Developing Soft Skills for the Future

In the very near future, machines will replace certain human jobs, so in addition to schoolwork, it’s equally important that students work on their “human skills” in order to stay competitive down the road. If we gaze into the future of work, we will see greater collaboration between humans and machines, which means people have to develop ‘soft’ skills. What are “soft skills?” They can include the ability to quickly be trained on new systems,‘learnability’ to adapt to new demands, cognitive flexibility, creativity, and complex problem-solving.

So what are some easy ways to develop these soft skills?

Communication

Focusing on our listening skills and writing skills will help us in the long run

Flexibility

Meaning keep an open mind to others ideas and feelings

Teamwork

We can learn this in the classroom, with our family or when playing sports. Learning how to work with, and encourage others is an important skill.

Use our Imagination

What if? When watching our favorite movie or reading a book with our parents, discuss the plot and possible outcomes for the main characters. What would YOU do in a similar situation? Being able to use critical thinking skills will help you a long way into the future!

Understanding Differences

To better understand people that experience differences from us, we need to start with empathy. That means, we put aside our own point of view and see things from the other person’s perspective.

Resources for better understanding how to approach these differences and see them as strengths.

PBS put together a great short video series for families, “Limitless, Breaking the Bounds of Disability.”

A helpful guide for parents on how to talk to their kids about disabilities.

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