Wednesday, March 17, 2010

(S)Killing them softly...part 1

It is interesting to note the recent debate in the papers regarding the skilling of our students with soft skills. I guess it is one of those things that will eventually happen...this realisation that no matter how much we equipped our students with the more 'hardcore' and fact-based content knowledge, it is sometimes these 'softer' skillsets that matters in the end..very much like how a skilled striker in a soccer game will need to be a good finisher to score more goals.

And it is interesting to note how these need for 'softer' skillsets is very much different from the focus during my time, about 15 to 20 years ago, where the major concern in education back then, well at least from the perspective of a student, was more to indulge and imbibe the students with content knowledge from the more hard sciences stuffs, and very little on the arts and media. I don't seem to be able to remember the number of times that I actually did a presentation to my classmates or schoolmates, because simply these were few and far in-between. And compare that to now, whereby if a student was to share the same statement, it would specifically mean that he or she would have had done NUMEROUS presentations, so much so that he or she would have lost count!

But let me reiterate that soft skills is not just about presentation alone! More importantly, it is about developing that HUMAN RELATIONSHIP component in our skillsets, specifically that Emotional Quotient (EQ). Daniel Goleman's book on EQ clearly states the dichotomy in EQ, whereby it is not just about understanding oneself, but also reaching out to others, and UNDERSTANDING them. How many times, as adults, have we been so clearly transfixed with getting things done, and focusing too much on our own Cognitive Intelligence, and forgot about the human dimensions to any forms of interaction. And how many times have we forgotten about the inequality of perception, whether actual or assumed, about our own EQ, i.e. human dynamicism...about the fact that there is someone on the receiving end of our interaction,whether good or bad? Perhaps it is something that all of us should reflect. And if I may borrow the words from the late Michael Jackson's song, 'Man in the Mirror', you should be the one who initiate the change.

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Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach said...

EQ and people-skills are critical to any career, job, and endeavor where you interact with at least one other human being. Learning great human interaction skills makes solid sense. Here's one of my posts on doing this with ease:
GPS Your Brain to Work With Any Personality Type

People-skills also enhance learning occupational skills and knowledge. Daniel Goleman's book on EQ is well worth the read. I hope all can see that that it is no longer a debate between "hard and soft" skills. The terms occupational and people-skills are far more descriptive and speak volumes in this 21st century.

Amit said...

yes.every student must read this blog.