Soft Skills Clusters
This is a BETA version. The list is a work in progress. Some definitions, behavioral indicators, and commentary on the specific soft skills cluster pages are incomplete, but I decided to post the list anyway hoping that it will be helpful to you all the same. I typically add a definition and commentary each day.
In order to facilitate training, practice, and application across various areas of life—not just career development—I divide soft skills into 5 main clusters:
NOTE: Many soft skills fit into multiple clusters. For example, conflict management is part of teamwork, leadership, problem solving, and communication. If you find yourself thinking, “This skill could be or should be part of a different cluster,” you are probably right.
Definition of Soft Skills
Soft skills are personal abilities that improve human performance and facilitate effective interactions amongst people. (Duncan, 2013)
- Soft skills are also known as: character skills, character strengths, interpersonal skills, noncognitive skills, people skills, performance values.
- Introductory video series on soft skills: What Are Soft Skills and How Can They Give You A Competitive Advantage?
- To suggest edits or additions please let me know on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or Google+.
- Sources for this list are either cited (linked to) throughout or listed at the bottom of this page.
Detailed definitions, behavioral indicators, and tips on the Communication Skills cluster page.
— Verbal (Oral) Communication
— Nonverbal Communication
— Written Communication
decision making & Problem Solving Skills
Detailed definitions, behavioral indicators, and tips on Decision Making & Problem Solving Skills cluster page.
teamwork & collaboration skills
Detailed definitions, behavioral indicators, and tips on the Teamwork & Collaboration Skills cluster page.
self-management & professionalism skills
Detailed definitions, behavioral indicators, and tips on the Self-Management & Professionalism Skills cluster page.
Emotional Intelligence (EI, EQ)
Growth Mindset/Fixed Mindset
leadership, influence, & persuasion skills
Detailed definitions, behavioral indicators, and tips on the Leadership, Influence, & Persuasion Skills cluster page.
Delegation (Sharing Leadership & Authority)
miscellaneous terms related to soft skills
Detailed definitions and tips on the Related Terms page.
Character Education (Character Development)
Positive Youth Development (PYD)
Social Emotional Learning
- Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory: An Introduction
- Comparative Analysis of Soft Skills (Michigan State University)
- Critical Thinking Community
- Curious About Curiosity
- Emotional Intelligence Consortium
- Emotional Intelligence Glossary of Terms
- Heckman Equation
- How Children Succeed: Q & A with Paul Tough
- Leading In The Heat Of Conflict
- Merriam-Webster Dictionary
- The Resilience Research Centre
- The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance
- Three Kinds of Empathy
- University Of Michigan Center For Research On Learning And Teaching
- VIA® Institute On Character
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