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Top 5 most in-demand soft skills you need to grow in 2021

Looking to develop your soft skills? Read on to discover the Top 5 most in-demand soft skills you need to grow in 2021.

Professional growth and career advancement hinge on the employee’s desire and ability to learn new things.

Whether you are looking to specialize in your field which means you’d want to go deep, or you are looking to diversify which implies going left and right (learn more about the T-shaped marketer), learning never stops. And it shouldn’t, rightfully so.

Over the past few years, LinkedIn, the 722-million member professional social platform, has been curating a list of the most in-demand soft and hard skills employers are looking for.

Here is LinkedIn’s list for the most in-demand soft and hard skills 2020.

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What are the Top 5 soft skills companies look for in their employees and new hires in 2020?

  1. Creativity
  2. Persuasion
  3. Collaboration
  4. Adaptability
  5. Emotional intelligence

Let’s talk about each of them.

1. CREATIVITY

Creativity is now the #1 soft skill companies are looking for three years in a row.

Why is creativity in such high-demand?

Listen to creativity expert and BRAND MINDS speaker Denise Jacobs:

Can creativity be taught or is it an inherent trait?

I believe one of the most creative organizations in the world today is NASA. Going into space requires finding solutions to unique problems and even unknown situations. That certainly pushes the brightest minds at NASA to come up with creative and out-of-the-box solutions.

In the 1960s, NASA reached out to Dr George Land, a creative performance researcher and enrolled his expertise in devising a creativity test to help with the selection for innovative engineers and scientists. Dr Land accepted the challenge and devised a creativity assessment that worked very well.

Inspired by the results and curious to know more about where creativity comes from, Dr Land conducted a research study to test the creativity of 1,600 children ranging in ages from 3 to 5 years old. He re-tested the same children at 10 years of age, and again at 15 years of age. And then he extended the testing pool to include 1 million adults.

What exactly did Dr Land test for?

He tested for the ability to look at a problem and come up with new, different and innovative ideas.

Here are the results:

5-year-olds: 98% imaginative
10-year-olds: 30% imaginative
15-year-olds: 12% imaginative
31-year-olds: 2% imaginative

That’s quite a shock, isn’t it?

We are the most creative in our childhood and we lose our creativity growing up.

What is the reason?

Dr Land gave the following explanation in his book, Breaking point and beyond:

What we have concluded is that non-creative behaviour is learned.

Is there something we can do about it?

In his 2016 Tedx Talk, Dr Land says there is a way to undo this process.

Let’s hear from Dr Land (08:37):

First of all, we need to think about creativity beyond artistic abilities.

Artists are not the only creative people.

Professionals in every industry have the ability to be creative. Because in the workplace, being creative means looking at a problem from a different viewpoint and coming up with a fresh solution, as Dr Land explained a few years ago.

It’s not about waiting to be inspired; it’s about thinking creatively.

According to Martin Lindstrom, brand expert and BRAND MINDS speaker, the first step towards creativity is taking time off from your smartphone, observing the people around you and essentially allowing yourself to be present.

2. PERSUASION

In business communication, persuasion is the process of presenting arguments to move, motivate, or change your audience.

Persuasion is one of the most important skills that a leader needs. He has the vision and he sets the goal; he needs to move and motivate his employees to fulfil the vision and meet the goal.

It’s the leader who tells his colleagues Come with me and let’s accomplish the mission together. This is the authoritative leader who provides employees with inspiration, motivation, empowerment and a sense of accomplishment.

Or the visionary leader whose motto is Embrace my vision. This type of leadership is called visionary leadership. The visionary leader must hone his persuasion skills to inspire and motivate people to pursue a long-term vision. Learn more about leadership styles: 12 Leadership Styles for Successful Leaders (complete list) with Pros & Cons.

Persuasion skills are necessary for sales and marketing as well. With a 30-year career researching the science of influence, Dr Robert Cialdini is the world’s most renowned persuasion expert and a BRAND MINDS speaker.

His Theory of Influence is based on seven key principles:

  • Reciprocity,
  • Commitment and consistency,
  • Social proof,
  • Authority,
  • Liking,
  • Scarcity,
  • Unity.

Brands build on them to increase brand awareness and sales. Dr Cialdini’s latest insights on persuasion are in his 2016 book Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade.

3. COLLABORATION

We are living and working in a fast-paced environment.

Startups with a handful of employees that work as one are able to move quickly and more efficiently. Corporations with thousands of employees are slow and bureaucratic.

There are many examples of hundred-year-old brands outcompeted by new entrants on the market.

That’s where agility comes into play as a way of organizational transformation with one goal: adapt.

Want to learn more about agility? Read 22 benefits of the agile organization.

For an organization to become agile, its employees must form small teams. Every team member is expected to collaborate with each other. And that’s more difficult than you might think.

To meet the set goals, team members must learn to listen to each other, be supportive, be generous, learn to communicate clearly and openly, share knowledge and information, refrain from judgement, reject bias, debate and adapt.

The team leader must also be an example of effective communication and collaboration.

4. ADAPTABILITY

At the time of writing, the world has been fighting to end the COVID-19 pandemic for almost a year.

Our private and professional lives have been profoundly affected.

Many businesses are fighting to survive while others have already closed their doors. Adaptability has never been more important.

Why are companies looking for employees with a high ability to adapt?

Because these employees are a great asset to the company.

Highly-adaptable employees are:

  • Willing to experiment;
  • Undeterred by failure;
  • Use the failure as an opportunity to learn;
  • Resourceful;
  • Keep an open mind;
  • Have a growth mindset.

5. EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

Emotional intelligence is a new entry in LinkedIn’s Top 5 most in-demand skills of 2020.

Why are companies looking for emotional intelligent employees?

Let’s first find out what is emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive, evaluate, and respond to your own emotions and the emotions of others. It’s the skill that facilitates and nurtures the other four.

Daniel Goleman, one of the world’s leading psychologists and BRAND MINDS speaker, introduced the concept of EQ or emotional intelligence in his 1995 bestseller, Emotional Intelligence.

According to Daniel Goleman, there are 5 key elements of emotional intelligence:

  • Self-awareness;
  • Self-regulation;
  • Motivation;
  • Empathy;
  • Social skills.

Employees with high EQ collaborate better, are more adaptable, use persuasion for the right reasons, are motivated and able to motivate others.

The workplace benefits from increased engagement and the business are more likely to find creative ways to stay ahead of the competition.

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BRAND MINDS 2019: What You’ve Missed

BRAND MINDS 2019 has just ended and it was an amazing event!

Our 7th edition of BRAND MINDS filled Sala Palatului to capacity: 4200 people breathing in unison.

They were entrepreneurs, CEOs, middle managers, salespersons, trainers, marketers etc – World-Changers each and every one of them!

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If you didn’t attend our conference this year,

here’s what you’ve missed:

  • One full-day of intensive business strategy training;
  • A live experience like you’ve never seen before;
  • Learning how to take your business to the next level;
  • Opportunity for high-level networking through the BRAND MINDS app;
  • Making new connections;
  • Laughs, good food and great energy on and off the stage;
  • A life-changing experience overall.
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18 Insightful Takeaways from BRAND MINDS 2019

Each and every one of our speakers has delivered amazing keynotes pack-full with actionable insights, inspiration and tips & trick to advance your business, your career and personal development.

Here are a few of the most insightful takeaways from BRAND MINDS 2019:

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ROBERT CIALDINI @ BRAND MINDS 2019
The Power of Persuasion

  1. People want more of those things they can have less of;
  2. If you mention a weakness in your speech, people will find you trustworthy;
  3. Pre-suasion is the practice of getting people sympathetic to your message before they experience it.
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GRANT CARDONE @ BRAND MINDS 2019
High Performance in Sales

  1. Branding should come before advertising;
  2. Wherever your attention goes is where your money goes;
  3. People buy from people they know. Not people they trust.
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DENISE JACOBS @ BRAND MINDS 2019

Banish Your Inner Critic: Transform Self-Talk To Elevate Performance

  1. Our brains are actually one of the biggest untapped resources on the planet;
  2. The inner critic is actually a protective mechanism;
  3. Creativity feels a lot like magic, but it isn’t.
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HITENDRA WADHWA @ BRAND MINDS 2019
Inner Mastery. Outer Impact.

  1. The more you operate from your inner core, the more you create the conditions for outer impact;
  2. To be true to yourself, you should be able to freely express yourself: thoughts, feelings, values, personality, desire;
  3. Commit yourself to a journey of continual learning and growth – to awaken to your true self.
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GUY KAWASAKI @ BRAND MINDS 2019
The Art of Innovation

  1. Great products and great people polarize people;
  2. Changing your mind is a sign of strength and cleverness;
  3. Innovation is a process. Not an event.
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YUVAL NOAH HARARI @ BRAND MINDS 2019
The End of Homo Sapiens: When do humans cease being human?

  1. Many people confuse the brain with the mind;
  2. It’s easier to manipulate a system than to understand it;
  3. In the future, your mobile phone can be incorporated into your body with functions as analyzing your emotions, feelings, your state of the body. We will operate with 2 brains, your current one plus the bionic brain.
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Goodbye BRAND MINDS 2019 – Hello BRAND MINDS 2020

For the past four editions, our conference has been sold out 3 months in advance leaving many people joining the waiting list in the hope that someone will not be able to attend the event and relinquish their ticket.

To make sure we meet the ever-growing demand for tickets to our conference, we changed the location and date of BRAND MINDS 2020.

BRAND MINDS 2020
Date: 4th of May
Location: Romexpo
Participants expected: +6000

BRAND MINDS 2020 – Confirmed Speakers

Malcolm Gladwell – World’s Top Journalist
Martin Lindstrom – World’s Top Marketing Expert
Michio Kaku – World’s Top Scientist

More Guest Star Speakers to be announced soon!

In the following months, we will update our speakers’ lineup so follow our social media accounts (Facebook, LinkedInYouTube, Instagram, Twitter) to be the first to know!

Join us in our mission of Uniting the Business World and enjoy a life-changing business experience!

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Dr. Robert Cialdini at BRAND MINDS

Dr Robert Cialdini is the world’s most renowned persuasion expert and he was a speaker at BRAND MINDS 2019.

BRAND MINDS is The Central and European Business Summit taking place in Bucharest, Romania.

He is one of the #worldchangers we look up to and admire: his work in the science of influence has led to improvements in many fields such as sales, design, online marketing, business, psychology etc.

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Award-winning psychologist

Dr Cialdini received his PhD from the University of North Carolina and post doctoral training from Columbia University. He has held different talks at the Graduate School of Business of Stanford University, the Ohio State University, the University of California and the Annenberg School of Communications.
He was a visiting professor of marketing, business and psychology at Stanford University.
Currently, Dr Cialdini is Regents’ Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University.

Over the course of his career, he received numerous awards for his extended work on influence:

  • Distinguished Member Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Psychology from Psi Chi: The National Honors Society in Psychology (2006);
  • Distinguished Service to the Discipline of Personality and Social Psychology from the Society of Personality and Social Psychology (2008);
  • Distinguished Scientist Award of the Society of Experimental Social Psychology (2009);
  • Western Psychological Association Lifetime Achievement Award (2016).

Get in the habit of helping people out, and don’t wave it away and say, “Oh, no big deal.” We have serious persuasive power immediately after someone thanks us.

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Best-selling author  

He is the author of Influence: Science & Practice and Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, which has been sold in over 3 million copies and has been published in 30 languages. His books are listed on the New York Times’ Best Seller list, Fortune’s 75 Smartest Business Books list and USA Today’s 12 Best Business Books of All Time.

His co-authored book, Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to be Persuasive has been on the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal’s Best Seller Lists.

His latest insights on persuasion are in his 2016 book Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade.

People seem to be more motivated by the thought of losing something than by the thought of gaining something of equal value.

Founder of Influence at Work (IAW)

Dr Cialdini founded Influence at Work, his professional resource to improve organisational and personal performance by understanding and using the psychology of influence. IAW offers interactive training and a certification program; it also provides its clients with strategies that drive business success.

He worked with 1st tier companies

Dr. Cialdini’s clients include such organizations as Google, Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Bayer, Coca Cola, KPMG, AstraZeneca, Ericsson, Kodak, Merrill Lynch, Nationwide Insurance, Pfizer, AAA, Northern Trust, IBM, Prudential, The Mayo Clinic, GlaxoSmithKline, Kimberly-Clark, Harvard University – Kennedy School, The Weather Channel, the United States Department of Justice, and NATO.

Robert Cialdini on the stage at BRAND MINDS

Also known as The Godfather of Influence, Dr Cialdini is the most cited living social psychologist in the world.

Robert Cialdini is the Benjamin Franklin of research on influence–a keen observer of human nature, great writer, minter of pithy phrases, and clever experimenter who’s able to capture lightning in a jar.

Chip Heath

Professor, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Author of Made to Stick

Cialdini’s Theory of Influence

Cialdini’s theory of influence is based on seven key principles: reciprocity, commitment and consistency, social proof, authority, liking, scarcity, unity.

Let’s take a closer look at the principles that guide human behaviour:

  1. Reciprocity: If you give people something — a free sample, an invitation, a pleasant experience, useful information, etc. — they will feel obligated to give you something in return;
  2. Commitment and consistency: People like to be consistent with the things they have previously said or done;
  3. Liking: People prefer to say yes to those that they like;
  4. Scarcity: We want more of things that are less of;
  5. Authority: People will follow credible knowledgeable experts;
  6. Social proof: People will look to the actions of others to determine their own;
  7. Unity: People identify themselves with others.

Looking to upgrade your persuasion strategy?

Learn the secret science of viral ideas from Viral Marketing Expert Jonah Berger at BRAND MINDS 2022!

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