Increasing importance is being placed on EI or soft skills – it’s particularly important to L&D professionals to be able to recognize this.  Soft skills enable you to interact well with other people. 

Here are 5 reasons why EI will help you be a better L&D professional:

1. Agility is a new norm

The constant change requires the ability to react and respond quickly and strategically. Being agile requires that people are resilient to the effects of change, are able to manage the personal emotions connected to change and, are able to collaborate effectively while seeing all peoples perspective.

2. Designing for a new age

Personalized Training/User Experience/Design Thinking, these are relatively new terms in the world of L&D. These concepts require the ability to develop experiences that  connect with an individual, no matter who the individual is. This requires a high level of empathy. Design thinking has taken hold as an emerging methodology for instructional design – the first tenet of design thinking is  Empathize – empathy allows design thinkers to set aside their own assumptions about the world in order to gain insight into users and their needs.

3. Coaching and Mentoring

Supporting colleagues in developing new skills and helping them to implement them remains a critical role for L&D, leaders and managers. To grow innovation and agility, L&D professionals need to adopt coaching and mentoring systems within its own function, as well as develop them across the organisation.

4. Increased need to work with Senior Teams and all functions

Organizations must now reskill and upskill employees at a faster rate, deploying learning experiences that quickly close technical and soft skills gaps and prepare everyone — employees and customers alike — for the future.

They need the ability to be able to present and collaborate with different types of teams and have the right conversations to get on track.

5. Building your own personal success

Whether you aspire to become a Chief Learning Officer or want to be the best at your current or future role, you will need to ensure that you have the competencies of Emotional Intelligence: Self-Awareness, Emotional Management and Emotional Connection. Mastering these competencies are essential to career success as they support you in showing up in the right way, listening effectively, negotiating for and requesting what you need and, being someone that everyone wants to work with or, for…or maybe both.

As you continue to sift through your many emails of outlining trends for 2020, remember that while new trends are exciting and leave us waiting for the day our robot assistant will develop our annual plans and meet our objectives, it’s the recurring trends that highlight an ongoing and often unmet need. The importance of truly making soft skills the core of the L&D’s professional skill-set, is one of those trends.

About the author

Sandra Rayner, Vice President Product and Marketing at IHHP. With over 20 years of experience creating and implementing strategies that drive value for the customer, employees and all stakeholders, Sandra is passionate about driving a data driven marketing culture that thrives on innovation, agility and performance. Connect with Sandra on LinkedIn.