Future skills is a topic I often talk about at schools and universities. I completely believe in focusing on these future skills to be able to find a job in every business out there. Forget technical skills, focus on the soft ones.
4 Future Skills
Whenever I read about future skills it’s always about the same few things. I believe that what we need to be good at in the future are:
- critical thinking,
- complex problem solving,
- creativity, and
Have you taken classes recently to learn one of these things or do you usually focus on improving your technical skills? Here are some small exercises to improve these skills:
Exercise to Learn Critical Thinking
First and foremost it’s most important to be critical with YOUR OWN WAY OF THINKING. Whenever you’re convinced you are right about things just question your opinion. Ask yourself: how convinced am I that I’m right? If it’s 90% just ask yourself why it’s not 100%. By realizing that you might be wrong (or better that you are actually wrong pretty often), you can learn to accept that others might be right as well.
Be Better at Solving Complex Problems
The simplest way to improve your way of solving complex problems is never to start with just one solution. Gather as many crazy alternatives as possible, learn that your first idea isn’t usually the best one. Force yourself to create more solutions for the complex problem you’re trying to solve. Ask others. Remember:
“If you want to have a great idea, you need many ideas”
Be More Creative
Here’s my recommendation for people who believe they are not creative. Creativity is simply the ability to produce ideas for a given question. If you can sketch things you’re producing new ideas (=creativity) if you can create ideas on how to solve difficult problems you ARE creative.
Exercise: spend the next days answering these questions:
- What 10 countries do I want to see in my life?
- What are 10 of my favorite cities?
- What are my 10 favorite songs?
- What are my 10 favorite movies?
- What 10 things do I want to learn in my life?
- What 10 things can improve my living room?
- 10 ideas on how to have a fantastic, happy day.
The first 3 ideas will be easy, the last 7 will always be difficult! Force yourself to find 10 answers. You’ll realize it’ll become easier with every day. You’ll become a creativity machine pretty quickly.
How would you define empathy? The simplest definition I’ve found so far is:
Empathy is the ability to understand how someone else feels
So here’s my exercise for you in this area. Whenever you talk to someone else try to understand how they actually feel, observe their body language, facial expressions, listen closely to their words, ask deeper questions. Just try to understand how they *really* feel. This will often change how you perceive them (she’s always so aggressive vs she’s just feeling stressed).
How are your skills in these four areas?
How do you try to improve there?
PS: I’ll be in running workshops with customers in Tel Aviv in the next few days just because the customers there liked so much the way how I ask deep questions. As I said: focus on these 4 skills :)