If the latter is not true and you are a new hire candidate, you may find yourself having a hard time succeeding in your new role despite possessing all of the technical qualifications.

So what are examples of power skills? Why are they so important? And how can you develop them for yourself? Keep reading for answers to these questions and more.

What are Power Skills?

Power skills are non-technical skills that are applicable to any industry or role. Sometimes called “soft skills,” “transferable skills,” or “human skills,” they help individuals solve problems, navigate change, and interact effectively in the workplace.

Common examples of power skills are emotional intelligence, critical thinking, conflict resolution, adaptability, leadership, and collaboration. Any skill that is not acutely related to a specific industry–yet remains essential for an effective work environment–can be considered a power skill.

Why are Power Skills Valuable?

While every job role requires precise job-specific skills and knowledge, individuals can perform their duties more effectively when they combine those with power skills. Consider, for instance, that it’s one thing to have a doctor who can diagnose and treat your symptoms, but the best doctors also know how to work with others on the healthcare team and can deliver difficult news with empathy and care.

Employers often seek out job applicants who can demonstrate emotional intelligence, teamwork, and communication skills because they are more likely to blend well with the company’s existing team and make an immediate impact. Because most power skills relate to people and productivity, they can help expedite the training process.

After all, it’s one thing to teach someone the necessary Excel formulas to do their job. It’s another thing when that employee is able to think critically and identify other metrics-related uses for those formulas–or how to adapt them for another use case.

Finally, power skills often result in stronger leadership and team resilience. A leader who is able to identify and relate to the emotions of their team members is going to elicit higher levels of camaraderie and perseverance from their team than one who simply does their job without establishing those human connections.

How Can You Develop Power Skills?

There are plenty of online resources for improving your power skills, such as the breadth of courses that LinkedIn Learning offers. And, if you’re unsure what power skills you should be developing, the Project Management Institute’s Pulse of the Profession® 2023: Power Skills, Redefining Project Success report shares all sorts of statistics about power skills and how they correlate to organizational success, with plenty of information on the different types of power skills and where they are most relevant.

The great thing about power skills is that you can practice them in your everyday interactions. Need to reach out to a coworker for insight into a project? Try making an intentional effort to clearly articulate what you need, what you would like them to do, and how it is relevant to them. Listen intentionally to what they are saying. You may be surprised at what you learn!

Level Up Your Career

While power skills can be included on your resume, the best place to demonstrate them is in your job interviews. An interview is an opportunity to directly demonstrate your critical thinking, communication, and listening skills to the hiring manager. Listing these skills on your resume can attract the right attention, but the interview is your chance to prove these skills in a way that isn’t possible with more technical skills such as software usage.

The importance of power skills should be emphasized as much as industry-specific skills are in the workplace. Denison Edge acknowledges how essential power skills are for creating organizational change and leading teams to success. That’s why we developed the Leadership Edge program to help today’s leaders make the biggest impact they can on their respective organizations.

From power skills to leadership strategies, this program prepares participants to return to their companies with intentional, actionable plans to lead to a brighter future. Learn more about the training by visiting our Leadership Edge program page.