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Adaptability and Flexibility

Change is the only constant in life.

The ancient Greek philosopher, Heraclitis,

wrote that thousands of years ago, and yet it's even truer today.

You've surely noticed yourself the rapid pace of change as new technology makes

yesterday's darlings obsolete and changes how we live our daily lives.

You probably grew up with smartphones

and the Internet, but your parents' or grandparents' generations didn't.

It was a very different world for them, and they had to learn to adapt.

Change is still happening, and 10 years from now,

you will have adapted to new innovations and disruptions as well.

Think about COVID and how the whole world had to adapt.

We're still grappling with those changes.

Some people adapt more easily than others.

Others feel stressed or threatened by change.

In the workplace, as in life,

change is a constant, and employers need you to be adaptable to those changes.

But they also need you to help the company

adapt or pivot in response to changes in the industry.

Maybe there's a slowdown in sales and a company decides to move someone

from marketing to sales in order to boost sales.

When you want to showcase your adaptability in an interview,

performance review, or your power skills passport snippets,

give an example of a time you had to adapt to changed circumstances.

Maybe during COVID, you had to start working or studying from home.

What challenges did that pose for you?

How did you successfully overcome them?

These are the details that will impress employers.



Companies today are looking for employees who are coachable.

This is especially true for new grads and career changers.

But what is coachability?

It's the desire and willingness to improve

by embracing feedback and constructive criticism.

This seems simple, but you'd be surprised,

especially if you have knowledge and experience in your field.

You may be more invested in demonstrating what you already know than in hearing

about a better way or a different way of doing things.

The other element to coachability is being

able to receive feedback and act on constructive criticism.

Too often, people get defensive around feedback.

Instead of opening their minds to potential for growth and new learning,

they spend time justifying why their way is better instead.

Thoughtfully considering feedback

and using it to improve doesn't mean that you're failing.

Instead, it means that you're someone who's open

to learning and committed to growth and wants to do the best they can.

That's a win for any company.

If you're applying to a position that desires coachability,

in your interview, be sure to give an example of a time

that you used feedback to improve your results or performance. Or you could share a time when you showed your willingness and desire to improve at something.

If you're already employed in a job you

like, developing your coachability will help you succeed.

Check out the Upskill-Z Power Skills

Academy course on coachability and earn a badge for your soft skills passport.



It's hard to imagine any job that doesn't

require good communication skills unless you work in a bubble.

Employees regularly need to communicate

effectively with bosses, coworkers, and clients.

There are many soft skills that make up effective communication.

Some, like empathy and being

people-oriented, are so important that they're among

the top soft skills that employers are looking for.

There are three additional communication

skills that we consider essential for being an effective communicator.

The first is listening.

You'd be surprised how many people are poor listeners.

It's not necessarily because they're bad-mannered.

More often than not, it's because they're just distracted.

They may be thinking of other things.

Maybe they're worried about the time or the task they still have to complete.

Or maybe they're so intent

on impressing the boss or the person they're talking to that instead

of listening, they're busy rehearsing in their minds what they want to say and how.

Being a good listener means consciously focusing on what the other is saying.

A good listener can signal this

by nodding, maintaining eye contact, and even repeating key points.

Another element of effective listening is

letting the other person finish before you respond.

It may seem obvious, but this over-talking

is often done unconsciously, especially if you're enthusiastic about

the topic and you're really eager to add your two cents to the conversation.

In this case, you may interrupt out of simple enthusiasm.

Or sometimes, when we're in a hurry, we may interrupt the other person

because we're ready to respond and we want to move the conversation along.

Being a good listener means being patient

and allowing the other person to finish speaking before we respond.

You don't want to show your impatience through fidgeting or other body language.

The second communication skill is clarity.

This essential skill will be greatly appreciated by everyone you interact with.

Most companies are busy places, and time is at a premium with a lot going on.

By communicating directly

and to the point, you not only get your message across more

effectively, but you signal to the other that you respect their time.

Storytelling is a wonderful skill,

but it's not appropriate in all situations.

When time is at a premium, clarity is essential.

State the issue directly.

Give only enough context as is necessary.

Not too much, not too little.

Then close with a specific call to action.

The third communication skill is body language.

Experts estimate that body language makes

up to 65% of all in-person communication, and maybe even more.

Fidgeting while you're having a conversation could signal impatience

or that you're not interested in what the other is saying.

It can be helpful to do a scan of your

body language and your posture during an interview or important meeting.

Does your body look tense, bored, relaxed, half asleep?

Eye contact shows attention and nodding

shows interest, as does facing the person you're talking to or even leaning in.

Are you ready to upskill your communication skills?

Take the Upskill-Z Power Skills Academy course on communication.



Creativity is one of the most sought-after

soft skills when it comes to hiring and promotion.

That's because creativity lies at the heart of innovation and problem-solving.

Few businesses these days can survive doing the same old, same old.

Creativity helps a company and its products stand out from the crowd.

It also helps them pivot or lead in times of change.

What is creativity in the workforce?

It's the ability to think about a task or a problem in a new or different way.

Creative people look at things

from a unique perspective and can generate new ideas.

Imagination and divergent thinking are strongly associated with creativity.

Divergent thinking is when you seek as

many solutions as possible rather than just looking for one.

It's like what you do when you're brainstorming.

Thinking outside the box is another pathway to creativity.

So go ahead and throw out the rules when

you're trying to tap into that creative thinking.


Find a solution no one else has done or tried before.

Any job that calls for problem solving or

innovation would be a great one to highlight your soft skill of creativity

in an interview or when pursuing promotion.

Share a time when you came up with an idea or solution that was new or different.

Creativity benefits every job.

Using the RealMe soft skills passport

shows your openness to new ideas and shaking up the status quo.

So go get creative and thrive in the workplace.


Critical thinking

That critical thinking is a top soft skill

employers are looking for is probably a no-brainer.

Who doesn't want an employee who thinks critically?

The problem is that so few do it well.

Critical thinking is the skill of analyzing and evaluating thinking.

This is important for improving your own

thinking as well as for assessing the accuracy of others' thinking.

It's not just about thinking logically and sound reasoning.

It's when you question the thinking process itself.

This isn't easy and it doesn't come naturally to us.

Our brains prefer shortcuts.

Our busy lives prefer shortcuts.

But not using critical thinking means

we're susceptible to manipulation by others.

It means we take inaccurate information

at face value, usually because it confirms what we

already believe, or we can't be bothered to double-check the facts.

We're all subject to cognitive bias

and logical fallacies, which are traps that derail critical

thinking and lead us to draw or offer invalid conclusions.

You can learn more about these

in the Power Skills Academy course on critical thinking.

This comes up everywhere in the workplace.

If you're a copywriter or content writer looking for a good quote or a real-life

example for your writing, you probably turn to the Internet for research.

But so many of those quotes and stories are actually wrong.

Without critical thinking,

you'll be spreading that misinformation when you use it in your writing.

If you're researching industry trends and market-related data,

you have to use your critical thinking to make sure you're not falling for clever

spin that the owners of the data want you to believe.

You also want to evaluate your own thinking so that your next presentation or

report is accurate and free of unconscious manipulation.

To highlight your critical thinking skills, think of an example where you evaluated your own

or someone else's conclusion, found a flaw, and corrected it.



Empathy is an underrated skill that's

gaining more and more recognition by companies today.

What is empathy?

It's being able to identify with and understand what another person is feeling.

Empathy is a key skill in successful leadership because if you don't have

an accurate read on how your team feels, you can make decisions that adversely

affect productivity and undermine motivation and even morale.

If you're applying for a job or

a promotion in customer service, marketing, or anything that involves

leadership, empathy can be a great soft skill to highlight.

In the interview, you could share a time

that you helped a frustrated customer through a difficult issue.

If you're in marketing,

share a time when you developed a campaign where you put yourself in the customer's

shoes to get a better understanding of how to market to them.

And if you're in leadership,

you can share an example of where your ability to read the emotional weather

of your team helped you to resolve a situation before it became a problem.

Or perhaps you could share an example of how your empathy helped you to motivate

and inspire your team to greater productivity and results.

If you're ready to develop your empathy,

check out the Upskill-Z Power Skills Academy course, Enhance Your Empathy..


Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is a collection of soft skills that revolves around understanding

and managing emotions, your own emotions, as well as the emotions of others.

The concept of emotional intelligence emerged from the work of Peter Salovey,

John Mayer, and Daniel Goleman in the 1990s.

It's about being aware of feelings,

empathizing with others, and navigating social interactions effectively.

Having emotional intelligence, or EQ, or EI, means being able to recognize,

understand, and control emotions in ourselves and others.

Think of a time when you're with a friend and you notice something's off.

Maybe it's the body language, tone of voice, or facial expressions,

or the way they responded to your greeting.

Because of what you noticed, you decided not to ask them about

that jacket you wanted to borrow, and instead, you ask them what's wrong.

After a while, they open up

and share what's troubling them while you listen attentively.

That's emotional intelligence in action.

According to the research of Bradberry &

Greaves, the authors of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, emotional intelligence is so critical


to success that it accounts for 58% of performance in all types of jobs.

Some of the soft skills that make up emotional intelligence are self-awareness,

self-management, social awareness, people orientation, communication, and empathy.

Companies can be busy and stressful places and can cause anger, anxiety and sadness.

Being able to manage your emotional reactions to situations or other people

and controlling negative impulses is crucial to thriving in the workplace.

For example, if you're a salesperson who missed your quota for the second

quarter in a row, your impulse might be to fear that you're going to get fired

and then get defensive or upset or express yourself inappropriately.

But if you manage that impulse

and instead ask your supervisor for feedback and help,

and then you act on that help, you're more likely to meet your quota next quarter.

And as an extra bonus, you're showing your supervisor your skill of coachability.

So think of an example when you had to control a negative emotion in a work-like

setting and instead handled the situation maturely and effectively.


Collaboration and Teamwork

With more and more companies moving to working in teams, collaboration and teamwork has become an essential soft skill for workplace success. Many successful and innovative companies owe part of their success to effective teamwork: Google, Ford, Casper, Apple, and Pixar, to name only a few. What is collaboration at work? It's working together with others to support or achieve shared goals. There are two key components to successful collaboration. Getting the right people on the team is the first one. You need people who are competent in their jobs and who have complementary knowledge and skills so that together they can create something that's much more than the sum of its parts. For a team to be successful, every single member must contribute. The other key component to successful collaboration relates to the processes that the team members use to work together. Perhaps baseball legend Babe Ruth said it best, "The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don't play together, the club won't be worth a dime." Teams need to be able to set aside egos in competition. They need to listen to one another and be reliable and trustworthy.


An example of collaboration in the workplace might be a sales team that meets with the marketing team to brainstorm ideas to break into new markets. Or maybe customer service representatives and salespeople are asked to work with product development on a project to improve a product or service. If you're applying for a new job or seeking a promotion in your current job, be sure to highlight your collaboration skills with an example of a time you contributed to a successful team effort. The most compelling examples include a challenge you faced and how you successfully overcame it. Since soft skills are transferable skills, your example can come from your experience as a student, athlete, or any other group activity you contributed to.



Many jobs today require leadership skills to help their companies scale and grow.

The success and failure of a company is often attributed to its leadership.

Good leadership skills are clearly

important for managers and for training positions, but that's certainly not all.

Many companies today organize their work around teams and projects.

Leadership skills can help teams collaborate effectively.

If you're in charge of a project,

you'll be drawing on your leadership skills as well.

What is good leadership?

Leaders inspire team members to work their best toward a common goal.

They motivate others and inspire loyalty while getting the job done.

If you're interviewing for a role that requires leadership skills,

you can give an example of how you effectively led a group or a project.

Include two details that show how you helped the group get the work done effectively.

Some soft skills such as communication

skills, empathy, and being people-oriented all contribute to successful leadership.

If you don't have specific leadership

skills to share in an interview, you can give examples of some of these

other soft skills and show how they would help you to be an effective leader.

If you're already employed, see what you can do to get some leadership experience.

You may want to tell your supervisor that it's something you're interested in doing.

Be sure to check out the Upskill-Z Power Skills Academy course on leadership

and earn a badge for your soft skills passport.



In today's world, learnability may be just

about the most important soft skill of all.

Why is that?

Because we're living in a time of exponential change.

The world is changing so rapidly that businesses need to be agile and able

to pivot to keep up with the needs of the market.

Take social media, for example.

Before Facebook, there was my space, but I bet you've never even heard of it.

What about Periscope?

Where should marketers focus their attention these days?

Youtube? Tiktok?

What about Clubhouse?

How does a marketing strategy change with new social media channels.

Any company that relies on social media

marketing needs to keep up with these changes just to stay current.

And it's not just companies that need to grow and change with the times.

Schools and training programs need to as well.

They can't keep up either.

Many of your skills and much of your

knowledge will be out of date sooner rather than later.

And if you want to continue to be

employable, you need to be open to continued learning.

Software engineers are a great example

of professionals who need to acquire new skills regularly to stay marketable.

That's learnability, being willing and able to upskill.


Don't expect your boss to tell you when it's time to upskill either.

Take initiative,

be proactive, and you'll find that you'll be a valuable asset to any company.

As a business coach, for example,

I recognized the need to use video for marketing.

I needed to learn how to shoot and edit video.

And that's one way I upskilled to stay current in my field.

Best-selling author, Brian Tracy, says:

Continuous learning is the minimum requirement for success in any field.

When you're applying for a job,

how can you tell if learnability might be a good soft skill to mention?

Look for clues in the job description.

Do they describe themselves as a company that's growing rapidly?

Are they looking for someone who's a self starter.

These are clues that learnability can be a great soft skill for you to showcase.

How can you do that?

Think of a time when you took

the initiative to learn something new on your own.

Why did you decide to learn it?

How did you go about learning it?

And what did you gain as a result?

Consider using these examples in your next job interview to wow hiring managers.

And if you're already employed,

learnability will help you survive and thrive in the workplace.

Develop your learnability

with the Upskill-Z Power Skills Academy course on learnability.


People Oriented

Being people-oriented in the workplace is

a very valuable skill these days, especially in jobs that are

customer-facing, like sales or customer support.

Management and other leadership positions

benefit from being people-oriented as well.

What does it mean to be people-oriented?

It means that you prioritize the human element of business relationships.

You show genuine interest in others, and you support their success and motivation.

Being people-oriented is often contrasted

with being task-oriented, where the focus is on what needs to be

done and getting it done in the most efficient way possible.

Traditionally, task orientation has been

the focus of the workplace, with the advantage that it's measurable.

Everything revolves around the tasks that need to get done.

There are some soft skills that are associated with being people-oriented,

such as communication skills, emotional intelligence, and empathy.

A people-oriented leadership style can increase motivation and job satisfaction


by making employees feel appreciated and part of the company's success.

It also inspires creativity and innovation in today's world of rapid change,

and that makes people-oriented a very desirable soft trait to have.

More, check out the Upskill-Z Power Skills Academy course on people orientation..


Problem Solving

Problem solving is a soft skill in great demand today.

But what is it?

Problem solving is a process for finding solutions to issues or problems.

As such, it includes other soft skills as part of the process.

To begin with,

you need to be a good listener to understand the problem to be solved.

You may need to use your interpersonal skills and your communication skills

to get information from stakeholders and any others who are involved in the issue.

Your analytical skills and critical

thinking will help you understand the problem thoroughly.

Truly understanding the problem is the most important step of all.

Your creativity will help you find the best solution.

You can develop each of these soft skills in the Upskill-Z Power Skills Academy.

While most companies would welcome good

problem solvers, there are some positions that need these skills more than others.

Software engineering, project management,

and senior leadership are just a few of these.

If you're seeking a position or promotion

in one of these fields, be sure to emphasize your problem solving skills.

Share the thought processes that you use

to find a solution to an important problem.

Give details.

You may want to mention your other soft

skills strengths that are a part of good problem solving.

You can share your Upskill-Z soft skills passport and course badges.



We humans have an affinity for stories.

It's been a primary vehicle for teaching, community building,

and entertainment for as long as there have been humans on the planet.

Why is it such a great skill for businesses?

Because it's the best way to grab and hold an audience's attention.

This goes to the heart of branding, marketing, and public relations.

We live in a time when the average attention span is shrinking rapidly.

We're inundated with information at every turn.

It's getting harder and harder to break


through the noise to get your message heard.

Sure, you can use gimmicks like shock

value, surprise, but they're only going to take you so far.

Storytelling, on the other hand, will draw your audience in and keep them there.

It's part of the way our brains work.

We're literally wired to be interested in stories.

What jobs would the soft skill of storytelling be most relevant for?

Really any job that requires you to grab and hold someone's attention.

This includes leadership, training, marketing, communications,

public relations, advertising, and content writing, and more.

These professionals must be good storytellers in order to be heard today.

How can you showcase your storytelling skills when applying for a job?

Give an example of a social media post

that you wrote that went viral, or any other example of content that you

wrote that was successfully received by an audience.

If you're already employed,

how might you use storytelling to get across your message more effectively?

There are two key components to a good story.

The first is the three-part structure of beginning, middle, and end.

The beginning sets the context,

the middle builds out the story, and the end provides closure and resolution.

However, the most important component of a story that holds attention is conflict.

Use micro-storytelling when recording your

video clips for your soft skills passport to get a hiring manager's attention,

and use storytelling skills in the interview to captivate them.

This works whether you're interviewing to get a job or to get a promotion.

You can develop your storytelling skills

with the Upskill-Z Power Skills Academy course, Dazzle Them with Storytelling.


Time Management

We all have the same 24 hours in a day,

but some of us manage to do so much more than others.

Employers pay employees to do their best work.

The more they get done, the more valuable they are to the company.

Productivity plays a critical role

in promotions and terminations, so good time management is important.

There are many different time management

strategies to help you stay focused and meet deadlines.

It's important to find the strategy that works for you.

This may involve trial and error.

Popular approaches involve goal setting,

prioritizing tasks, time blocking, and time tracking.

Procrastination is probably the biggest

threat to productivity, so learning to manage and reduce

procrastination is a key factor in time management.

There are many examples of when you would need time management in the workplace,

such as for meeting deadlines and planning projects.

Other examples involve responding to change,

such as when a team member is out sick and the rest of the team has to pick up

the slack and do that person's work, as well as their own.

Time management skills will help that team

reorganize and stay accountable so they can successfully get the job done on time.

For your power skills passport snippet or

in an interview or job review, example of a time when you had to draw

on your time management skills in order to succeed or meet your obligations.

Remember, the best examples include

a challenge or obstacle that you successfully overcame.


Working well under pressure

Working under pressure,

the ability to keep a cool head and get

the job done, is an essential skill in most workplaces.

But what does it really mean to work well under pressure?

Usually, we're talking about three central ideas.

One, tight deadlines.

That's where the time you have to complete a task is restricted and may even be

inadequate to what you need to get it done.

The second element is high stakes.

When something is very important

and there's a lot riding on it, the pressure to perform and excel heats up.

The third element is crisis.

In every organization, unexpected problems arise that do need to be solved.

And when stakes are high and time is

limited, a problem can quickly become a crisis.

It's essential for employers to have

people who can work well under pressure during these times of crisis and get

the problem solved and get the job done on time.

What makes an employee good under pressure?

Two key abilities.

The first is the ability to maintain a focus on results.

When we're under stress, emotions can come into play and distract us.

We have thoughts like, "Oh, no,

what if I don't get this done?"

Or, "Dang, will I lose my job over this?"

Being able to put those emotions aside

and focus on the task at hand is essential to succeeding under pressure.

The second thing is the ability to remain

calm so that your thinking brain can do its work.

What do I mean by the thinking brain?

While we're in crisis or in a stressful

situation, the brain goes on survival alert.

It switches into the survival mode,

which means that the amygdala, which is like a little hijacker in your

brain, starts to funnel your neural resources toward your survival brain.

That's the freeze, fight, or flight response.

It also means that those neural resources

are being taken away from your prefrontal cortex, which is the thinking brain.

So when you're under high stress, you're not thinking properly.

You're not using your brain effectively.

That's just basic human physiology in times of extreme stress.

But by staying calm, your amygdala can avoid going into alert,

and your prefrontal cortex can do its work as needed.

And that's where your problem solving skills are found.

While most employers would prefer to have employees that could work under pressure,

some jobs are more prone to these high pressure situations than others.

Sales jobs, for example,

where your salary is based on commission-- that can be a high-pressured situation.

Or engineering managers that must ship product by a certain date.

If you're already in a job like that,

you may want to take the Upskill-Z Power Skills Academy course

to improve your ability to work under pressure.

If you're applying to a job like that,

you may want to emphasize your ability to work under pressure.

How do you do that?

There are two ways.

One would be to demonstrate your ability to problem-solve, to delegate, prioritize,

manage your time, adapt, pivot using examples from your experience.

The second way would be to share a specific example of a high-pressured

circumstance and how you overcame it with positive results.

If you're good at working under pressure, that's a soft skill worth leveraging.