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Can I Have Your Attention? by Jonathan McKee, Curt Steinhorst

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Chapter 22Filling the Digital Skill Gaps

In a perfect world, you would hire people who were perfectly prepared to do the job you needed them to do. The nature of work is constantly changing, and a combination of trends has merged to create consistent gaps in the skillsets of employees. Roles are becoming more specialized, and education (from kindergarten to college) isn't keeping up.

The CEO of Zipcar puts it succinctly: “My father had one job in his lifetime. I will have six jobs in my lifetime, and my children will have six jobs at the same time.”

These splintered experiences of work have combined to create employees who are decent at a wide variety of things but not necessarily experts at even a few.

This means you have to play an active role in filling the gaps. Training people to succeed ultimately falls to you—including the how of focused work in a constantly connected workplace.

The Skills to Train

Aside from focus-wise skills, what do your people need in a world of relentless connectivity? Though you may add skills specific to your own business, the two that every modern workplace requires relate to communication and technology.

Effective Communication

If you're immersed in digital all the time, your other skills will suffer. (This book is overflowing with examples.) The more time we spend staring at screens, the worse we become at face-to-face interaction.

Empathy declines because we can't see facial cues. Is Chris angry…or constipated? I wish he'd text another emoji ...

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