Skill

Skill

Late Old English scele , “knowledge”, from Old Norse skil, “discernment”, “knowledge”.

The appearance of the term soft skill, and its opposite, the hard(er) skills, occurred in the 70s in the military.
It was during a conference held in 1972 in the United States that their categorisation was discussed but also the possibility, with the support of IBM, of creating a “technological” way to train and measure troop performance.

Soft skills are key competences useful for personal and relational and school and professional life no less than hard skills. One set does not exclude the other, rather one amplifies the value of the other set. If a person is competent, productive and adequately trained, and is also motivated, communicates effectively, is a good listener and an excellent problem solver then his value will certainly be greater than just knowing something and knowing how to do it.
By hard skill we mean technical-specialist skills, specific to each industry sector, which are learned through studying and on-the-job; they are impersonal skills and therefore easy to evaluate. Soft skills are a set of cross skills, useful for each profession and they depend on experiential baggage and individual attitudes; they are personal and therefore difficult to measure.
Hard skills say what and how much we know; soft skills indicate who we are.

In a world that changes quickly and in which machines will become more and more perfect and will be able to do, with great ease, very complex activities for us humans, the key to success will lie in the ability to develop soft skills which are unique to humans.