Let me start with something I read in the GLOBE AND MAIL recently that not only caught my imagination but my curiosity.
“Emotional Intelligence is one of the top 10 skills people will need to thrive in the work force in 2020.” That’s according to the World Economic Forum.
What they’re driving at is what they call hard and soft skills. The hard ones being data analysis and financial management might be the building blocks in business school management, “BUT [my upper case] they’re hardly enough to launch a successful career.”
What the heck are they talking about? I read on. “Soft skills are what distinguish one candidate from the next. Even more important than leaders’ IQ is the EI, or Emotional Intelligence.”
They’re talking about teaching soft skills, in case you missed it, which include confidence, communication and empathy, which they’ll tell you, may be less straightforward than getting students up to speed on Excel or the stock market. “But it’s no less important.”
That’s a mouthful. Something you don’t often hear about is university business programs offering ways to build students’ soft skills. It’s about time.
The Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary is offering an elective adventure leadership course that, at the article says, “subtly hones in on the intangibles. The five-day backpacking outing in the mountains “involves problem-solving and leadership assignments,” along with wilderness and survival training.
According to Sherry Weaver, the associate dean, “They’re learning how to rely on each other, which is something they may not be quite used to.”
Author’s comment: Emotional Intelligence (EI ) takes the high road. That’s good to hear. I think a lot of us who scraped through high school, with just enough marks to be accepted to university, already had that soft touch. You learn fast about adversity and how to handle it