What do Guatemalan women engaged in entrepreneurship training have in common with the Chicago Cubs, Major League Baseball’s 2016 World Series champions?
Both groups have scored success thanks in part to soft skills awareness and development.
An October 2016 report co-published by Oxfam America and Value for Women looked at the Women in Small Enterprise program to identify barriers to entrepreneurship that women face. The study concluded that development of soft skills such as negotiation and communication can, along with leadership training, improve the rates of long-term success for micro-enterprises started by women.
That finding has the potential to fuel global economic growth: The Boston Consulting Group has estimated that equal entrepreneurial participation by women and men could spark a rise in global GDP of up to 2 percent—or $1.5 trillion.
And the Chicago Cubs count soft skills among the assets that helped them end a 108-year championship drought. In building the team, managers looked for character as well as athletic ability. On and off the field, players were expected to be able to cope constructively with failure, and talent scouts sought prospects who had weathered adversity.
If Guatemalan startups and Chicago baseball teams can score home runs with this strategy, it stands to reason that soft skills training would benefit most enterprises and employees. That’s why these traits have become a priority in recruitment and professional development. As traditional workplace tasks become automated, people skills are gaining importance. To learn more about their role in the transformation of business and careers,