Category Archives: Job Skills

What are Power Skills? Do I Need Them?

‘Soft Skills’ is a Major Misnomer

Critical thinking, persuasive writing, communications, and teamwork are not fluffy, nice-to-have value-adds. They’re hard-won and rigorously maintained abilities that are better referred to as “power skills.
-Anant Agarwal, Data Reveals Why The ‘Soft’ In ‘Soft Skills’ Is A Major Misnomer

Mark Cuban made a prediction that many people in the technical fields found shocking: in ten years, “a liberal arts degree in philosophy will be worth more than a traditional programming degree,” writes Agarwal in his article for Forbes Magazine. This news was shocking but as he stated in his article it does actually make sense.

To succeed in the near future will require employees and leaders that are capable to think outside of the box and solve problems creatively. The cookie cutter method of doing things is on its way out of the door. Automation will take care of a lot of the easy task. Employees of the future will need high levels of social and emotional intelligence to go along with their critical thinking and communication skills. The reason why social and emotional training is so important is that millennials and the next generation will continue to flood the job marketplace, and ‘old school’ managers will need to adapt to their needs.

The term ‘Soft Skills’ really is a misnomer because the people that have these so-called ‘Soft Skills’ have to be strong mentally to deal with the ever-changing attitudes of those that don’t have those same skills. I agree with Agarwal that the term soft skills should be changed to “Power Skills.” In order for this to be accomplished will also require a mindset shift. We have to start the process of looking at “Power Skills” as skills that require power to perform them at a high rate. These skills must be put at the top of our training sessions and asked about thoroughly in interviews. These are the skills that must be invested in financially because we find value in what they will bring to our teams and organizations.

Agarwal also shared the results of a Google study, he wrote, “Last year, Google announced the findings from an internal study…they found that their best teams weren’t the ones full of top scientists. Instead, their highest performing teams were interdisciplinary groups that benefited heavily from employees who brought strong soft skills to the collaborative process. Further research revealed that important predictors of success within Google were skills like good communication, insights about others, and empathetic leadership.” Today is the day to invest in your future and your organization or be left behind!

Read More: Data Reveals Why The ‘Soft’ In ‘Soft Skills’ Is A Major Misnomer

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Can Asking Questions Help You Become a Better Innovator?

Question Everything

Innovation means change, so we have to learn that our students need more than the skills needed to pass the state assessments given every spring. We have to give them tools that will make them productive in their future careers.
-Kimberly, Innovation in Education: What Does it Mean, What Does it Look Like?

Albert Einstein said, “if I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask…for once I know the proper question to ask, I could solve the problem in less than 5 minutes.” I love this quote because I love questions. I am not talking about simple questions that can be googled or can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.” I am talking about questions that require you to analyze a situation, mentally test all outcomes in your mind or questions that leave you with more questions after you have discussed and debated the topic with your peers. Continue reading Can Asking Questions Help You Become a Better Innovator?

Can Humanity & Robots Build the Future Together?

The Robots Need Our Help

“The future world would be one where the focus will be on collaboration and one where AI will become the “chief of staff” allowing societies an equal access of technology and therefore flexible models of working. “
-Stuart Templeton, The Future is Exciting

I have some GREAT news to share! The robots and A.I. aren’t planning to take our jobs. Recent studies and reports are stating that our technological advancements will actually create more jobs, and the robots need our help to complete their task. Stuart Templeton, the head of Slack UK, said, “the future would be one where the future is focused on collaboration and one where AI will become the ‘chief of staff.” Continue reading Can Humanity & Robots Build the Future Together?

Stop Trying to Find Your Passion

Develop Your Passion

We need to carefully consider what we communicate to people about interests and passionsParents, teachers, and employers might get the most out of people if they suggest that interests are developed, not simply found.”

-Paul O’Keefe, Yale Psychologist
Before reading Ephrat Levni’s article, “Find Your Passion” is bad advice“, I would always tell my students to “get out there and find your passion, and your destiny awaits you!” I would speak these words with such conviction because this is what I was always told.

Levni’s article was truly an eye-opener. The article suggests that we have to STOP telling our co-workers, students, and even family members to stop seeking their passion and we need to start telling them to DEVELOP their passion.

This is really good advice because as Levni described in the article, your passion isn’t sitting there waiting for you and all the questions to life will be answered once you find it. No, Levni says that you pick your passion and develop it to the best of your ability and keep working at it.

I challenge all of you to STOP trying to find your passion and telling others to do so. Today is the day we tell others (and ourselves) to DEVELOP your passion because this will put you in the driver’s seat and in control of where your future is headed. Click here to enroll in our online training course or here to schedule a LIVE Training for your team so we can work together to DEVELOP your passion.

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Will Your Skills Be Needed in the Future?

Will You Matter in 2030?

Demand for higher cognitive skills such as creativity, critical thinking and decision making, and complex information processing, will grow through 2030 at cumulative double-digit rates.”
-Adam Jezard, The World Economic Forum

I know that 2030 is a long time from now, but it is never too early to start planning for the future. If you have been following iMar Learning Solutions then you already know that 2020 is the year that the way we “work” is scheduled to be impacted the most. A lot of reports originally reported doom and gloom, and there is some truth to that. Here is a list of the Top 20 Jobs that will be eliminated by 2020.

New reports are actually stating that A.I. will create more new jobs than they eliminate, and that is GREAT news. But, do you have the correct skills to land one of these new A.I. created jobs? Skills like creativity, social and emotional intelligence, and creative problem solving will be more important than ever because we need leaders that can navigate the new landscape and lead their respective teams to the promised land. Oliver Cann, Director of Public Engagement for The World Economic Forum, said, “A clear majority of businesses believe that investing in skills, rather than hiring more short-term or virtual workers, is the key to successfully managing disruptions to the labour market for the long term.” Don’t forget to check out the article below to learn more about what you skills you will need to succeed in 2030.

Read More: The 3 Key Skill Sets for the Workers of 2030

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EQ is the New IQ

“Emotional hijacks aren’t pleasant, but they’re inevitable. The question is: What are you going to do with them? With the right strategy, you can make them work for you, instead of against you.
-Justin Bariso, EQ Applied

In order to stay employed in today’s workplace, you must understand your level of emotional intelligence. Justin Bariso in his book EQ Applied defines emotional intelligence as,  “the ability to make emotions work for you, instead of against you.” If you have a high level of emotional ability you will be valued as an employee and leader in your organization and this will help increase your likelihood of being considered for promotions and special projects.

Harvey Deutschendorf of Fast Company said, “once someone gets promoted, technical skills become less necessary, and interpersonal ones become more critical in their workplace.” Emotional Intelligence is one of the most important factors that employers use to decide if they will hire or promote you, and that is why iMar Learning Solutions is here to help you improve in this area by focusing on leadership development, creative problem solving, analytical thinking, collaboration, and emotional intelligence.

Enroll in iMar Learning Solutions’ Critical Thinking Academy Today for only $19.99

Are you an Effective Leader?

Leaders are Made Not Born

Effective leadership can be thought of as a set of qualities and skills. Different leaders may have different makeups, different strengths, and challenges. But there are certain traits that lie at the core of leadership–the qualities that all great leaders share.” -Lolly Daskal

Effective leadership is a skill that can be developed over time. Lolly Daskal shares the 16 traits that are essential to great leaders. I suggest that you use this list to help inform you of your current level of leadership ability, and take a second to pat yourself on the back for the areas that you are excelling at, and also look at your weakest areas and let iMar help you to put together a plan to help you become the effective leader that you were born to be.

Read Daskals article here: Everything You Need to Know About Great Leadership

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Can Business and Education Close the Skills Gap Together?

Closing the Gap Together

Despite U.S. high school graduation rates reaching all-time highs, many employers are finding that recent graduates are unprepared to succeed in the workforce because they lack foundational “soft skills.” While technical skills are often industry-specific, soft skills such as professional communication, critical thinking, collaboration, and time management are valued by employers across sectors.” -U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation recently published a report on why the business and education sector must work together to close the soft skills gap. These two sectors working together seems like one of those solutions that is almost so obvious we could have almost missed it. iMar is working daily to seek out partners so that we can bring our soft skills training to the people that need it most. We focus on the “Big 6” of critical thinking: Leadership, Creative Problem Solving, Analytical Thinking, Collaboration, Social & Emotional Intelligence, and Communication, because as the report mentions these are the skills that employers want that are rare to find.

Click Here to Download the Full Report

D. Wesley-IMar Learning Solutions

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Does Your Work Follow You Wherever You Go?

The Future is Here

People are using technology like voice-activated apps and smartphone calendars to enhance their everyday lives and that is also translating to their work,” Cotton says. “As employers, we have to embrace that — how do we give people the opportunity to work from anywhere while still being productive?” writes Pooneh Ghana for WIRED magazine.
Our jobs are no longer constrained to just the brick and mortar office of yesterday. Our office is now online, we meet in chat rooms for meetings, we share project duties through resources like ASANA, and the ability to manage all of this can become a nightmare. Preparation and updating your skills will be the key to success for the future of the workplace, and iMar is here with you every step of the way.

Click to read Pooneh Ghana’s full article for WIRED magazine.

Alanna Cotton (right), senior vice president and general manager at Samsung Electronics America, speaks about the future of work with Jason Tanz(left), Wired magazine site director, at the SXSW Conference in Austin, TX. (Credit: Pooneh Ghana)

D. Wesley-IMar Learning Solutions

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Click Here to Enroll in IMAR’s Critical Thinking Academy

Traditional College or Career Training…or Combine the Two?

How Do We Reskill America?

Katherine Newman, author of Reskilling America: How Technical Education Can Transform Our Society, said, “Students from working-class and poor communities need options that traditional forms of higher education may not provide, and they need them now, not thirty or forty years hence, when their working lives are in the rearview mirror.

I completely agree with Katherine, and something has to be done to help those students gain the skills they need to be successful in and after high school. Yes, the jobs that your father and grandfather had in the manufacturing warehouse may not be available anymore, but new opportunities are becoming available every day.

The Impact of Technology

Technology and automation are changing the skills that are needed to do certain jobs. Adult workers today have to make sure they are monitoring how their job might change due to updated technology and adapt their skills so they are not left behind. iMar Learning Solutions provides the soft-skills that will help you grow and be successful on the job, but you still need the hard skills that schools like Essex Technical Skills High School provide to its students.

Click Below to read Emily Richmond’s article for PBS News Hour