The QS TopMBA Jobs and Salary Trends Report shows that demand for ‘soft’ skills has drastically increased in importance for MBA recruiters worldwide.
The survey of over 5,000 MBA recruiters in 36 countries, shows that MBA recruiters already have very high expectations of rigorous finance, marketing and e-business or IT skills from business school graduates. MBA recruiters are now looking for another set of abilities to complement their businesses in today’s competitive economic climate.
The report shows that the big four soft skills demanded by MBAs recruiters are:
- Interpersonal skills
- Communication skills
- Strategic Thinking
Basic soft skill development techniques
Many MBA candidates are unsure as to what soft skills are and how they can be developed.
The simplest solution is to work to your strengths, but work on your weaknesses even harder.
It’s clear that the MBA is a complex program, and takes up a lot of time, so doing this while poring over complex case studies may not be everyone’s idea of a good time, but it’s evidently worth it.
The following is a list of suggestions on how to adapt successfully to a role and to learn a better approach to communication, man-management and leadership:
- Get specific feedback from colleagues and peers (and clients if you can) on the qualities that are important for the roles you want or may be applying for. Consider ways of capitalizing on your strengths as well as focusing on areas that need development. And prepare to take negative criticism on board as well as positive.
- Identify somebody who you think is particularly successful at demonstrating the skills you want to develop. Talk to them/sit in meeting with them and gain an insight into their approach.
- Think back to a recent time when you weren’t very successful at influencing or convincing an individual. Ask the individual how you came across and what you might have done differently to be more successful. Prepare for bad news, and accept it.
- Develop the habit of critically reviewing the impact you have had after any meeting. Consider ways to increase your impact and put this into practice. A top tip here? Record your thoughts and refer to them before the next meeting.
- Take opportunities to regularly network, within your organization and externally. Don’t just approach people when you need their help.
- Spend more time with people who you find difficult to deal with. Don’t just think about your feelings about them, but think about how they might view you. Try out different approaches with them to see if you can develop a more effective relationship with them.