15 May Comprehensive Soft Skills List and Sample Activities
What Are Soft Skills?
According to Wikipedia, soft skills include things like habits, attitudes, motivations, social skills, and communication. These skills are important in all aspects of life – especially regarding employment. Soft skills are an important part of gaining, maintaining, and advancing in employment. Examples of these skills include arriving on time and prepared, showing a desire to work, and being in control of emotions. In addition, soft skills also include skills like the ability to work well with co-workers, attend to and complete tasks, solve problems, and take initiative.
Why These Skills are so Important!
One of the purposes of education is to prepare students for adult life, which includes gainful employment. While learning the necessary hard skills helps a person to gain employment, soft skills are also used to gain and maintain the job. In many cases, a person who has mastered soft skills will often be hired over a person who has mastered the hard skills, but is lacking in soft skills. Overall, employers generally understand that “technical skills or hard skills” often come with experience at a job, they expect that their employees already possess the “soft skills” needed for general employment success. Unfortunately, many employers are reporting that job applicants often lack the soft skills needed to function and excel in the workplace. This is an expensive problem for the employer and employee because both end up losing money when someone doesn't work out at a position.
Sharing Responsibility for Teaching Soft Skills
Teaching soft skills has traditionally been the shared responsibility of parents, schools, and society in general. Because of the increasing academic requirements, many teachers do not have time to directly teach soft skills to their students, so they try to teach these skills indirectly. At the same time, many parents are working and/or don't realize the importance of teaching these soft skills at an early age. This combination leads to a lack of these skills and also leads to frustration and struggles for students making a transition to adult life.
Comprehensive Soft Skills List
In developing our skills list, we collected information from sources like SCANS (Secretary's Committee on Achieving Needed Skills), WRC (Work Readiness Credential), and Boys Town. In this process, we created a list of the following 31 skills, which we've also grouped into 3 main categories:
Activity Units to Help Teach These Skills
Most educators, parents, and employers agree on the importance of helping students to master these types of soft skills, so they are prepared to succeed in life and in the workplace.
In order to assist teachers and parents in teaching these skills, Ten Sigma has developed activity units for all 31 of these skills.
-> Solve Problems Effectively <-
-> Complete Tasks on Time and to Expectations <-
-> Work Well With Co-Workers <-
Each “activity unit” includes the following items:
- An overview and information about each skill
- Table of Contents for the unit
- A rubric which defines expectations for the student
- 8 to 12 Activities to teach the skill
- A Certificate to demonstrate mastery of a skill