This week we are talking about what are known as soft skills. Soft skills are skills that aren’t really taught, which feels like a load of crap but who am I to say, they are part of who you are and include things like empathy, common sense, and adaptability. This is apposed to hard skills which are things that are more specific like being able to code in Java, driving, diving, playing guitar. I could go on. first of all, you have probably noticed that I said that soft skills not being taught was a load of crap. Well I think so because in scouts I had to work pretty hard to develop skills like adaptability and communication. Yeah yeah I know, here he goes with the scouts again. I spent six long years in scouts and I guess it left a lasting impression on me. I’ve already told my stories from the Klondike derby, one of them at least, and let me tell you, I was doing a lot of communication that day. Even n the preparation for the event, it took a lot of adaptability to build a structure in which we could actually spend a night in the snow and stay warm. That’s right, our troop built a shelter for all of the boys by lashing big, long branches together and wrapping it all in tarps.
Now that I think back to that event, I can see that the soft skill of adaptability was, in that context fully dependent my hard skills like, lashing, being able to use a saw, and being able to tie specialized knots (clove hitch, two half hitches, bowline, etc.). something else that goes into that adaptability skill, is yet another soft skill; common sense. Now common sense is another weird thing that’s not the same in every situation and is also dependent of the other skills one has. For example, I’d say that it’s common sense to not use a rotten branch for a load bearing part of out shelter structure. However, somebody who doesn’t know anything about pioneering or other outdoor skills wouldn’t really know what to look for. I guess what I’m trying to say is that there may not really be a black and white in some cases with soft skills. There is this gray area where soft skills can be enhanced by the hard skills that you know such as common sense being improved by outdoor skills. Is this helpful in every sense? Probably not but by this logic, any hard skill can improve ones’ common sense or adaptability in certain situations. or is it the other way around perhaps? Common sense improves our other skills. Again I thinks it’s a little bit of both.
The other thing I wanted to talk about, while it was still fresh, is communication. I was taught a little about this in scouts because we had to have a chain of command in the troop and keep in touch with other members of our patrols or the leadership. However, I really had to put both my leadership skills and my communication skills into practice this semester here at school. This semester I was in UNIV 401 and I ended up becoming the leader of the group because I came up with our topic and project. I was also one of the few people who had a more open schedule when it came to being able to meet. We had a meltdown at one point due to a break in communication and I had to step up and fix the problem so we could get our project done. Well let me tell you, we presented that sucker today and I think we did pretty well all things considered. I’m really glad that I had a good team backing me up