The times that we are living in today and the speed at which the workplace is changing, behavioral skills have never been more important. They are critical for success at work because they can’t be left to machines.
According to LinkedIn’s 2019 Global Talent Trends report, 92% of learning and development professionals and hiring managers say that behavioral skills are just as important or maybe even more important than technical skills.
Employees–right from entry-level to the leadership level–need to work towards developing these skills. As recruiters and L&D professionals take on the challenge of identifying the right talent and enabling them to succeed in a new world of work, here’s a look at the top behavioral skills that are going to be critical for growth at the workplace.
Thinking critically, logically, and creatively
In a world of information overload, zeroing in on the right information and drawing actionable insights from it is invaluable. Whether it’s a potential challenge in leadership style or an emerging opportunity for launching a new product, the ability to think critically and creatively is a necessity. While some of these skills are built through experience, others can be learned using online resources that can be made available anytime and anywhere.
Problem-solving and decision-making
Most employees have to deal with problems at work. It’s important for them to hone their ability to solve problems by defining and structuring them before working on a solution and making decisions. Today’s employees need to be empowered to take decisions quickly and assume ownership of projects. As cross-functional teams become more common, problem-solving skills can help employees make decisions faster and apply them across a variety of tasks at hand.
Communicating and active listening
Communication skills not only foster a meaningful exchange of ideas but also help create a compelling personal brand for the professional. Employees today are not just engaging with ideas in official meetings, they also use social media and online professional networks to create opportunities and explore solutions. But communication is not a one-way street. Employees should develop active listening skills to make an impact and this means an increased focus on building rapport, reading non-verbal cues, demonstrating concern, and building trust.
Collaborating and negotiating
Collaboration is a key behavioral skill that is needed to build trust and influence relationships positively. To create win-win scenarios at work, employees need to expand their network while forging strong workplace alliances. And to do this, they need to actively engage with others, understand workplace culture, and have the ability to manage conflict.
Leadership and emotional intelligence
One of the most significant characteristics of a great leader is self-awareness. In a competitive workplace environment, employees need emotional intelligence to embrace change and lead with purpose. These skills are built over time and with practice, but as employees work across different locations, they need to be empowered with the right skill sets on leadership and self-discipline. Undergoing training on building such skills can enhance leadership effectiveness.
As part of an on-going exercise to benchmark data on the state of behavioral skills in India, People Matters in partnership with Harappa Education has recently launched a first-of-its-kind research study to understand the challenges and opportunities that L&D teams face in enabling their talent on behavioral skills. To participate in this research, click here
Harappa Education is an online learning institution with a distinctive curriculum framework of 5 Habits and 25 Skills that are crucial for individual success, team productivity, and organizational effectiveness.