Google trends show an approximate 25% increase in searches on ‘mindfulness’ over the past 3 years.

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the strongest predictor of performance. It explains 58% of success in all types of jobs.

According to Howard Gardner (multiple intelligences) at Harvard University, the most important and highest paid intelligence is social intelligence. This refers to our ability to negotiate,communicate and persuade.

Yet our ‘soft skills’ are declining globally year after year. Research shows a decrease in empathy, in navigating emotions and inner motivation.

Could this be tied to dramatic increases in stress we see? 75% of employees want a new job, and research studies show that annual productivity losses resulting from poor communication is more than US$26,000 per employee.

What a disconnect! We know how important ‘soft skills’ are to be successful in our lives. And as for all skills, they can be learned and developed. Yet still ‘soft skill’ development is seen as a ‘cost factor’.
Individuals and organisations are reluctant to invest time and money into their biggest asset – themselves. How often do we hear:

“Managers can’t get away from their job for three days.”, “Can we do this online?”, “Aren’t two days enough?”

I think this is due to a fixed mindset telling us that emotional intelligence is some sort of talent and that there are people who are good at it and others who are more task oriented.

This mindset is not only expensive, it is unhealthy and over time probably not sustainable. So, just maybe it’s time to modify our perception and start
treating ‘soft skills’ as any other skill we have – something that needs hard work and dedication and once mastered will reward us beyond our expectation.