McKinsey & Company recently shared their findings from a global study titled “Defining the Skills Citizens Will Need in the Future World of Work”.
On page 3, the study examines 56 foundational skills that will help people thrive in the future. And… some of the skills listed might surprise you.
While digital skills (competency with a computer, internet, software, etc.) seem like obvious requirements for future work, McKinsey also specifies a skillset that we used to call “soft skills.” McKinsey calls these “soft” skills DELTAs.
Introducing the DELTAs
From the study: “This study identifies 56 distinct elements of talent (DELTAs) that fall within these skill groups. We call them DELTAs, rather than skills, because they are a mix of skills and attitudes. ‘Adaptability’ and ‘coping with uncertainty’ are attitudes, for example.”
As a leadership coach, I would call these skills non-negotiable for career success, and I am very glad to see them listed here.
My teenage son tells me that he wants to be an engineer. “I won’t have to talk to people!” But that’s not true. No matter your area of expertise, you will always need to have mastered interpersonal skills so that you can communicate your ideas to others.
According to the study, interpersonal and self-leadership skills are now non-negotiable. Things like: empathy, sociability, self-control, and regulation, understanding your own emotions and triggers (see Susan David’s book Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life).
These things are no longer “nice-to-have”, they are on par with critical thinking, and digital literacy. But the good news is that these skills can be learned.
Rise to the Challenge of the Modern Workplace
Do you have the skills to succeed in a rapidly-changing workplace? Ask yourself these questions to gauge your readiness:
- Can I articulate my current skillsets and strengths? Many people are not able to do this. They don’t necessarily have the ability to holistically see what they offer to the workforce. To remedy this, ask others what they see as your strengths and what they value about you.
- What gaps in my skillsets or self-awareness do I have that are holding me back?
- How can I fill these gaps, and what will be the impact of doing so?
If you want to discuss these questions or the impact for you and your team, please feel free to reach out. Connect with me here.