Can Soft Skills be Filtered?

Nick Fernando Mar 22, 2016
Soft skills are generally considered to cover a range of internal, interpersonal and emotion based skills. This is usually in the context of interacting with others or less tangible qualities such as thinking. This may make soft skills appear more complex, tacit and nebulous than technically oriented skills such as data analysis or using software.
Soft skills, much like technical skills, can be learned and applied as evidenced by the volume of training available. Their application is in pursuit of a desired outcome from being an active listener to leading with empathy. The effective use of soft skills is driven by inputs which are analysed, processed and acted upon to hopefully achieve the desired outcome.
 
Here's an example. Think of a time you had to discipline someone. You didn't just do it - see/hear/feel the transgression and react immediately though it may have felt that way! There was a stimulus (the transgression), processing of the stimulus (decisions and conclusions) and then the response (the outcome). 
 
When we consider the above we can see the same principle applies for piloting an aircraft, conducting an appraisal or sharing a kiss. The primary differences being the complexity and volume of stimuli, processing and responses.
 
So can a soft skill be Filtered? Yes it can. Why? Because regardless of a skill being defined as technical, interpersonal, emotional or mental, they all follow a multistage process as previously stated. Inputs are collected then processed and converted into outputs.
 
A process is a model and in many if not all cases are based on one or more mental models. The We broadly represent these as the sections of a course. We work with experts in the industry to capture these mental models.
 
As mental models are generally complex processes, we split them into their natural stages. We broadly try to represent these stages as units of learning.
 
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The components of the process: inputs, decisions, conclusions and outputs can be considered as concepts. Concepts are self contained components of knowledge, skills and behaviours. These concepts are represented as modules in our training and can be Filtered.
 
The premise of Filtering any training course is that a learner, whether expert or novice has some form of schema and mental models in varying states. The filtering process identifies the mental models and concepts that need development or reinforcement. These are then emphasised to the learner by being 'filtered in'. This can be looked at from the point of view of 'filtered in' concepts propping up or improving the pre-existing mental model of the learner.
 
The content that is determined to be not relevant (in the given context) or already known is 'filtered out' through de-emphasis. The 'filtered out' content is still accessible for the purpose of reference, review and to contextualise 'filtered in' module content if required. 
 
If you'd like to learn more about filtering content and our approach to online training visit our approach page. Alternatively if you'd like to speak to our team about training your staff with Filtered book a demo using the form below.
 
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