Today, we discuss the differences between hard and soft skills, two sets of attributes that are essential to project management.
What Are Hard Skills?
The term “hard skills” refers to the technical, job-specific skills that are necessary to perform a job.
Hard skills can be acquired through education, training, or personal experience. Some examples of hard skills include:
- Programming languages
- Foreign languages
- Statistical analysis
- Knowledge of specific software
- Engineering knowledge
- Math skills
- Analytical skills
What Are Soft Skills?
Soft skills, on the other hand, are better defined as the interpersonal attributes that determine how a person works and relates to others.
Soft skills are developed through experience and can be honed with practice. It’s worth noting that, unlike hard skills, soft skills are deeply personal.
For example, there are a thousand valid ways to persuade a client to close a contract (an example of soft skill), but only one correct result to the question “What does two plus two equal?” (math and analytical skills are hard skills).
Here are some common examples of soft skills:
- Team work
- Active listening
Hard Skills, Soft Skills, and Project Management
Since project management is associated with many highly technical industries (such as software development or construction), you may be tempted to think that project managers must focus on mastering hard skills.
The truth is that a good project manager has a well-rounded mix of hard and soft skills.
Hard skills are necessary to understand the substance of a project, be it developing a piece of software, creating a new product, or designing a new pipeline.
On the other hand, soft skills are essential to keep the project organized and to mediate between the different stakeholders of a project.
For example, a good project manager must be able to listen to a client and understand the technical intricacies of a project while using leadership skills to motivate a team and keep the project on track.
About Darnell Technical
Darnell Technical Services is an engineering design firm with extensive experience in a vast array of projects. Our headquarters are located in Santa Ana, California, and we have an office in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Contact us today by telephone (714-285-0082 (CA), 702-945-2899 (NV)) or through our social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to learn more about all the technical instruments and materials we put at your disposal.