Find out why, among so many other skills we need, power skills have become so critical to thriving in the future of work with mental well-being
Do you feel you lack the skills that would empower you to overcome the challenges brought by moving to remote or hybrid work?
Companies where face-to-face work was standard pre-pandemic felt more the effects of distancing on the productivity of their teams. They still noticed the need to retrain many of their employees. But we are not talking about technical or digital skills. We refer to power skills. These are the fundamental skills for any executive or entrepreneur looking to thrive in the current scenario.
Leaders who have developed power skills will be the most desired by the market. Companies that invest in training their employees to develop these skills will be more attractive.
Professionals who went through the last two years maintaining high performance and good results were those who had greater tolerance to stress, resilience, and the ability to adapt to rapid changes in the market and lifestyle.
Understand why power skills have become so relevant to unlocking your full potential in the future of work without losing your mental well-being.
Why power skills?
Until recently, many of these behavioral skills, known as “soft skills” or “human skills”, began to be recognized as “power skills”. This is because the new scenario demonstrated their essential role in providing power at work. Power to collaborate, power to communicate effectively, power to lead, and power to thrive in the face of uncertainty.
According to global industry analyst Josh Bersin, the idea that we should call “soft skills” “power skills” was first proposed by a speaker at a conference held in the United States.
“These skills are not “soft” – they are highly complex, it takes years to learn them and their scope is always changing. Consider the number of skills needed to be a CEO: “willingness to be flexible, agile and adaptable to change” .
“That alone represents a considerable amount of personality traits, mindsets, skills and experiences”, says Bersin.
Gustavo Oliveira, CEO of DeRose – The Power Skills Platform, says that these skills are the intrinsic abilities of human beings. And, today, they are essential for overcoming the difficulties, challenges, complexity, volatility, and acceleration of the world. He says that “unlike soft skills, whose main purpose is to smooth professional relationships, power skills increase the professional’s potential to face the uncertain and rapidly changing scenario in which we live today”.
According to research by IBM, the skills that we call power skills are responsible for the capacity for transformation, change, and adaptability of professionals or companies. Skills that underpin the ability to perform better in the work environment and in the current market.
“Power skills have always been an important part of learning in the workplace, and their importance has only become more fundamental as the world’s workforce navigates the changes of recent years. Power skills related to communication, collaboration and leadership change are key to building agile businesses and strong corporate cultures,” says Melissa Daimler, Director of Learning at Udemy.
Mental well-being as the keystone power skill
Faced with this often chaotic scenario, mental well-being has become the keystone power skill for developing all other behavioral skills mentioned in the Future of Work 2025 report by the World Economic Forum. They are:
- Active learning and learning strategies
- Complex problem solving
- Critical thinking and analysis
- Emotional intelligence
- Reasoning, problem solving and ideation
- Creativity, originality and initiative
- Leadership and social influence
- Analytical thinking and innovation
- Resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility
Fernanda Neis, CFO of DeRose – The Power Skills Platform, says that power skills are skills that are improved via relationships with people who exhibit them, who have experience in applying them and who, therefore, become examples of these skills.
“You can train a person to program a computer, for them to make a sale, for them to teach content, through videos and books, but power skills need to be matured over time and with the accompaniment of people who already have this experience to exercise, daily, the development of these abilities”, affirms Fernanda.
Power skills are often more relevant than hard skills and digital skills
IBM research says that digital skills remain very relevant, especially with the accelerated digital transformation, but also describes that power skills have surpassed them many times in importance for navigating current and future challenges.
Developing hard and digital skills can also be a strategy to increase your adaptability to market changes. But, as we have witnessed in recent years, hard skills alone were not enough to prevent the increase in absenteeism, turnover, loss of talent, and drops in productivity.
On the contrary, it was precisely the lack of focus on mental well-being and the development of stress tolerance, resilience and adaptability that caused the erosion of performance and health of leaders and employees.
Develop power skills to attract and retain talent
Another piece of research by Mckinsey revealed that more than half of professionals who left their jobs in the last six months did not feel valued by the organization (54%), by their manager (52%), or did not experience a sense of belonging (51%).
In his more than 60 years of teaching behavioral reprogramming, Professor DeRose describes that the critical skills executives need to develop to thrive today are those that empower them to cultivate good human relationships, especially empathy.
“If relationships between entrepreneurs, and between them and their teams, are more oiled, based on conciliation instead of conflict, the work environment becomes a place where the employee wants to be. And, as a cascade effect, if top management relates well to middle management, as a reflex effect, these leaders will relate better to their teams, and so on,” says DeRose.
In this way, the employee wants to grow together with the company, and the company becomes more attractive and better at retaining talent, cultivating an environment where each individual feels welcomed and is constantly equipped with tools to unlock their maximum potential.
A culture of adaptability and continuous learning
One of the conclusions of the Mckinsey study “Building workforce skills at scale to thrive during—and after—the COVID-19 crisis” is that companies need to develop the skills of their teams in an integrated way. Prioritized competencies include leading and managing people, critical thinking and decision-making and project management.
According to Mckinsey, it is necessary to “build cultures where skills and new and evolving ways of working can be developed, and where the adoption of continuous learning is the key to relevance in the workplace. And leaders must do this, as they embark on a broader organizational experiment: determining what the work environment will look like in a post-COVID-19 world”.
Faced with this data and this reality, I invite you to change the way you refer to these behavioral skills, with the conviction that by developing them in yourself and your team, you will be providing everyone with the power to thrive at work and in life.
At work: developing leadership that will lead teams and companies to successfully navigate the challenges ahead. Leaders who will lead the process of building a corporate culture of adaptability and innovation, in which the environment is motivating, reliable, and promotes cohesion and a sense of belonging.
In life: offering conditions for everyone to realize their dreams and goals, living in the present and fulfilling their personal purpose in harmony with professional success.