The Critical Importance of Soft Skills for Success in School and at Work

 

This is an excellent post by John at The Art of Learning. I recommend you read it CLOSELY, taking note of the excellent TEXT-BASED EVIDENCE used to support the author’s claim.

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The Common Core ELA standards demand that students provide evidence to support their claims yet the authors of these standards seemingly ignored decades of research and evidence regarding the importance of emotional intelligence.

That is the only way to explain why the authors of the Common Core continue to claim that the standards will prepare our students for college and careers despite countless surveys and interviews regarding the critical importance of soft skills for success in school and at work…

“A survey by the Workforce Solutions Group at St. Louis Community College finds that more than 60% of employers say applicants lack “communication and interpersonal skills” — a jump of about 10 percentage points in just two years. A wide margin of managers also say today’s applicants can’t think critically and creatively, solve problems or write well.

As much as academics go on about the lack of math and science skills, bosses are more concerned with organizational and interpersonal proficiency. The National Association of Colleges and Employers surveyed more than 200 employers about their top 10 priorities in new hires. Overwhelmingly, they want candidates who are team players, problem solvers and can plan, organize and prioritize their work. Technical and computer-related know-how placed much further down the list…”

~ Martha C. White, “The Real Reason New College Grads Can’t Get Hired ” 11/10/13

http://business.time.com/2013/11/10/the-real-reason-new-college-grads-cant-get-hired/#ixzz2kMTY9Ni8

“Do people underperform at your company because they lack these soft skills or do they disappoint because their technical skills aren’t up to snuff?

‘Soft skills are almost always to blame — that’s why we need to get better at measuring them.’

Do your best managers have the strongest technical skills in the company? Or do they excel on the soft side?

‘Soft skills set our best managers apart.’

Is it possible you have excluded some candidates with extraordinary soft skills because they didn’t meet your company’s benchmark for technical brilliance? These are the people who would have become your best managers.

My client refused to answer this question, but the look in his eye was a definite “Oops!…”

~ Lou Adler, “Soft Skills Are Hard to Assess. And Even Harder to Succeed Without.” 3/8/14

http://www.inc.com/lou-adler/hiring-guide-soft-skills.html

“In a new study in partnership with American Express (AXP), we found that over 60 percent of managers agree that soft skills are the most important when evaluating an employee’s performance, followed by 32 percent citing hard skills and only 7 percent social media skills. When breaking down which soft skills were most important, managers chose the ability to prioritize work, having a positive attitude, and teamwork skills as their top three requirements for management roles…

Soft skills can’t easily be learned, they need to be developed over time. The big challenge for millennial workers is that they have weaker soft skills than older generations, who expect face-time and teamwork from them. Millennials have spent too much time with their collective noses buried in their iPhones and Facebook pages…”

~Dan Schwabel, “The Soft Skills Managers Want” 9/4/13

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-09-04/the-soft-skills-managers-want

“One of my first conversations was with Clay Parker, president of the Chemical Management Division of BOC Edwards—a company that, among other things, makes machines and supplies chemicals for the manufacture of microelectronics devices. He’s an engineer by training and the head of a technical business, so when I asked him about the skills he looks for when he hires young people, I was taken aback by his answer.

“First and foremost, I look for someone who asks good questions,” Parker responded. “We can teach them the technical stuff, but we can’t teach them how to ask good questions—how to think.”

“What other skills are you looking for?” I asked, expecting that he’d jump quickly to content expertise.

“I want people who can engage in good discussion—who can look me in the eye and have a give and take. All of our work is done in teams. You have to know how to work well with others. But you also have to know how to engage customers—to find out what their needs are. If you can’t engage others, then you won’t learn what you need to know…”

~ Tony Wagner, “Rigor Redefined” ASCD Educational Leadership October, 2008

http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/oct08/vol66/num02/Rigor-Redefined.aspx

The Common Core’s unquenchable thirst for data and emphasis on measurable and testable hard skills will leave our students as prepared for college and careers as a roofing contractor with a “fully loaded” tool belt and years of carpentry experience, but he or she lacks the confidence and courage to climb a ladder.

~John
The Art of Learning

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About Lee Araoz

K-12 Technology Coordinator, instructional coach, staff developer, speaker and author. Innovative teacher and perpetual learner. Igniting an enthusiasm for lifelong learning! https://thegoldenageofeducation.com
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