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139. RIP Soft Skills: Conflict Management

“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 Garreth and Cody sit down to talk about conflict management, and how we all interact with (or completely avoid) conflict. As a normal activity of human experience, conflict is unavoidable. In fact, it is likely a more regular occurrence than we fully understand. This week is all about how we can understand conflict and how we can respond accordingly by knowing each other and being known and by working to have nothing to prove and nothing to protect. It may sound difficult, but it doesn’t have to be.

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