The 4 C’s of upskilling in today’s world
If COVID has left you looking for work or looking for new ways to expand your skill set, you are not alone. Over three blog posts, we will be pulling together a few resources to help job hunters and upskillers find the insights and inspiration to pursue career opportunities.
Do not underestimate the importance of being human. While the needs of the current and future labor market demand a mix of 21st century skills, today we are focused on the human side of things, namely the 4 C's: Collaboration, Communication, Critical Thinking and Creativity. We asked four creators who are experts in these skills to help us understand why they are so crucial in the workplace and how viewers can hone them.
Collaboration: Adriana Cubas
Adriana Cubas is a Career Coach and Human Resources professional with a focus on People Training and Development. She is the creator of her eponymous channel, YouTube Brazil's first professional development and empowerment channel.
What is collaboration and why is it so important in today’s working world?
Adriana Cubas: Collaboration consists of making connections between people and areas, creating and implementing ideas and innovations, and of course, teamwork with a focus on contribution, empathy and building good relationships and partnerships. Today, companies are giving great importance and preference to professionals who, in addition to having technical skills, also have behavioral skills--the famous soft skills. Collaboration is essential for the professionals of the future. As the market is changing to a landscape embracing diversity, with cross-functional work in different areas, "being collaborative" becomes an expected basic skill for anyone that wants to succeed in the work environment.
Today, companies are giving great importance and preference to professionals who, in addition to having technical skills, also have behavioral skills--the famous soft skills.”
Adriana Cubas: Focus on developing your soft skills, especially on communication skills, interpersonal relationships and active listening. Don't just be limited to your area and demands, take the initiative to talk to other areas, offer help to contribute to a project with ideas and problem solving suggestions. Build a diverse network where you can connect with different professionals to exchange ideas, interests and knowledge. These attitudes can help you be more collaborative at work in a strategic way that also benefits your professional development.
Communication: Vanessa Van Edwards
Vanessa Van Edwards is teaching people to use psychology and understand human behavior to communicate and succeed.
Why is communication for work important?
Vanessa Van Edwards: Today, more than ever, our work words don't just communicate, they need to motivate. Work words motivate people to adopt our ideas, be more productive, connect, buy our product and build trust. This means we have to be more purposeful with our communication -- since they are being used in email, chat, videos, Slack, websites, Zoom...we are communicating in more ways than ever. So we have to make those words count.
Research has found that even a single powerful word can chemically change an interaction. Even reading the word ‘win’ can make people more motivated.”
Vanessa Van Edwards: Get off autopilot! So much of our work communication has become sterile. We say the bare minimum, send default responses and all of our communication is completely autopilot. Research has found that even a single powerful word can chemically change an interaction. Even reading the word "win" can make people more motivated. So don't say "meeting," say "goal brainstorm." Don't say "weekly update," say "weekly win." Don't say "thanks," say "This was extremely helpful. I'm grateful for you." Wake up your words and people will wake up to you.
Creativity: The Futur
The Futur’s goal is to teach 1 billion people to make a living doing what they love. They teach 21st century skills including design thinking, problem solving, entrepreneurship, strategy, experience design, communication, media, content marketing and design.
What is creativity and why is it important in today’s working world?
The Futur: Creativity is everywhere at work, you just have to look past traditional definitions of what creativity is. Creativity is being brave enough to fail. Creativity is the ability to make connections between two or more disparate ideas. Creativity is seeing into the future what no one else can see. Creativity is the key differentiator of innovative companies.
When creativity is applied to a problem in business, marketing or design, it can have a meaningful impact on the bottom line. Creativity is a competitive advantage for companies who know how to cultivate and empower people to be more curious.
The more we try, the more we fail. The more we fail, the more we learn. The more we learn, the more likely we are to have creative breakthroughs.”
The Futur: In order for creativity to thrive, start with clear objectives and defined metrics for success. Get key stakeholder buy-in. Prototype ideas quickly to avoid sunk-loss bias, get valuable feedback and to spot problems early.
Design a culture that celebrates iterative thinking. The more we try, the more we fail. The more we fail, the more we learn. The more we learn, the more likely we are to have creative breakthroughs.
Cross pollinate. Move creativity out of the design department and integrate with business and marketing units. Get left and right brainers working together. Create a sense of extreme ownership so that everyone works together to solve big problems.
Critical Thinking: Curiosamente
Curiosamente invites curious minds to awaken a sense of wonder that only knowledge can bring. Led by Tonatiuh Moreno, the team shares weekly videos on science and culture, for the pleasure of learning.
What is critical thinking and why is it so important in today’s working world?
Curiosamente: Unlike 30 years ago, information is currently very accessible, to the extent that the difficulty is not so much to find information, but to distinguish between what is reliable and what is biased, partial or misleading. Critical thinking is making conscious use of logic and evidence to distinguish that and be able to incorporate it into knowledge. Having critical thinking will allow us to be more active citizens and act more effectively in the world, not only at work, but also socially. However, critical thinking alone has its limits and it is necessary to complement it with lateral thinking.
Whenever we seem to be very sure of something, question it.”
Curiosamente: In the first place, be very aware that not only others, but ourselves, are very susceptible to falling into logical fallacies and cognitive biases (the "thinking traps") and that it is our "system 1," a concept explained by Daniel Kahneman, and that this system operates thoughtlessly and is the one in charge most of the time. Be aware that the Dunning-Kruger effect applies to all human beings and, whenever we seem to be very sure of something, question it. Realize that, as Edgar Morin says: We sail in an ocean of uncertainties where there are some archipelagos of certainties. Be always suspicious of someone who is too sure.
The 4C’s are an important set of skills to hone, but we know there is so much more to finding and succeeding at work. We’ve seen amazing ways creators around the world have helped their communities adapt to the upskilling challenges of the past year. Keep an eye out for the next blog posts in this series which will continue to bring forth these practical tips.