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The age of the machine is here. 

From automation and speech recognition to natural language processing, artificial intelligence is transforming the way you do business. It’s changing what you’re doing and how you’re doing it, carrying out many of our repetitive and data-intensive tasks more efficiently and faster than we could ever hope to do. 

So where does that leave us? 

In an automated-centric world, it’s time to focus on your people and develop their most important asset that no machine can replicate–their soft skills.


The Path to Professional Success

Soft skills, or people skills, include attributes and personality traits that help employees interact with others and succeed in the workplace. Knowing how to communicate effectively, negotiate a contract, engage in conflict resolution, or work collaboratively on a team are all great examples of putting soft skills to use. 

Equipping your managers with the right interpersonal skills will help them to better understand, connect with, and lead your teams to workplace success. 

However, learning and development programs should be put in place to enhance all your employees’ skills, not just your managers. They’re important for all your people because they’re key to helping your organization be and do better for long-term success. 

Research shows that employees who have undergone leadership skills training demonstrate a 28% build-up in soft skills, a 25% increase in learning techniques, and a 20% improvement in job performance. 

The Global Leadership Forecast found that organizations that embrace a more inclusive approach to training are 4.2 times more likely to outperform those that restrict development to management. And yet, while 83% of businesses believe it’s important to develop leaders at all levels, less than 5% of companies actually do. 

It’s critical, then, to identify and develop the essential soft skills your people need for professional success in today’s modern workplace. Here are just three examples of how we help you do just that.



If there’s one constant in life, it’s change. It’s around us all the time: seasonal shifts,  weather patterns, and constantly evolving technology, to name just a few. And while it can be unsettling, learning how to deal with a wide range of change is an essential tool in life.

Pivoting and adapting when necessary, valuing innovation and calculated risk-taking over “playing it safe,” and embracing change as an opportunity for progress and development keep your business growing and being one step ahead of your competition.

Some people in your organization might be open to the excitement and energy that change can bring, actively seeking out new activities and a variety of tasks to keep boredom and restlessness at bay. 

Others might have the complete opposite personality type, preferring to be given as much time as possible to digest how they feel and express their input and ideas before change is thrust upon them. Individuals like this will struggle even more if change occurs unexpectedly. It’s challenging situations like these when your people need to learn to be adaptable.

With a tool like Birkman, you can focus your talent development programs on the personality attributes each employee brings to the workplace. Insights like these help you discover the productive and unproductive behaviors that influence team member performance and advancement. If your employees are aware they may be more resistant to change and less flexible when it arises, they’re able to do something about it. 

By actively developing the skill of adaptability, learning to be more responsive, and creating and adjusting plans as necessary, they’ll be far better equipped with the type of skills to stay afloat when uncertainties arise.



Think about some of the most iconic people of our time. 

Nelson Mandela. Winston Churchill. Maya Angelou. 

While they share many great leadership qualities, it’s their communication skills that really set them apart. 

leader inspires positive change by empowering those around them through effective communication Knowing what, when, and how to say something is essential to gaining trust, aligning efforts, resolving conflict, and motivating your team. 

When communication is lacking, wrongly delivered, or misinterpreted, it can cause relationships to suffer and productivity levels to drop, ultimately creating barriers that hold back progress.

Getting it right, however, can be tough. 

You’ve probably heard of the golden rule–“Treat others as you want to be treated.” This rule applies to certain aspects of the workplace (such as respect), but it’s not so straightforward when it comes to the aspect of communication skills. 

Most people display low sensitivity when communicating with others, particularly in the workplace. We are socialized to speak up and say things directly, which is why most people adopt a communication style that is straightforward, direct, and bold. Using the golden rule as a guide, one might assume that we should communicate with others in the same manner back. 

However, this isn’t always the case–despite most of the world communicating with others in a direct manner, the majority of people expect others to talk to them in a less matter-of-fact and more tactful way. This communication ‘misunderstanding’ can cause unnecessary conflict and frustration.

Communication is something we all have to do at work, so it’s important for you to improve this soft skill. You can do this by helping your employees understand their own communication style and preferences through personality insights, as well as how to communicate with colleagues in the way they will best receive. 



Empathy is the ability to recognize and relate to the thoughts, emotions, or experiences of others. People with high levels of empathy are skilled at understanding a situation from another person’s perspective and tailoring their response to react appropriately. 

Empathy in the workplace means your employees can create true connections with each other that enhance relationships and performance. 

According to the 2023 Ernst & Young Empathy in Business Survey, mutual empathy between leaders and employees leads to increased efficiency (88%), creativity (87%), job satisfaction (87%), idea sharing (86%), innovation (85%), and even company revenue (83%). 

You can see why it’s important to develop your employees’ empathy skills.

When an individual’s behavior matches their needs (what they need from the world to be their most productive self), it’s easy to forget that others may have different needs than you. These are called blind spots, and while we all have them, they can negatively impact your business. 

Take a leader, for example, who may be objective, logical, and practical in their outlook but who tends to be uncomfortable when expressing their emotions. They might expect the same from others, believing that a matter-of-fact, unemotional approach is far more productive when tempers start to flare. However, this won’t work with a team member who needs an environment of sympathy and encouragement and the opportunity to analyze and express exactly what they’re feeling. 

It’s at times like these that a leader must be aware of what their people need and react accordingly. 

With Birkman's help, your employees will know where they stand when it comes to their openness and handling of emotion. This will help them become their best empathetic selves, potentially providing you with a happier workforce and giving you a competitive edge against your competition. 


Helping Teams Do Better Work

The Birkman Method measures the personality characteristics that influence behaviors, motivations, and perceptions, providing insightful ways to better understand others' thoughts and needs. Whether it’s adaptability, communication, empathy, or other essential skills such as creativity and problem-solving skills, we’ll help your employees identify and develop the talents they need to succeed. 

Connect with our team to learn how your organization can utilize Birkman to develop your people throughout the entire employee lifecycle.

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