Soft skills

DEFINITION 1: Skills that are cross-cutting across jobs (see Job-specific skills) and sectors (see Sector-specific jobs) and relate to personal competences (confidence, discipline, self-management) and social competences (teamwork, communication, emotional intelligence).

SOURCE: Skills Panorama Glossary, Ccedefop, European Union.


DEFINITION 2: A set of intangible personal qualities, traits, attributes, habits and attitudes that can be used in many different types of jobs. As they are broadly applicable they are also seen as transferable skills, even if the idea of transferability is often questioned because individuals learn to perform tasks in particular contexts and may not be able to apply them to others. Examples of soft skills include: empathy, leadership, sense of responsibility, integrity, self-esteem, self-management, motivation, flexibility, sociability, time management and making decisions. The term is also used in contrast to ‘hard’ skills that are considered as more technical, highly specific in nature and particular to an occupation, and that can be (generally) taught more easily than soft skills.

SOURCE: IBE (2013). Glossary of Curriculum Terminology, IBE- UNESCO.




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