Top 10 skills needed in the workplace by 2020

Written by: Avril Kidd
This research and skills list was compiled by The World Economic Forum. EQ has been placed 6th. It's interesting that EQ along with Cognitive Flexibility are the only 2 new skills that have made it to the Top 10 list for 2020.


I personally think EQ should be at the number 1 spot because if you look at the top 5 mentioned, all of these skills are components of EQ and form part of our Six Seconds KCG model and Brian Talents – You take a look and decide for yourself.

Top 10 skills needed in the workplace

In 2020

  1. Complex Problem Solving
  2. Critical Thinking
  3. Creativity
  4. People Management
  5. Coordinating with Others
  6. Emotional Intelligence
  7. Judgment & Decision Making
  8. Service Orientation
  9. Negotiation
  10. Cognitive Flexibility

In 2015

  1. Complex Problem Solving
  2. Coordinating with Others
  3. People Management
  4. Critical Thinking
  5. Negotiation
  6. Quality Control
  7. Service Orientation
  8. Judgment & Decision Making
  9. Active Listening
  10. Creativity

Quite thought provoking isn’t it? I believe we cannot deny the fact that emotions are at the core of everything we do and now is the time to ensure we enhance our EQ skills if we wish to strive in the workplace in the future as ultimately “emotions drive people and people drive performance”.

Linking nicely to the skills list mentioned above are our very own 18 brain talents or powerful capabilities perceived as key skills for creating a positive change. Grounded in research around EQ, these capabilities are essential to flourish in complex times – at work, in school and in life. These are all learnable and can therefore be strengthened. They are grouped together into the three areas of Focus, Decisions and Drive. Have a look to see which ones you may be using on a daily basis and which ones you may wish to develop in the year ahead. The brain talent profile assessment can be done on individuals for personal development, with teams to see how the capabilities can be pooled together to achieve better results and also with recruitment to help you identify the best candidate.

I’m sure you will agree these 18 capabilities are essential in making us more successful individuals and even though we do not require them all the time, if we can learn to leverage some to our advantage and develop others that we may need at other times we will see that positive change starting to take place – what do you think? And yes the change starts with us. We don’t want to end up like this.