85% of job success depends on employees’ soft skills

comparing Cattell's 16 Personality Factors with the Life Skills Framework

According to a joint study by Harvard University, Stanford University, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 85% of job success depends on employees’ soft skills.

Companies generally pay close attention to the relevant soft skills that fit their culture. There is an increasing tendency to ask an applicant in interviews about their communication competence and the desire to innovate.

There's also been work done over almost 100 years that attempts to capture quantitatively how a person's soft skills can be identified and measured.

In 1946, psychologist Raymond Cattell's 16 Personality Factors was published after Cattell spent years analyzing Gordon Allport's 1936 work identifying 4500 personality-describing adjectives which he considered to describe observable behavioral traits.

In 1963, W.T. Norman replicated Cattell’s work and suggested that five factors would be sufficient.

The Life Skills Studio model takes a very different approach to Cattell, Allport, and Norman, though a comparison of the models is an interesting exercise. See image below.

You'd expect there'd be changes given Cattell published his model 80-years ago, and there are, but not drastically so.

At Life Skills Studio our analysis work has focused on measuring whether people consciously apply soft skills whereas Cattell and co. used personality testing that is skewed by finding results based on conscious and subconscious behaviors.

The glaring omission by all three psychologists is to ignore the skill of Writing, which Life Skills Studio considers to be a super-power skill. The Life Skills Studio model has 9 skills.

85% of job success depends on employees’ soft skills by Greg Twemlow

About the Author:

Greg Twemlow is a Sydney-based Social Enterprise Founder | Startup Mentor | CEO | Writer | Speaker | Designer at the Skills Studio

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