Leaders (& the President) are Seeking More Emotional Intelligence-Based Soft Skills

President Donald Trump came under scrutiny (again) recently for a listening session with the victims and parents of gun violence in schools. This occurred in the wake of a school shooting which left 17 people dead in Parkland, Florida.

Evidently, President Trump was caught flashing a list of compassionate responses written by someone other than the president. The following photo was captured by Photographer Chip Somodevilla for Getty Images.


While social media had a field day with this, we couldn't help but notice that this list exemplified what we teach in Conversational EQ using technique called SOAr which stands for:

  • Summaries
  • Open Questions
  • Appreciations
  • reflections

On President Trump's card, from what was not covered by his hands, were two Open Questions and one Appreciation. These are two emotional intelligence-based soft skills that are taught in Conversational EQ level II. We would love to play our games with the president (or any political leader really).

All jokes aside, this leads us to a bigger point worth emphasis.

Emotional Intelligence is the Foundation of Soft Skills & Empathy

According to LinkedIn’s 2018 Workplace Learning Report which surveyed more than 4,000 professionals, soft skills are the number one priority for the workforce today. This includes leadership, communication and collaboration. Furthermore, the report found that, "while automation is requiring workers to maintain technical fluency across roles, the rise of machine-led tasks makes it necessary for them to do what machines can’t, which is to be adaptable, critical thinkers who can lead and communicate well."

LinkedIn 2018 Workplace Learning Report

LinkedIn 2018 Workplace Learning Report

Combining LinkedIn's report, with recent story of the president, it is clear that soft skills such as leadership, communication and collaboration, along with empathy, are more desired and important than ever. As the world and workforce become increasingly more complex, emotional intelligence will continue to be more critical.

If you are a leader, looking to develop talent and build teams, using emotional intelligence with empathy in the workplace can enhance all communication and collaboration. It is also clear that for career development, soft skills can increase job security and most likely lead to significant professional opportunities that will always correlate directly to higher compensation.