5 Essential Skills for Today's Workplace

living your best life managing change networking personal growth professional growth Aug 21, 2023

Technology such as AI and the growing work-from home movement are changing our workplaces in ways previous generations never imagined. It’s been referred to as “the white water world of work” by Martin Seligman, a world leader in the field of positive psychology in his latest book Tomorrowmind and this term does aptly define the constantly changing and frequently challenging work world of today.

While some might hope that things will “settle down” again soon, the reality is that we can’t turn back the clock and if anything, the pace of change will only increase in the future.

So, what are the skills we need to develop, or enhance to be able to thrive in the new world of work?

Seligman suggests there are 5 key skills we’ll need in order to thrive and he calls them the PRISM Powers:

  1. Prospection
  2. Resiliance
  3. Innovation
  4. Social Connection
  5. Mattering

Prospection is the ability to metabolize the past and the present, to project the future. It involves extracting the relevant value and knowledge from the past and the present in order to prepare for the future.

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from difficult events. It can also refer to how we deal with events as they happen in real time, how we prepare for events we anticipate happening and the way we process events after they have happened.

Innovation is the ability to creatively explore new ways of looking at things. In the workplace an innovative idea is generally one that is original, surprising and useful.

Social Connection is the ability to quickly build connection and rapport with others in your workplace, sometimes around the world, even if only for relatively short periods of time as teams regroup and reform to meet changing needs, or we move on to new opportunities in a different company.

Mattering is the understanding of how what you are doing is making a difference in the world and a sense that the work you are doing matters.

Seligman believes that we each, as individuals, can develop these skills and if we do, we have the potential to thrive in the work world of today and tomorrow.

He also believes that companies that understand this need and look for ways to holistically support their employees to develop and leverage these skills will produce “outsized returns in the form of sustainable performance and innovation”.

In future posts I’ll talk more about each of these skills and share ideas for how you can develop or enhance them.


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