The Energizer

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5 Top Skills Critically Needed in the Workforce by 2020

by Eileen McDargh, Chief Energy Officer - Monday, April 22, 2019
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By the year 2020, the workplace will require some unique skills in order to thrive, to be resilient and to relish an ever-changing world. Now is the time to begin developing them.

The Institute for the Future teamed up with the University of Phoenix Research Institute to pinpoint skills that are the result of several current economic drivers:

Skill number 1: Sense-Making. This requires one to determine the deeper meaning or significance of what is being expressed. Listening skills will be paramount along with the ability to withhold judgment and ask critical questions. Listening is a soft skill that is sadly in short supply. You can learn to become a more astute listener.

Skill number 2: Social Intelligence. This has nothing to do with Facebook or Instagram. Rather, it is about connecting to people in such a way that you can intuit their reactions. The ability to connect with mind and heart has never been greater.

Skill number 3: Novel and Adaptive thinking. Thinking and coming up with creative solutions will drive products and services. Our challenge is that we continue to respond to events in outmoded ways. This skill will require a willingness to suspend the status quo, to seek information from new sources, and to creatively explore possibilities.

Skill number 4: Cross-Cultural Competency. Ethnicity is not the only type of cross-cultural awareness. Rather, innovative teams will consist of various ages, beliefs, cultural backgrounds, religions, and backgrounds. Curiosity and compassion go a long way to understanding and appreciating difference.

Skill number 5: Computational Thinking. The ability to turn data and abstract concepts into usable bits of information will be critical. Facts and figures are meaningless unless placed in a soup bowl of context and connection. Without context, data is meaningless. Connection asks you to consider who can best use the data in meaningful ways.

Whether you are a talent manager, HR executive, or entering the workplace for the first time, see how you can grow these top five skills. How might you express these to others?  Which ones are you most comfortable with and which ones need development?

The future can be yours!

For a full listing of all ten competences, read the Future of Workplace Skills 2020


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Eileen McDargh Keynote Speaker Blog Author

About Eileen!

Since beginning her consulting and training practice in 1980, Eileen has become noted for her ability to speak the truth with clarity, wisdom, humor and compassion. Long-standing clients and repeat engagements attest to her commitment to make a difference in minds, hearts and spirits of organizations and individuals. She draws upon practical business know-how, life's experiences and years of consulting to major national and international organizations that have ranged from global pharmaceuticals to the US Armed Forces, from health care associations to religious institutions. Executive Excellence magazine selected her as one of the top 100 thought leaders in leadership and among the top ten consultant providers of leadership development.

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