“Soft Skills” is term used to describe the capabilities of management or business roles. Broadly defined as the ability to manage people or process by such activities as ‘team building’, ‘personal development’ or ‘project management’.
This is opposed to “Hard Skills” that technical types have such as ‘certifications’ or specific knowledge of tasks, technologies and techniques that are either known or not known.
The basic difference comes down to this ”
Hard Skills – yes, I can do that. I know how to do that. It will not work.
Soft Skills – We define success in the Scope of Works. We can change the delivery date. I’ll take them to lunch and get it sorted out. I’ll have a chat and see if we can get that changed.
Ultimately, this is part of the communication challenge between Engineers and Managers. Soft skills are very seductive and lead into poorly disciplined thinking. Once they meet hard skills it’s always ugly.