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Skills that guard against you being replaced by a Robot!

10 uniquely human skills that can secure you professionally

In the report called “The Future of Jobs”, The World Economic Forum identified 10 uniquely human skills, workers will need to acquire by 2020 or they might find their jobs replaced by automation. There is an article on wired.com that said that 200 years ago, almost 70% of the American Workforce lived on farms. Today apparently, only 1% of the jobs are for humans and the rest is done by machines.

The replacement of humans with robots might have closed some job opportunities but also opened new doors with new jobs in different fields in the workplace. But how sure are you that you possess the correct set of skills to remain secure professionally? Previously robots could only do what humans programmed them to do. However, robots are being constantly developed and improved to become ‘smart bots’. Think of your smartphone and what it can do. There is a lot of artificial intelligence all around us.

Robot replacement is just a matter of time. So be human and evolve. The developments will change how we live and work. Yes, jobs will disappear, but other jobs will evolve and as yet unimagined jobs will be created. Make sure you align your skills set, and acquire the following uniquely human skills that no robot can possess:

1.     Complex Problem Solving

During “The Future of Jobs” report, they surveyed executives from more than 350 employers across 9 industries in 15 of the largest economies worldwide. The first core skill that they identified was not problem-solving, but COMPLEX problem-solving. Every problem has a solution; it’s a question of accepting the problem, gaining the required knowledge and then to come up with creative, out-of-the-box solutions that offer win-win scenarios for all parties involved. The clever and timeous execution of the solution and the feedback surrounding it is vital.

2.     Critical Thinking

According to the World Economic Forum, Critical Thinking is rated as the second most important skill you will need in 2020. Change won’t wait for us. According to Leandro Herrero, Architect of Organizations, speaker, author and consultant, critical thinking is the ability to truly slow down, stop and super-analyse. He says it’s “about the discipline of questioning and avoiding mental traps that we all have.” If you master this, you might actually speed up other processes.

3.     Creativity

The skill of creativity jumped from being last on the World Economic Forum Top 10 Skills list of 2015 to featuring in the top 3 in the 2020 list. Why is creativity such an important skill? It is a skill that machines don’t have. Who came up with the idea of robots in the first place? Who thought of improvements and designs? Yes, humans. Creativity doesn’t only mean the designs etc. but in business means coming up with creative methods of approaching change, diversity as well as problem-solving.

4.     People Management

Employees will definitely not totally fall away in the future. Although jobs will change, employees will remain any company’s most valued resource. Number 4 on the 2020 list is People Management. People brainstorm and work in teams. They come up with ideas and those people and ideas need to be managed and steered towards fulfilling the strategy of the company. However, humans get stressed and demotivated. Part of people management involves motivating, inspiring and leading teams within the constraint of budget and time.

5.     Coordinating with others

You can’t teach a robot social skills. The WEF (World Economic Forum) states that non-routine interaction is a vital advantage people have over robots. You cannot program a bot to respond intelligently to other people’s way of thinking and be aware of strengths and weaknesses in other people. When coordinating with others, you have to be able to collaborate in teams and work together using strong communication skills.

6.     Emotional intelligence

This is a subject that constantly sparks interest. Although number 6 on the list, this is a growing area of study. This skill is required in all work aspects, companies and job titles. Emotional intelligence is how you work with your human emotions to relate better to people and situations. It is a skill that directly influences how we manage people, solve problems, deal with change and manage behaviors and motivate. An emotional intelligent manager knows his/her own emotional state and knows how to best work with it but is also tuned into his/her employees’ emotions.

7.     Judgment and Decision Making

Robots can’t judge situations or make sound strategic decisions that will benefit the end goal of the company. This skill needs to mature so that by 2020 you should be more comfortable sifting through and understanding data. Embrace the technology that is provided to collect all the data and then learn to analyze it. Numbers and insights into your audience will help you make better decision to take your company to the next level.

8.     Service Orientation

It’s no longer about receiving good or bad service; it’s about the experience while you receive the service. Skills in service will become more aimed at adding value. Figuring out how to provide assistance and give advice. By improving your skills in service orientation, you improve your ability to predict the future needs of clients. Develop the skill of how to tap into the minds of the consumer, not only what their needs are but also what their desires and fears are.

9.     Negotiation

Social skills are imperative to staying on top of your game in future. Humans are better at negotiating because they can relate to the emotional state and judge a situation. People with interpersonal skills who can negotiate with either clients or fellow colleagues will be in demand as they will be able to motivate and manage teams and projects more effectively.

10. Cognitive Flexibility

Wikipedia.org defines Cognitive Flexibility as the mental ability to switch between thinking about multiple concepts simultaneously. It’s about how easy and fast you can change in between skills in any given situation or even how you manage multiple situations. But how do you develop this skill? Stimulating your brain. You need to learn new ways of thinking in order to see the similarities and differences in various ideas. You form patterns in your mind and this allows you to analyze and be creative all at once. Welcome challenging encounters and people who challenge you.

These top skills will assist to set you apart and secure you professionally. It makes the issue of implementing constant training on soft skills so much more pressing. The Mindspa should be your first choice when it comes to choosing a soft skills training partner. We stay at the top of trends and do constant research on various skill sets. It makes sense to go with someone who knows and who will tailor course material to suit the unique South African reality.