Hard skills are things like math and hammering nails. It's the stuff we consider employable and usable. Soft skills are things like relating and intuition. Which we consider nice but optional. In business, they are the first training expenditures to be dropped when budget restrictions hit; it's harder to understand the ROI (Return On Investment) on communication skills, than it is for a bookeeping.
How much we undervalue the softer skills of life came home to me as I attended a Supercoach Masterclass where Kevin Laye demonstrated (his particularly successful practice of) Thought Field Therapy. TFT is a quick and effective way of ending stress, phobias and a host of other modern plagues It can even resolve physical pain in record time. Yes, we are talking minutes. Kevin gave many examples of the absolute effectiveness of this work.
In the discussion with Kevin afterwards, he was asked about the hard evidence behind why this works.
Kevin's response was genius:
Think of someone you love he said. Everyone has someone or an animal they love. He asked the group to consider how they would measure that love - inches? centimeters? miles? Where does that love live? Your brain? Your physical heart? Your blood? How would you show it to me or take it from place to place - In a box? A wheelbarrow? In a thimble?
Love is something we know exists. Yet we can't 'prove' it exists with physical evidence.
I don’t think he was suggesting TFT works on love, but rather pointing out that many things that we accept exist and know are real live on the level of what we cannot see or measure. If you look around don't you ever wonder what that certain something is that successful people have? Don't we say "I wish I could bottle that?" We are talking about something beyond technical competence. Yet when we make our own choices, we'll choose to acquire more competencies.
It just got me to thinking how many of the ‘softer’ things that are essential to a good life are immeasurable and yet immeasurably valuable. I thought how often I’d made learning decisions based on what seemed practical and ignored the fluffy stuff because I was unsure of the ROI. That cost me in the long run.
Every time we hesitate to invest in growing and developing our entire selves, and not just the 'hard' skills, we forget this.
Or maybe we just don’t believe that a good life is possible; only a technically competent one.
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