What are Power Skills? Do I Need Them?
Updated: Nov 3, 2019
"Critical thinking, persuasive writing, communications, and teamwork are not fluffy, nice-to-have value-adds. They’re hard-won and rigorously maintained abilities that are better referred to as “power skills."
-Anant Agarwal, Data Reveals Why The 'Soft' In 'Soft Skills' Is A Major Misnomer
Mark Cuban made a prediction that many people in the technical fields found shocking: in ten years, “a liberal arts degree in philosophy will be worth more than a traditional programming degree," writes Agarwal in his article for Forbes Magazine. This news was shocking but as he stated in his article it does actually make sense.
To succeed in the near future will require employees and leaders that are capable to think outside of the box and solve problems creatively. The cookie cutter method of doing things is on its way out of the door. Automation will take care of a lot of the easy task. Employees of the future will need high levels of social and emotional intelligence to go along with their critical thinking and communication skills. The reason why social and emotional training is so important is that millennials and the next generation will continue to flood the job marketplace, and 'old school' managers will need to adapt to their needs. The term 'Soft Skills' really is a misnomer because the people that have these so-called 'Soft Skills' have to be strong mentally to deal with the ever-changing attitudes of those that don't have those same skills. I agree with Agarwal that the term soft skills should be changed to "Power Skills." In order for this to be accomplished will also require a mindset shift. We have to start the process of looking at "Power Skills" as skills that require power to perform them at a high rate. These skills must be put at the top of our training sessions and asked about thoroughly in interviews. These are the skills that must be invested in financially because we find value in what they will bring to our teams and organizations.
Agarwal also shared the results of a Google study, he wrote, "Last year, Google announced the findings from an internal study...they found that their best teams weren’t the ones full of top scientists. Instead, their highest performing teams were interdisciplinary groups that benefited heavily from employees who brought strong soft skills to the collaborative process. Further research revealed that important predictors of success within Google were skills like good communication, insights about others, and empathetic leadership."
Today is the day to invest in your future and your organization or be left behind!