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5 valuable skills of the future and free courses to master them now

Amid growing geopolitical fears, record unemployment and the rapid development of technology, it is more important than ever for working professionals to stay at their peak. CNBC.

Photo: Shutterstock

Futurist Scott Steinberg has helped over 1000 organizations adapt to change and uncertainty. He found that while immediate professional skills remain important, there are five promising (and often overlooked) personal skills that are critical to staying relevant and ready to work.

Here are the skills Scott recommends mastering by 2021, as well as free online courses to help you develop them:

1. Futuristic thinking

Futuristic thinking is the ability to predict future events and trends and how they might affect your industry and professional development.

Although very few people have developed this skill, it is important to note that futuristic thinking does not require a PhD. At least when it comes to being aware of potential changes and practicing lateral thinking.

Recommended free course: “Ready, attention, future! Introduction to Futuristic Thinking "

Steinberg says course attendees will get a futuristic look at the potential long-term changes, challenges, and opportunities that the pandemic is likely to present in more than a dozen areas and industries, including education, healthcare, finance, retail, and energy.

2. Bold leadership

Even if you are not a leader, developing leadership skills is more important than ever. Research shows that people with leadership qualities are more likely to be promoted, promoted, or selected for additional responsibilities.

It is important to note that leadership skills are not only about team management. It's about the courage to do the following:

  • Step outside your comfort zone to take on new roles that will expand your experience
  • being honest, telling others what they need to hear, not what each of them would like;
  • take action when needed and cut losses when the need arises.

Recommended free course: "What Great Leaders Do"

In this lecture, Stanford professor Bob Sutton reveals the best habits of effective managers and details the worst habits of those who have failed to manage people.

On the subject: 2020 is in bloom: experts say the future will only get worse

3. Emotional intelligence

With the advent of artificial intelligence and machine learning, the ability to recognize, understand and manage emotions, not only your own, but also of other people, has become one of the basic skills that are valuable for an employer.

Strong emotional intelligence skills enable us to understand and interact with our feelings in ways that build quality relationships and make effective decisions.

Recommended free course: "Develop your emotional intelligence"

Taking one online course won't make you an emotional intelligence expert overnight; it takes patience, practice and consistency. But this introductory program, which explores the components of emotional intelligence and how they can be applied at work, is a great place to start.

4. Interpersonal communication

In a world where communication mostly takes place on digital platforms like Slack or Zoom, being able to speak clearly and interact with others is key to maintaining interpersonal relationships, successfully solving problems and managing negotiations.

Keep in mind that this skill is related not only to what you say or write to each other, but also to your listening skills.

Recommended course: "Improving communication skills"

Taught by award-winning Professor Maurice Schweitzer, the course develops key communication skills such as developing trust, belief, formulating thoughtful questions, and choosing the right format and place to communicate.

On the subject: Work of the future: what professions will be in demand in the next decade

5. Cognitive flexibility

Employers will soon place more emphasis on cognitive skills such as creativity and adaptability, according to a World Economic Forum report that looks at the future of jobs in nine different industries in the world's 15 largest economies.

If you have cognitive flexibility, you will receive energy from change, quickly and easily adapt to new things. You will enjoy trying and learning new things and will be able to look at multiple concepts at the same time.

Recommended course: "Introduction to Cognitive Psychology: An Experimental Science"

Knowledge cannot be fully assimilated if information is presented out of context. The course of exercises is designed not only to understand the concept, but also to apply it in other settings.

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