We were always taught that teachable abilities or skill sets that are easy to quantify (hard skills) are the most important thing when learning.   But it is so important to recognise the importance of soft skills (we prefer to call them human skills).  We were reminded of this recently in the book Emotional Agility by Susan David.

In the drawing on the right, if you look at the human skills more closely you see that really paying attention to these elements are crucial.  And only both together will they work.  Skills like empathy, showing vulnerability, building connections to people.  Even if sometimes it feels like you can’t grasp the human skills, and they can be hard do and hard to measure, it is so important to take them all into consideration when we do our work.

Measurement can be seen in the happiness of people, how easily trust is built, and retention of staff for example.  Leaders need to show big slices of these elements; who would you rather work for? Someone with great hard skills, or human skills? It really has to be a combination of both.