We’ve all heard about hard skills and soft skills. Those aren’t the ones that trip up leaders.
For too long, we’ve thought of ‘hard skills’ and ‘soft skills’ as mutually exclusive. Hard skills are supposed to provide the value, and soft skills supposed to be subordinate, inferior, and all about feelings. Some frameworks of leadership reinforce this myth by encouraging positioning leaders as above the group and magically removed from doubt and anxiety.
In reality, there is nothing ‘soft’ about the skills needed to relate to people well enough to lead them. True leadership involves both hard skills and harder skills.
Here’s what I mean.
Defining Hard and Soft Skills
‘Hard skills’ are often thought of as the occupational skills necessary to complete the tangible elements of a job. A software engineer needs to know certain languages to build applications; a finance director needs to know how to balance the books; and a waiter needs to know how to take a dinner order, place it with the kitchen, and deliver the meal to the table.
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