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How Training Can Close Soft Skills Gaps

Published Fri Feb 10 2023


Soft skills - competencies like empathy, communication, and collaboration - are in short supply. There simply aren't enough people with these skills to go around, especially when it comes to those who also possess in-demand technical skills. There are three main reasons for this. First, it's difficult to hire your way around soft skills gaps. If you're looking for high-demand, low-supply technical skills, you're probably not going to be able to weed out folks who lack soft skills. Second, soft skills cannot be forced on people. These skills are about conduct and regulation of the self, and unlike hard skills, they must be fully embraced to be learned. Finally, resources are in short supply when it comes to training for soft skills. Soft skills training is usually ad-hoc, informal, and reactionary. When an employee acts inappropriately, makes an error in judgment, or creates conflict among team members, it's usually dealt with situationally. A more successful approach, however, is to try and understand the skill deficiency that causes the issue in the first place, and offer support or training in order to close the gap.

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