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  • Writer's pictureMel

Soft skills? More like core human skills or character skills

Updated: Jan 4

Did you know that the term ‘soft skills’ originated in the 1960s, as a description for ‘the social, emotional, behavioral skills that soldiers needed to succeed in any role’? They’re only called ‘soft’ because they didn’t apply to working with metal. ‘Hard skills’ referred to tank and gun skills. How many of y’all actually have hard skills then? 😂

Book: Hidden Potential: The Science of Achieving Greater Things, by Adam Grant

In my coaching work, I’ve been using the term ‘core human skills’. Organisational psychologist Adam Grant has an even better alternative: ‘character skills’.

‘Personality is your predisposition – your basic instincts for how to think, feel, and act. Character is your capacity to prioritize your values over your instincts.’ ‘If personality is how you respond on a typical day, character is how you show up on a hard day.’ 

And yes, character skills are indeed trainable and growable! If you’re interested in having a coach scaffold your learning, let’s chat.

P.S. This is tips nos. 3 and 4 in action, from my last post on reading.


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