The one skill you need no matter where you work

A recent article from McKinsey on the future of work stated that up to 25% more workers than was previously estimated will potentially need to switch occupations in the not-too-distant future.  

Think about it: a significant portion of our current workforce will change careers due to the changing nature of work post pandemic, and a rise in artificial intelligence and machine learning. 

In addition to those who will be forced to consider a new career are those who will choose to – perhaps to find a better work/life balance or to seek out a role with an employer that aligns with their values. 

With all of this predicted change, there will likely be a lot of re-skilling or upskilling required. But there is one highly transferrable soft skill which will be particularly vital for success in a post pandemic era.

The one soft skill you will always need

One soft skill that traverses every job title and industry is smart collaboration. 

Smart collaboration is not just any collaboration, but a way of collaborating that creates stronger team cultures and better business outcomes. 

In a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world, we simply cannot solve problems in isolation. We must learn to draw on the strengths and life experiences of our diverse teams to achieve the level of productivity and innovation organisations will need to remain competitive. 

Think of smart collaboration as the difference between inviting someone to an event versus inviting them to be on the committee that plans the event. When you invite someone to take part after all the decisions have been made, you fail to gain any of their unique insights. But when you invite someone to join the planning discussions, you can draw on their knowledge and experience to make it bigger. better. bolder. 

Put simply, smart collaboration is when you proactively partner with and engage people to achieve an outcome. Mastering this skill will place you heads and shoulders over those who either don’t like to collaborate, or don’t know how to do it effectively. 

Accelerate smart collaboration in your team 

Research shows that people who are skilled in smart collaboration earn more revenue for their employer and experience more personal success.

But how do you learn smart collaboration?

I have had the privilege of working with a thought leader in this arena – Heidi Gardner, a PhD and distinguished fellow at Harvard Law who has devoted her entire career to understanding collaboration and what makes it effective. 

After years of extensive research and testing, Dr Gardner developed the Smart Collaboration Accelerator. 

This unique tool involves a short psychometric self-assessment, which provides valuable insights on your strengths and weaknesses as they relate to collaboration. By understanding your strengths and weaknesses, you can then use them to your advantage during collaborative efforts. When a whole team learns smart collaboration, everyone understands how to relate to each other and work together to achieve success.  

As an accredited provider of the Smart Collaboration Accelerator, it brings me great joy to be able to help individuals and teams in this way and at a time when collaboration matters most. 

To learn more about the Smart Collaboration Accelerator and how it can help your team be more productive and effective, email me at kv@kimvella.com.au

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