“65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in jobs that don’t yet exist.”
This, according to the World Economic Forum’s The Future of Jobs report.
In her article, Soft Skills Will Be Essential for Future Careers, SAP Chief Learning Officer Jenny Dearborn tackles some tough truths about this stat head on.
Chief among them?
The world is rapidly changing. Our educational systems — and corporate training programs — aren’t keeping pace.
The jobs you’re training people for today won’t be the jobs you’ll need people to perform in just a few years.
Dearborn encourages employers to rethink training in order to focus on building soft skills that transcend the job market.
I know. Big surprise, right? I’m the marketing director of a soft skills training company, after all.
But the truth is, as a result of Mandel’s work with clients, I’ve seen first-hand how developing transferable soft skills improves company culture and performance.
Soft skills can dramatically improve a company’s ability to embrace transformation—not just survive it.
I bet you’ve seen this first-hand too. Reflect for a moment on your own personal work experiences.
For example, have you ever had the unfortunate experience of reporting into someone who couldn’t communicate in a direct, empathetic, and clear way? How did it make you feel? Frustrated. Confused. Demoralized, even.
What about reporting into someone who communicates clearly and directly with presence and compassion? Completely different experience, right?
Great communicators make the people they work with feel more connected, more confident, and more capable of success.
Even on a small scale, soft skills — like the ability to manage meetings well or to write clear and succinct emails — reduce workplace frustration and confusion in the face of change.
In other words, soft skills can create calmer, more creative, and goal-oriented workplaces. Why is this important?
Science shows that problem-solving and creativity — skills essential to managing change — are impaired under acute or chronic stress.
Experiments with rats subjected to high levels of stress showed that “executive decision-making and goal-directed behavior had shriveled,” as reported in this New York Times article.
In the process, rats' brains had been rewired to fall back on habitual behaviors even when those behaviors yielded less-than-desired results.
Sound familiar? At some point in your career, you’ve probably heard someone say: “But we’ve always done it this way.”
Now is the perfect time for organizations to do things a different way, especially when it comes to training and development.
We live in an age of disruption driven by exponential technological progress. Building technical skills or “hard” skills may solve some of your immediate needs. However, as Forrester Principal Analyst Brian Hopkins wrote in his recent blog:
“The problem with exponential systems is they catch us by surprise.”
A focus on hard skills or keeping pace with the latest tech is no longer enough. Now, it may even portend a misguided focus on the urgent over the important.
Prepare for transformation, because it’s the best bet your business can make.
I think learning and development organizations face a critical moment in their evolution and striving to make an impact.
The time is now to focus on building transferable skills that have lifetime value for your company, regardless of how functions and roles may evolve (or disappear altogether).
Develop a culture that empowers people to “keep calm and problem-solve on” in the face of intense organization- and industry-wide shifts.
The future of work depends on it.
Have you struggled to prove the value of soft skills training for your business? Mandel's training has already been proven to deliver substantial skills and business value to clients, according to this research conducted by an independent organization.
Talk to us and learn how we can help you deliver soft skills training to your organization and prepare your people for the exponential change ahead. Schedule a free consultation.
Sales professionals need a mix of soft skills to be successful. While rapport building is often considered the top sales skill, listening is the most critical skill for closing sales, and building long-term client relationships.
Learn 3 crucial tips to closing sales, and why listening is the top sales skill of 2021.
Gratitude. Appreciation. Recognition. It makes you feel good. This week in the US, many will pause for a day or two to give thanks and show appreciation for the things and people we care about most. It’s no secret how appreciation benefits the person getting it—but did you know it benefits the person giving it just as much?
Discover why recognition is such a powerful tool for improving relationships and wellbeing in life—and at work. Learn how to (and how NOT to) express your appreciation to others.
People in communities across the globe are adjusting to communicating while wearing masks. As we’re all experiencing, masks present both verbal and non-verbal communication challenges.Given this, we’ve prepared 5 tips for effective communications while wearing a mask, and compiled several insightful articles from leading publications on additional best practices.
As you and your teams navigate working remotely, we’re publishing tips and best practices for leading virtual meetings, presenting virtually and promoting remote team collaboration.
For this week’s tips, here are 3 best practices for encouraging collaboration in your virtual meetings:
It happened fast. One day you were meeting with your colleagues at the office. The next day you and everyone you work with are working in remote isolation from home. Whether you’re new to working remotely or an experienced veteran, we all need to raise our virtual collaboration game to not only make this new reality work, but to make it work really well. Read on to discover seven practical, high impact tactics you can implement right now to ensure the success of your virtual meetings.
With travel restrictions, reduced in-person meetings, and canceled events, many organizations have employees working from home. For remote team members interested in brushing up on virtual communication skills, we’ve put together a list of helpful articles.
In an era of digital transformation, skill development is all the more critical to organizational success. In 2020, we’ll share best practices for skill-building and keep readers abreast of trends that will help transform teams and drive workplace performance.
Learn Mandel’s 3-step model for skillfully responding — not reacting — to tough questions with confidence and ease.
Read this week's blog to learn the secret ingredient to Nobel Laureate success. (Hint: It’s not just that they're smart!)
What inspires and motivates people to action? Here’s a hint: it’s not a PowerPoint deck filled with data points and analytics. Learning how to share a powerful story can positively influence others and help your ideas become memorable. Perhaps you need to promote a new idea or close that crucial sale. Learn how some of the most successful business ventures today got their start from sharing a powerful story and how you can make your own narrative work for you.
- Leading a Virtual Team Means Doing Things Differently
- Are You Really Listening?
- 4 Listening Tips for Improving Your Virtual Meetings
- The Irresistible Power of Stories in Virtual Selling
- The Top Sales Skill for 2021!
- Top Virtual Communication Mistakes – and How to Overcome Them in 2021!
- Tell a Story. Close a Deal. Even on Zoom.
- Throwback: Why Appreciation Matters in Life and at Work
- Tips for Communicating Effectively While Wearing a Mask
- Five Tips From a Virtual Meeting Producer