From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The term people skills is used to include both psychological and social skills, but is less inclusive than “life skills.”
Basic human relations guidelines relating to people skills have been recorded from very early times. Examples in the Old Testament are Leviticus 19:18 “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against your people, but love your neighbor as yourself” and Solomon’s wisdom in Proverbs 15:1 “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
Human relations studies became a movement in the 1920s, as companies became more interested in the “soft skills" and interpersonal skills of employees. In organizations, improving people skills became a specialized role of the corporate trainer. By the mid-1930s, Dale Carnegie popularized people skills in How to Win Friends & Influence People and How to Stop Worrying & Start Living throughout America and later throughout the world.
In the 1960s, US schools introduced people skills topics and methods—often as a way to promote better self-esteem, communication and social interaction. These encompassed psychologist Thomas Gordon’s “Effectiveness Training” variations as well as many other training programs. with notable exceptions.
- Communication skills training
- Emotional intelligence
- Life Skills-Based Education
- Social skill