A recent survey by the World Economic Forum of Chief HR and Strategy Officers offers an intriguing glimpse into how organisations’ needs for skills might evolve.

In 2020

In 2015

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


Out of the Top 10 go Active Listening  and Quality Control and in come Emotional Intelligence and Flexibility. In the end, senior leaders will have a local and sector view on what their organisations require. But surveys like this are interesting because they provoke reflection about the most likely sought after talents and abilities in the future.

Knowing how to cultivate capabilities such as Judgement and Decision Making, Critical Thinking or Creativity is vital. Coaching does not appear in either list – yet it can be the engine of cultivating all the other skills.

Improve how you develop critical thinking or decision making in others by developing your repertoire of coaching questions. Our Q Guide looks at ‘Questions to get unstuck’ in our Coaching Over Coffee Booklet.

alarm clock
When coaching in a hurry, the temptation is to rush for answers. Be careful. Do more than try to help somebody get an answer – pay attention to asking the right question. It’s also helpful to remember that questions come in various forms.

Closed questions

These can be answered by ‘yes’, ‘no’, or a simple fact. For example:

› Do you supervise any staff? › Do you enjoy your current work?


Open questions

These require your colleague to give more information. They cannot answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’. For example:

› Why do you think that? › How did that affect you?


Leading questions

These suggest the answer in the question, attempting to force agreement. For example:

› You do agree that ‘such & such’ is true, don’t you?


Limiting Questions

These include some alternative answers, from which to choose from, and therefore the colleague is limited in the answer they give. For example:

› Did you work for x, y or z?

Q. Learning’s successfully tailored coaching courses, programmes and ILM Open Programmes (Levels 3, 5 and 7) are available for you to book now. Click here…


Read more about the World Economic Forum report here http://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/01/the-10-skills-you-need-to-thrive-in-the-fourth-industrial-revolution