The Hard Truth about Soft Skills

By Sara Saddington

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Whether you agree with experts who feel the “future of work” is still ahead, or is in fact already here, most organizations today are already experiencing significant levels of change. Technology is evolving, processes are becoming automated, and traditional, hierarchical organizational structures are being tested and re-evaluated in pursuit of more effective models. To navigate effectively in this landscape, employees and teams must develop new skills that allow them to adapt and work effectively through these changes, or risk getting left behind.

The data from Deloitte, Gallup, the World Economic Forum (and many others) shows that the landscape is becoming more complex and uncertain, with an increased focus on collaboration in teams. As a result of this shift, it’s time to reevaluate our perception of “soft skills”—communication, empathy, collaboration, creativity, emotional intelligence, and other skills traditionally viewed as secondary to technical ones—and consider them as core capabilities that are essential to competitive teams.