I’ve always disliked the term ‘soft skills’ as long as I can remember.

There’s nothing soft about terminating someone’s employment. There’s nothing soft about moving someone out of one job into another, especially if they don’t want to. There’s nothing soft about giving someone a below-standard appraisal. There’s nothing soft about withholding someone’s compensation because they’re not meeting the standard. There’s nothing soft about telling the employees they didn’t qualify for the annual incentive.

There’s nothing soft about requiring someone to apply for disability. There’s nothing soft about suspending someone pending an investigation. There’s nothing soft about notifying someone they don’t qualify for benefits they thought they had. There’s nothing soft about cutting someone’s hours to bring the payroll in. There’s nothing soft about telling someone they don’t have enough PTO accrued to take time off because they can’t afford child care.

Finally, but certainly not the last or the least, there’s nothing soft about spending hours talking with employees to ensure they’re being listened to.

Truth Be Told, these are not soft skills. They’re real skills, and you know what else? The higher up the Leadership ladder you go, the more often these skills are delegated because, in all honesty, the operational skills are much easier to employ.

Or maybe it’s just easier to delegate the ‘hard stuff’ to someone else.

Soft skills? You can’t be serious.

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