Reblogged: A History of Soft Skills

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The Ford Assembly line is a famous example of low skilled labour (Photo courtesy)

I came across this new but promising soft skills blog thanks to a comment on my blog. And I am always thrilled to find other worthy colleagues and excited to read their posts! And what do I find on this blog? History of soft skills! We always talk about soft skills in a modern and corporate context. But to go back to the roots of it is indeed a refreshing look at the concept.

The post starts with the system of apprenticeship in guilds during the 1200-1600 CE in Europe. People had to be a part of the guild in order to get trained and get work later. Hard skills were enough to get artisans enough and more work. Since the demand was high and supply limited, there was no need to go out and be nice to customers. People had to made use of the artisans available.

As commerce opened in the 1600s, new trade routes were invented and the influence of the guilds started waning. The guilds were looked up on as restrictive to innovation and rise of entrepreneurial spirit was given precedence.

With the industrial revolution in the 1800, the businessman become all important. It was his job to keep off bankruptcy by keeping the work going. Division of labour made it easy to replace workers when productivity was not up to the mark.

The coming of age of machinery in the 1900s, it became necessary for people to co-ordinate and make things work. Throwing workers away at the drop of a hat was no longer an option. And this is where the first seeds of soft skills germinated. People had to work things out amongst themselves and communicate effectively.

Gradually service gained importance over just products and the advent of internet raised the bar of expectations. Customer experience became important. Community managers and social media experts stepped in to take the dialogue further – ask the customers what they want and then give it to them.

In today’s times, soft skills are critical to success even at an individual level. Whether you are a start up or a manager, putting together hard and soft skills alone will take one forward. I agree with Van Lith and have always believed that soft skills will truly be a decisive factor for our future success.

Read the full version of this interesting post here:

The rise of the soft skills is what the twenty-first century is all about. This brief history takes us from the restrictive guilds to the Industrial Revolution, to the modern service sector.

Source: A History of Soft Skills

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