We’ve found through research over the past years that the most important skills are soft skills. These are intangible skills. You can’t really measure them, but it’s all about relationship building, being able to communicate with other people.
If you can’t really do that, if you can’t do conflict resolution, if you’re not good at managing different tasks and prioritizing, then you’re really not going to succeed in the workplace when everything is more in demand, when you have to do more with less and when you’re constantly working and connecting with people nonstop throughout the entire day. Even if you work from home, you have to be even more connected with the people you work with.
You have to understand these tech tools. You have to understand how to use Skype and Google Hangouts and all these new tools and technologies, internal social networks, in order to stay connected and familiarize yourself with tools that are really reshaping how people communicate and society as a whole. So, soft skills are number one.
There was a study by CareerBuilder last year that showed that 71 percent of employers choose emotional intelligence over IQ. That’s to even get in the front door. You have to be able to do the job, but to get to that next level, to get promoted, to promote yourself, what you really need to do is to focus on the soft skills and develop them over time because it takes time. And ask for feedback from managers and the people that surround you about what you’re doing right, what you’re doing wrong, because the sooner you develop those soft skills the better position you’ll be for success.
In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.
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