Hard Skill, Soft Skill Team Building Activity
Type of Initiative:
- Learning about others
- Appreciating the skills and talents you have
- Discovering how other people view you
- Interaction between team members and sharing of skill sets reinforces positive beliefs and knowledge we have about ourselves and other people. Too often teams don’t share and discuss the good skills and talents they posses. The Hard Skill, Soft Skill team building activity provides individuals with the opportunity to recognize and be recognized for their skill sets and abilities.
- Hard Skill, Soft Skill illustrates how we all operate from different criteria of what is a hard, soft skill, and the ability to place quantitative metrics on a qualitative skill.
- Index Cards if you forget index cards paper also works
- Something to write with
- From 2 – 1000’s
- People interact in pairs or dyads
I use this activity as an opening, and variations can be seen below. Here is the script I use, feel free to change and customize to meet your language & culture.
“Everyone please take an Index Card, pen and get ready for the following challenge. In a moment everyone is going to keep their information to themselves, eyes on your paper, and write the following skill lists;
- 5 hard skills you possess
- 5 soft skills you possess.”
Attempt as best as you can to define Hard and Soft skills (it is not as easy as you think). People always need and ask for definitions and examples.
“When thinking of hard skills, these are skills that create hard data and tangible outcomes. For example – Excel spreadsheets, fixing and engine, calculus, HTML coding, CPR, reading, etc…
When thinking of soft skills, these are skills that are more inter and intra-personal. For example – Calming angry people, motivating others, coaching, listening, leadership, etc…
While listing these be specific to the skill as you can as it applies to you.”
Allow for about 5-8 minutes (more if needed). Answer any questions is asked…
“Take about 30 more seconds to list your Hard, Soft skills and remember DO NOT SHARE.
Is everyone finished? Great…Now on to the next challenge, in a moment you are going to choose a partner (if there is an odd number a team of 3 is fine.)
You and your partner are going to play a guessing game here is how it will work;
- Each person will take turns guessing the other persons hard or soft skill. There is no need while guessing to differentiate between hard/soft skills, just guess at the skill.
- For each correct guess (correct guesses are the skill you wrote) the person who guessed receives 1 point.
- For each incorrect guess, no points are awarded.
- If the person guessing, says a skill that is NOT on your list and you agree that you posses this skill. The person guessing receives 2 points.
- Write down, whether you agree or not, any skills the other person guesses that are not on your list.
Any questions? Start when you are ready.”
While people are guessing walk around the room and listen, clarify any questions. To some people keeping score is important and to others, it is not, that is fine. You want people to be talking and sharing while learning about themselves and others. The scoring is a vehicle to the conversation.
“Two-minute warning, please take some time and finish your guesses and tally to scores. Thank you, everyone, for sharing let’s talk about this some.”
- What was your initial reaction to creating the list?
- Does anyone feel comfortable sharing some of their hard skills?
- Does anyone feel comfortable sharing some of their soft skills?
- How did you define hard skills? Soft skills?
- What criterion was used for the definitions?
- How is your approach different from other? How is it the same?
- Who guessed skills that the other person did not write?
- Can you share some of those skills?
- Did you agree with the person who guessed the skills that were not written?
- How did you reach an agreement on whether you possess those skills or not?
- Was anyone surprised at some of the skills that were guessed?
- How do you feel about your skills?
- How do you feel about the person who guessed your skills?
- When is the last time someone sat with you and shared what they see in you that is skillful?
- Can this be applied to your work/classroom/community?
- Instead of using this as an opening use the activity as a closing; ask people to write strengths they saw, felt, learned about themselves during the program.
- Use this team building activity as a content reminder; ask people to write what they have learned and the application to work/school/classroom/etc… Then people take a turn guessing what the other person has learned and the application.
Need experiential and hands-on ways to create lasting memories and content in your programs/workshops / and lessons.
Mike is your answer. He will create and develop customized activities and simulations for what you need. Contact Mike
Mike will come to you to facilitate the action learning and processing, or he can just send you a document with videos and photos that include instructions on how to do everything you need.
Mike will make your next meeting and training program better than ever.