"Soft skills aren’t like hard skills. Hard skills are the skills that you need to do your job; they’re learned and often very specific. Soft skills are much more emotional, they’re personal attributes that reflect an individual’s ability to interact with others." reports TrainingZone.co.uk (blog)
Another way of defining soft skills is simply as people skills. They work alongside an individual’s hard skillset but they are much more multi-faceted than a simple aptitude for a given job. They are the kind of skills that enhance a person’s employability; they better an individual’s job performance, and in turn their career prospects.
This is because soft skills are the things that make you unique, they’re the things that separate you from your job title, and they’re the things that make you who you are. Soft skills are interpersonal and they are easily transferable to any workplace regardless of its niche. Training doesn’t always foster them, but soft skills are inextricably linked to an individual and their personality.
Traditional learning vs non-traditional learning
In the Western world we like to have answers. We pose questions that have clear solutions and this is something that is reflected in our learning processes. It can also be considered as “if this, then that” as we often work in binary couplets. We like to work with definitive and within logical parameters but this isn’t actually that reflective of the way that we think individually.
Our subjective perceptions of the world are often contextualised but we also usually have a number of different opinions in our heads. We like to act sure about things but really we can’t be sure of anything. It’s this subjectivity that we need to explore when it comes to training your staff in soft skills.
The most important disparity to consider is the fact that soft skills require interactions with people; elearning requires interactions with computers. So the initial set up and arena for training people in soft skills seems inherently problematic.
However that doesn't mean that elearning can’t be used for soft skills training, it’s just that it’s important to understand the medium that you’re working within.
Source: TrainingZone.co.uk (blog)