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“College can train you for a career.” “You’ll always be taught the skills you need once you’re hired.” “There are so many resources available to help you learn to do a new job.” All of these statements have their truth, but the category of skill they each refer to is hard skills: those skills that can be taught by a machine or using a specific metric for success. These hard skills are not skills that are more difficult, they are the skills that have a “hard” way of measuring success or an unchanging way they are accomplished by a human or a machine. These are the things we most often understand as what is measured in a classroom and graded through assignments or standardized tests.
Soft skills are another matter entirely. These skills tend to be more situational, and they require a different way of approaching a problem. Soft skills are things like workplace communication, time management, teamwork, and adaptability. You can’t test soft skills with a Scantron and a #2 pencil. And soft skills are the most lacking of the two categories according to faculty members and hiring managers. Nearly 75% of all companies say soft skills are extremely important while bemoaning how difficult it is to find a recent graduate who excels in–or even has any–soft skills.
This week Ryan, Garreth, and Cody sit down to talk about communication and how we often misuse it. Communication, as a basic human activity, is foundational to our experience as human beings. While it may be enticing to learn a few tips about how to better manipulate an audience through communication strategies, perhaps it would be more productive to rethink how we understand communication in order to become more functional humans who engage in humanizing communication practices in our daily life.
We are on Patreon!
All of our episodes are sponsored by all the fantastic people we are pleased to call our listeners. You’ve all been a great audience and we want to give you more: more content, more types of shows, and more in-depth talks with more of your favorite artists and designers. Even $1.00 a month can make a huge difference. Check out more at patreon.com/shockoeartspace.
Stream our documentary The Builder!
For a limited time, our documentary The Builder is available to stream on Vimeo! The film centers on the art scene in Richmond, Virginia, with a focus on Oregon Hill native and contractor Don Childress, who–to the surprise of many–has an incredible contemporary art collection. This collection includes work from Francisco Clemente, Ron Johnson, and Bill Fisher to name just a few. Check out more at The Builder’s website.