Soft skills are a combination of social skills, work habits, communication skills, character traits, and attitudes that enable people (and students in particular) to work well with others and manage the demands of learning and working. It is difficult to acquire the “hard skills” (e.g., learning to read, write, solve equations, understand basic principles of physics, etc.) if a student hasn’t developed the soft skills to enable the process of learning new things. After students have acquired the “hard skills” to move on to higher education or to move into employment; success at that next step becomes exceedingly difficult without soft skills. In fact, soft skills are more often the obstacle to success than the hard skills that are taught as part of education and training.
This program defines “soft skills” and some of the skills in each major category are further described with specific detail in the box across from the listed skill. This is done to illustrate how any targeted skill can be further broken down and described in enough specific detail to enable specific intervention within the classroom…direct pdf download