In the tech world, all eyes are on Apple each year as it announces its newest launches and updates to its current line of MacBooks, iPhone and watch. The company has become the epitome of disruptive innovation and how ubiquitous technology has transformed our lives.Yet, there’s something timeless about each Apple launch: A single person standing on stage, telling a story. Today, Apple CEO Tim Cook builds off the legacy of Steve Jobs, who became legendary for his personality and stage presence.The Cook and Jobs presentation skills demonstrate that no matter how digitized we become as a society, there’s always a place for human communication skills – even at the world’s most technologically advanced companies.In fact, the 10 most in demand professional skills in the world reflect the need for human soft skills, including sales representatives and professionals such as project managers and researchers, according to ManpowerGroup’s latest report on the talent shortage.In our increasingly digital world, here are skills that still matter for professionals.Managing Expectations“The future is a concept — it doesn’t exist,” said author and philosopher Alan Watts. For businesses, this ambiguity about the future is more than a thought exercise. It requires understanding how to navigate change when you’re not sure where the changes will come from. Leaders with communication skills will be able to guide others when there is no roadmap. That means making decisions on the fly, the ability to adapt to evolving circumstances, and then sharing your reasoning to others to get them to follow.Delivering InspirationThe artist Michelangelo once said: “Lord, grant that I may always desire more than I can accomplish.” It’s a human – and timeless – quality to seek inspiration and motivation, and look for it in others. You can call it stage presence, charisma or just je ne sais quoi. No matter what “it” is, there is a palpable energy that can come from someone who is an engaging communicator. We share our social orientation in brain circuitry with all other mammals, so this is a deep-seeded biological need that can’t be replaced by technology. Human communication needs the motivation of the human touch, and that will never go away.Suggesting ImprovementImagine your next job performance review is with a robot. You’d get a PDF with all of your deficiencies, delivered to you with cold efficiency, with highlighted sections to work on. Doesn’t sound fun, does it? As much as we dread performance review, human communication helps us become resilient and improve. Others can see our blind spots that we don’t see, and also equip us with coping strategies and teachable skills.Overall, it’s true that digital trends continue to expand and play a larger and larger role in the world of work. But if you’re feeling uneasy or out of place because of technology, the answer may be in thinking more traditionally – and reclaiming your humanity.
Communication Skills Needed in a Digital World
23 March 2022
How to Work with People Who Aren’t Good at Working with People
22 February 2022
Twenty five years after the term “emotional intelligence” was first introduced by academics, thousands of independent scientific studies have highlighted the importance of managing your own and others’ emotions in relation to career success, job performance, entrepreneurship, and leadership.But research suggests that people with low EQ, as emotional intelligence is often called, may not realize what important skills they lack. Indeed, studies have shown that all of us are better at evaluating others’ EQ than judging our own, but this is especially true when we have low EQ: because EQ also includes the capacity for self-knowledge.Although lower EQ people are generally less rewarding to deal with — they are grumpier, more negative, and more erratic than average — there will be many circumstances where we have to deal with low EQ individuals. Given the difficulties this can entail, it may be useful to keep in mind the following, evidence-based recommendations for managing those situations effectively:Be gentleJust because someone is unpleasant doesn’t mean you have to respond with unpleasantness or ostracize them. In fact, you can become a stabilizing and calming agent for low EQ people if you make an effort to act politely and kindly in your interactions with them. Remember that having a lower EQ is psychologically taxing, not just for others but the low EQ individuals themselves. They are often fighting inner demons and riddled with existential angst – the academic euphemism for this is emotional labor. So, don’t make them work even harder. Instead, you can brighten them up and make their lives seem a little simpler, safer, and happier, or at least less anxious. Conversely, if you react in a negative way they will perceive you as a psychological threat and source of stress. Kindness and positivity go a long way with everyone, but even more so with emotionally unintelligent people. Yes, some people lack soft skills, but being hard on them is not the solution. On the contrary, tact and delicacy are needed particularly with those who are less capable of displaying those very qualities.Be explicitIn particular, avoid social subtleties, or you will be misinterpreted. Low EQ individuals are generally less capable of reading between the lines and their ability to decode others’ intentions is typically limited. As Professor Simon Baron-Cohen noted, they are quite similar to the stereotypical engineer or professor: disinterested in nonverbal communication, non-empathetic, and somewhat detached from interpersonal contact; happiest when on their own or interacting with their own thoughts rather than people. Baron-Cohen’s spectrum theory posits that cognitive skills often increase at the expense of social skills (take this brief test to find out where you fall).Be rationalAlthough low EQ people often behave in irrational ways, so does everyone else. Furthermore, the only antidote to emotionality is rationality, which starts by being aware of your own biases, being data-driven, and accepting the possibility that you may be wrong. When dealing with low EQ individuals, remember that they are more likely to fall prey to their own emotions than most people are, so, rather than trying to manipulate them by engaging them emotionally, you can gain their trust by being the voice of reason and developing a reputation for being logical. This will not just enable you to persuade them in the short run, but also influence them in the long run. The main point is that even if emotional persuasion works with them, there are moral reasons for not going down that path.Do not get offendedOne of the common characteristics of emotionally unintelligent individuals is their bluntness. They have low interpersonal sensitivity and find it hard to empathize with others, which is why they may come across as politically incorrect or overly direct. On the upside, this makes them quite transparent. You can usually see right through them and they tend to mean what they say, and say what they mean. The key, then, is not to take things personally. They may not operate within the realm of conventional etiquette, but you can still find a way of dealing with them and helping them deal with you.Finally, remember that just as high EQ is not always a blessing—for example, it says nothing about a person’s reasoning ability, expertise, or ambition – it is not the end of the world if you yourself are the one with low EQ. This may sound odd, because EQ has become a very loaded term today—perhaps even more than IQ. However, there is a bright side to low EQ, and a dark side to high EQ. Low EQ individuals are often more passionate, creative, and self-critical than their higher EQ counterparts. And higher EQ individuals can be complacent, smug, and overly optimistic compared to their low-EQ counterparts.While interventions to boost EQ are often successful, people have limited control over their personalities, and each personality will confer more strengths in some situations than in others. The current enthusiasm about emotional intelligence can obscure the fact that plenty of brilliant and successful people, from Friedrich Nietzsche to Steve Jobs, had lower EQ—and that these people are also capable of rewarding relationships, even with their work colleagues.About the AuthorAs ManpowerGroup's Chief Talent Scientist, Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic is responsible for leading the Center of Excellence for Assessment and Analytics, developing data-driven solutions and insight to create new value for clients and candidates by driving predictable performance. A well-known international expert in business psychology, people analytics and talent management, Chamorro-Premuzic has written 10 books and over 150 scientific papers on the psychology of talent, leadership, innovation and AI.
Tips for Job Searching in 2022
8 February 2022
If you are currently looking for work, what are your expectations for your next job? If you find yourself weighted down from the pressure of the past year, here’s how to start making progress and expect more in your job search as you look ahead in 2022.Seek Out a SponsorYou don’t need to go it alone –– look for help in your next steps. According to ManpowerGroup research, women are more likely to say that relationships rather than overt self-promotion will help them get ahead. In this regard, women can be helped through sponsors or those in higher levels who move beyond mentorship and actively help promote female colleagues. Find someone who can help boost you up, and you can do the same for others.Recognize Your Transferable SkillsIf you’ve been out of work, if may feel like you are falling behind on your skills. In fact, you may be practicing transferrable skills that help in the next role. If you find yourself teaching from home or volunteering, these are skills that you can bring up in a job interview that shows your continued growth. Of all transferable skills, learnability is the foundation. Learnability is the desire and ability to continually learn and grow throughout careers, and it still applies even –– and sometimes especially –– outside of work.Gain an Outside PerspectiveYou may feel like you know yourself better than anyone else, but you’re not necessarily the most objective evaluator of your own skills. Instead, you can hire a professional skill or personality assessment and leverage the results to identify your strengths. Similarly, you can find a career coach to help you better understand your value to employers. Finally, ask a mentor, coach trusted friend to provide you with feedback on your progress and what steps you need to take next.Don’t Get DiscouragedIn any job search, setbacks are inevitable. Expect that to happen, and don’t get discouraged when it does. Psychologists demonstrate that Three P’s can stunt recovery: Thinking a “failure” is personal (“It’s my fault”), pervasive (“I’m unqualified for any role”) and permanent (“I’ll never find a job.”) If you find these thoughts creeping in, reframe and v