting for Karen’s reply, Dan asked skeptically. “Don’t you think that the word ‘soft’ may be taken as ‘weak’?” Participants looked at one another and shrugged as if to say, ‘I don’t.’ Not Karen. She took Dan’s question seriously.

After a couple of seconds pause, she clarified. “The word soft shouldn’t diminish the significance and power of soft skills. People shouldn’t take the word ‘soft’ literally. They shouldn’t also assume that ‘hard’ means strong and tough. Developing soft skills is more challenging and more difficult than developing hard skills.” Dan looked unconvinced.

Karen continued. “By the way, there are soft things that are strong. Think about silk. Insects produce it. Yes, it’s soft. But, it can be as strong and tough as steel.”

However, she admitted that the term ‘soft skills’ has been controversial. “We had tried to find an alternative fitting name that could show a parallel between the two skills without success. We brainstormed and came up with some alternative names such as interpersonal skills, people skills, adjunct skills, non-cognitive skills, 21st C skills, and more. But, none of them seemed best fit for the purpose of this program. Though we recognized that some people might get confused with the word ‘soft’ and take it literally, we thought that the term ‘soft skills’ is universally known and can easily be used to make a comparison with hard skills.”…


Taken from page 28 of the book ‘Soft Skills That Make or Break Your Success: 12 soft skills to master self, get along with, and lead others.’


1. The Kindle version of the book is available on Amazon. The print version will soon be available. Stay tuned.

2. Below are some of the follow-up services Success Pathways will soon start to provide based on the theme of the book:

  • Book signings
  • Keynotes
  • Individual workshops
  • Individual and group coaching
  • Soft Skill Development program

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