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Three Critical Competencies Needed to Face the New Realities of Work

The world of work is changing like never before. As people learn to navigate this new world, certain skills or competencies have become especially important for both the organization and the individual to succeed.

Here are three critical competencies needed now more than ever:

1. Empathy: recognizes and shares the thoughts and feelings of others.

Why is it important?

This competency is critical for everyone from top to bottom in an organization. As Kris Zilliox (Vice President of Global Institutional Training for Ecolab Inc) notes:

Empathy is not only for leaders. Of course, leaders need to be empathetic now more than ever. We all need to be empathetic towards our colleagues, our customers, and other stakeholders that we work with. Taking the time to check in with people and seek to understand. Ask how you can help because we just don’t know where people are in their journeys. Maybe they are dealing with children at home and having to do two jobs or maybe they are dealing with someone in their family who has become ill. The ability to be empathetic is critical moving forward.

2. Resilience: perseveres and recover quickly when faced with stressful and difficult experiences.

Why is it important?

This competency is a defining feature of many employees’ new reality. As Kim Puchala (Director of Talent Management and Total Rewards for SkipTheDishes) notes:

From a personal and human perspective, resilience is key. We are living in some strange and uncertain times. There is no precedence for this and there certainly is no playbook for how to deal with it. People are working longer days and their days are expanding. There is even a lack of buffer time between meetings. There is no time to reset or grab a coffee or address any of those needs you might have. Resiliency is needed to take a pause and figure out what you need to be successful and then build that into your work as much as possible.

3. Communication: shares and exchanges information with others using a variety of communication formats to create shared meaning and understanding.

Why is it important?

This competency has always been an important one. The increase in remote work and the need for expanded health and safety measures have made this a make-or-break competency. As Jen Langer (Director of Talent Management for Huge) notes:

We are not dealing with one another in person anymore. It’s not easy to share information. It is not happening as easily with casual encounters missing from the workplace. You need to overcommunicate and use multiple methods to share the same messages and to ensure that you are heard.