Keeping the “soft” in soft skills

Everyone knows how important soft skills are for being successful in anything to do with relationships with others. Empathising, communicating, listening; these are the soft skills everyone needs.

And, over the past few decades, as leadership has moved from telling people what to do to helping people figure out what to do, it’s become increasingly recognised that leaders need soft skills.

But leadership has a very masculine tradition and soft skills sounds a bit too feminine. So soft skills needs a rebrand to be acceptable.

No!, I say. Let’s keep calling them soft skills. Let’s embrace and celebrate the feminine energy that listening and empathising brings.