I am looking for terms of single words which avoid "soft", "hard", "academic", and "practical" or "hands-on/off".

The following are [something] skills in that they are all in the head. I'm not going to call them "head skills"!

  1. Risk assessment, decision making, situational awareness are skills; they are taught.
  2. Leadership, communication, and command area skills; they are both taught and innate.
  3. Compassion, empathy, and creativity are skills; arguably innate.

Conversely, cookery, driving, and painting are all handy skills, though should really be separated into groups. This is not required for the piece I'm working on.

The objective is to find a word for the mind skills.

  • I wouldn't describe all of the skills in your first three sentences in the same way. For instance, something like empathy, which is innate and can rarely be taught, is not something I would describe as a skill, regardless of adjective. (I'd likely call it an ability instead.) Nor would I necessarily call it in the head. Emotions are generally thought of as in the heart. – Jason Bassford Jun 22 at 15:25
  • @JasonBassford I wouldn't agree that empathy can't be taught. So-called "soft skills" are basically learning to recognize situations calling for an empathetic response, and then reacting accordingly with words or actions to alleviate the situation. Trainers do it all time in call centers, some more successfully than others. – Cascabel Jun 22 at 16:35
  • @Cascabel I perhaps should have said that it can rarely be taught well. Somebody who doesn't have it innately can often make do, but they will never be as good at it as somebody who has it naturally. – Jason Bassford Jun 22 at 17:00
  • I'm not being clear sorry. I'm after one word to precede "skill" which applies to the first three in order to distinguish them from cooking, say. – stevemarvell Jun 22 at 21:34
  • 1
    Cognitive.... – aparente001 Jun 24 at 3:18

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