Honing Human Skills

This post was written by Katie Sievers, Credly's Customer Success Manager.

As a Credly Customer Success Manager, I help organizations create successful digital badging programs for cloud architecture, career readiness, payroll administration, instructional design, and everything in between. When I explain my job to my friends and family, the response I get the most is: I get badges for technical skills, but how can you badge for human skills like growth mindset, resilience, and collaboration?

I think about times in my life when I’ve exercised those human skills. Training harder after a loss in a sport. Caring for myself and extending grace to others after a health scare. Writing 200 pages of research in a month when facing a tight deadline. Everyone has stories like these – dozens of them.

Our response, in those moments, depends on the experiences we’ve had in the past, the tools we have at the moment, and the things we’re willing to do moving forward productively. We can practice our responses so that when we’re confronted with an opportunity to act destructively or productively, the “productive” track has been worn so smooth that it is actually the path of least resistance. It’s muscle memory.

Just as in physical strength, strengthening mental muscles takes training. For me, the best training has been cognitive behavioral therapy. CBT is about putting yourself in that mental moment – time and time again – so you can understand what is happening in your brain and body and either address an irrational response at its root through mindfulness or develop actionable steps to overcome real problems.

I think about badging for something like resilience in three parts. First, can someone identify when they need to exercise resilience? That requires education. Second, do they know what exercising resilience looks and feels like for them? That requires reflection. And third, do they have the strength to use that muscle in the moment and the endurance to use that muscle over and over again? That requires practice.

Do I think human skills and competencies can be honed and, ultimately, validated? Absolutely. Thinking in this way means we can stop relying on proxies, and we can start to ask the right questions of ourselves and our job candidates and provide opportunities to actually put those skills to practice.

If you’re interested in learning more about how Credly can help your organization achieve success through validating human skills, fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch shortly. 

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