So, you know, I’m not just here in Phoenix for fry bread and hot baths…I’m here for work, so allow me to share something I (re)learned today:
The top five skills that Fortune 500 companies are looking for in employees are as follows:
- Interpersonal Skills
- Oral Communication
These are all soft skills, and as I tell my students, hard skills may get you hired, but it’s the soft skills that will allow you to keep your job and to receive promotions, move up in a company. And in a tough economy like ours now, demonstrating effective soft skills in an interview can give you a leg up on the guy(s) who have the same degree, skills, and/or experience.
For years, I’ve been teaching them that teamwork is the number one skills employers look for, and then I’ve worked to help students learn to work more effectively in teams. This is one of those things that is easier said than done. Students HATE teamwork. And I get it. They’ve had bad experiences. Plus, as I’ve noted before, our society overvalues independence at the expense of interdependence. This is why when I have students create Success Teams (and I never have students do group projects without having first done the prep work by creating the teams), I require contracts…and why firing someone from your team is always an allowable consequence for breaking those contracts (as long as the rules and consequences are clearly outlined).
Learning to work well in teams and to successfully communicate to resolve conflict and solve problems is something I stress to my COL 103/105 students–because (see above list!) it really is a key to success in college and life.