We hear so much about machines or artificial intelligence replacing workers. Perhaps that is why some uniquely human skills—like empathy, flexibility, and collaboration—are increasingly valued. Occupations requiring strong social skills have grown far more than others since 1980, according to new research. In fact, the only occupations that have shown consistent wage growth since 2000 require both cognitive and social skills.
David Deming, associate professor of education and economics at Harvard and author of a new study cited in The New York Times says that adjusting behavior during the course of conversations is “a hard thing to program.” Jobs that require both socializing and thinking have fared best in employment and pay.
Social and emotional skills have not fared as well when it comes to being taught at school, but now many schools—including business and medical schools—are experimenting with how to add social skills to the curriculum. In our opinion, this is a much-needed supplement. The value of communicating with clarity, sensitivity, and respect cannot be over-estimated.
We want to hear. Does your job or profession value and remunerate social skills? How are social skills being taught to newcomers in your field? To join the conversation, click "comments" on our Community of Practice Forum.
Would you like to read more about creating a habit around masterful communication? Check out our book: Be Quiet, Be Heard: The Paradox of Persuasion.