The Different Ways We Learn: Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills

Infographic

The Different Ways We Learn: Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills

Infographic
The Different Ways We Learn: Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills
As our new infographic shows, we use different areas of our brains when we learn new hard skills and soft skills. We internalize knowledge in different ways, depending on the type of skills we’re working on, and we retain that knowledge in different parts of our brains. This means that what we’re learning should really dictate how we learn.

Hard Skills and Expertise

With hard skills, you have to digest technical or academic knowledge to garner expertise. If these skills are needed immediately, on-the-job training may be the best option. This is where our short-term memory comes in. We engage our prefrontal cortexes and favor rule-driven learning with simple, consistent messages that we can quickly put into action. The best approach here is to use microlearning so we can glean the information we need when we need it.

Soft Skills and Social Awareness

To transform people’s behavior, soft skills must be taught in a specific way. Learners have to work on their reflexes and their ability to adapt to different environments and situations that require a variety of responses. This is why we mainly look to address social skills. The best approach here is discovery learning, in which you learn through trial and error. Role-playing and feedback from your peers, your trainer and management are key to making change happen. The mental gymnastics involved helps engage subcortical structures and stimulate dopaminergic pathways, optimizing the learning process. Here, the best strategy is to schedule lengthy courses incorporating various teaching activities: that’s the concept of macrolearning.

As you’ll have undoubtedly realized, fine-tuning training to suit your employees’ skills-development needs requires a mix of both these learning approaches. Luckily for you, the CrossKnowledge learning platform offers this combination: microlearning, with customized recommendations; and macrolearning, supported by Blendedx technology. And of course, the platform integrates all of your training content, too.

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