David B. Grinberg

A LinkedIn “Influencer” and HR expert weighs in with an interesting post and story on the “soft skills” debate — one week after our discussion began here on GovLoop.

He presents a long list of specific workplace skills (below) that may be considered soft-skills.

Which ones do YOU, or don’t you, consider to be soft-skills and why?

Why Do We Give “Soft Skills” Such a Bad Name


  • “People give a person’s soft skills a bad name – soft skills. People don’t underperform because of their lack of technical skills, they underperform because of their lack of soft skills. Do you consider the following soft skills?

  • Getting work consistently done on time at high quality.

  • Collaborating with cross-functional groups on major projects working towards deadlines and making technical compromises.

  • Making presentations to customers, company executives and/or those in other functions.

  • Persuading others to consider different technical points of view.

  • Appreciating the end-user’s perspective from a usability and design viewpoint.

  • Coaching and being coached on technical and non-technical matters.

  • Taking direction from project managers in a matrix environment.

  • Being able to work for a variety of different managers each with their own unique style.

  • Being flexible, handling rapidly changing design requirements, and still hitting deadlines.

  • Making tough technical and non-technical decisions with limited information and often dealing with ambiguity.

  • Challenging conventional wisdom and authority.

  • Helping team members who are struggling.

  • Taking over without being told on a project that’s in trouble.

  • Managing multiple projects to a timeline.

  • Meeting budget restraints.

  • Being able to prioritize with little direction.”