Do you have power skills?
Wednesday, September 13, 2023 - Taylor Salm
Our next in-person event, Power Up: Leadership at Lambeau, is fast approaching! And we want you to join us!
You’ll leave with actionable steps to improve the health of your organization and motivation to create real change.
The workplace is changing at such a rapid pace. These days, success at work is less about mastering hard skills like Excel, cutting steel perfectly or efficiently using software.
Instead, we need to adapt power skills to be able to keep up with frequent big changes in society and in our work. From AI to pronoun shifts, social media trends, environmental changes and Covid. Our world is shifting constantly, and we need to be ready to adapt personally and professionally.
So, what are power skills?
Power skills: behaviors that enable people to succeed.1
Really, power skills are a much better name for soft skills. Specifically, I’m talking about skills like interpersonal communication, empathy, listening, adaptability, teamwork, emotional intelligence and conflict management.
You can imagine how skills in these areas can help you and your team accomplish just about anything—whereas a specialty in using a software only really limits you. Hard skills have a hard cut-off shall we say. There’s only so far you can go with a knowledge of machinery, for example. That knowledge won’t serve you in many industries or roles. Power skills, however, are a benefit no matter where you roam.
And, can I just say, it’s about time soft skills earned a proper name to show just how impactful they are!
Where did the term soft skills come from?
In the 1960s, the U.S. Army created the term “soft skills”—referring to any skill that was not related to using machinery. They learned that their teams garnered greater success not when they mastered the use of a weapon, but when they had a leader with exceptional interpersonal skills.
It makes sense. Being in the military is incredibly taxing on many levels, especially mentally and emotionally. Having a great leader to “talk you through” the experience is huge. The same can be said for any workplace. Having a leader who is skilled in relating to others is worth far more than one skilled at completing a task.
How do your power skills stack up?
Take a moment and consider this list. How would you rate yourself in each of these power skills? Choose one you want to get better at and set a goal. For example, you might say, “I’m going to work on my listening skills by setting a daily reminder before my meetings to put my phone down and focus on the speaker today.” Big change starts small.
- Interpersonal communication
- Emotional intelligence
- Conflict management
ACTION PLAN: Follow Prophit Co. on social media for lots of tips to improve your power skills: