4 Essential Skills for 2020 and Beyond that You Must Have to be Immensely Successful! (4 C’s)

Needless to say, the world is changing faster than we can get ready for it.

Just think of the year 2010. Had you heard of the following?

  • AI – Artificial Engineering
  • Machine Learning
  • AR – Augmented Reality
  • VR – Virtual Reality
  • Quantum Computers
  • AWS – Amazon Web Services (and similar cloud services)

I guess, No.

Neither had I. And at the same time, these hard technologies are a reality these days. They are part of your daily life without you knowing about them.

If you use any popular apps like Tik Tok, Facebook, Instagram, Google…some of these technologies are part of these apps.

But, these skills are not the one I am interested in. I am from Economics background. And for me to master these technologies, it’s would take some time, although not impossible.

So, is the future doomed for those who are not from Science background?

No way.

I am more interested in the softer kind of skills that will drive the tomorrow’s world. Whatever your background, these skills, if acquired early on in life, will guarantee your success. I would further go onto say that, if you do not have these skills, you may be irrelevant in a future marketplace.

These 4 Skills are usually named as 4 Cs of Skills that you must have to succeed immensely:

#Skill No.1: Communication – Crucial skill for better relationships

The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.

Peter drucker
group of people sitting indoors
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While growing up, I was terrified of standing in front of the class to present whatever the teacher requested. Eventually through practice and training, I ate the frog. But it was a tough journey for me being an introvert.

My day starts with communication. I do believe for most of you too. Once I am done with my morning exercise, meditation, journal writing, I get down to communication. And these days we have plethora of ways to communicate.

I read messages from my family and friends on Whatsapp, check Twitter for news, log in to LinkedIn to get connected with the network and so on. While at work, first thing I check is my email and respond if necessary. With Covid19, these communication media have become of great importance.

Communication is the way in which you exchange your ideas, thoughts and feelings. But that is not enough. Communication should be effective. The way you communicate should be concise, clear. Whether it is through text, voice, video or face to face.

As I see going forward, effective Oral and Written communication will be utmost importance to be effective in the marketplace.

In a report named, Are They Ready To Work? the authors note that both Oral and Written communication are ‘very important‘ by prospective employers.

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Different situations warrant different ways to communicate. There are different starting points to how to communicate in different situations:

  • Physical: Body Language, Tone of Voice, Facial expressions
  • Linguistic: Usage of language
  • Cognitive: Ability to think on feet and build upon ideas
  • Emotional: Listening attentively and respond to the other parties

How to develop effective communication?

Anyone can develop a good communication skills, be it verbal or non verbal. While most of do think that verbal communication is important, non verbal communication forms more than 70% of your communication. It’s the way you express your feelings, how your body reacts to certain messages and so on that matters most.

It has become so much more important for schools and universities to make communication a basic part of the curriculum. I can not emphasize enough the need to be better at communication, getting your ideas across.

Here are some ways in which you can be better at communication:

  • Read more books
  • Watch high quality news like BBC and pay attention to grammar
  • Learn the basics of communication through courses
  • Interact with diverse kind of people
  • Try to learn a new language
  • Go out of your comfort zone to communicate with a stranger in their language
  • Join Toastmasters club
  • Use different apps for communication – Twitter for text, Snap for videos, Instagram for pictures, WhatsApp for text-audio and so on
  • Interact with people much above your grade in your company
  • Ask for feedback from your manager on your communication skills

There are plenty of other ways in which you could dramatically improve your Communication skills.

#Skill No.2: Collaboration – The Lynchpin of all Skills

Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.

michael jordan
laptop office working men
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I am amazed looking at site like Wikipedia. This is the ingenious result of human collaboration. Every article on this site is a collaboration with mostly unknown parties around the world. The effects of this is massive. Wikipedia now serves as the single most important source of information on any topic thinkable.

If you are working for a large company you would know the importance of collaboration. I work for an MNC and on a daily basis we have to work and collaborate on various projects that are cross border. Without a skill of collaboration, most of these tasks would be ineffective.

It is a reality that we live in a globalized world. The main reason for the success of globalization is the collaboration of various parties across the border working effectively. The collaboration brings out synergy between teams and at a large scale countries.

To be a good collaborator, you need to have good communication skills as well. Hence, both these skills go hand in hand. Collaboration and Communication is also of great importance when you work in a multi-cultural environment.

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How to improve Collaboration?

  • Develop your interaction with people from diverse background
  • Proactively build professional relationships

#Skill No. 3: Creative Thinking – Innovation matters

The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind—creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers and meaning makers. These people…will now reap society’s richest rewards and share its greatest joys.

Daniel Pink
close up photography of colored pencils
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As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, the world is changing faster than we thought. And a key ingredient for that change is the way you think and innovate. There is a global competition of sorts these days to improve efficiency, increase capacity, develop products with the limited resources that we have.

And such problems require creative thinkers. Problem solvers. Innovators.

According to Robert Sternberg of Tufts University, “Successful individuals are those who have creative skills, to produce a vision for how they intend to make the world a better place for everyone; analytical intellectual skills, to assess their vision and those of others; practical intellectual skills, to carry out their vision and persuade people of its value; and wisdom, to ensure that their vision is not a selfish one.”

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Look at all the great companies around you: Apple, Tesla, Amazon, Google. They all thrive on innovation and creative. Don’t go too far. Look at your city, country and see which are the leading companies. What sets them apart is their creative and innovative approach to problem solving.

And it all comes down to the people who work and lead at these organisations. And these skills can be acquired.

Watch the below video to understand about Marshmallow experiment:

How to think creatively?

  • Practice ‘thinking outside the box’
  • Don’t go with conventions – think of a better way and there is always a better way
  • Think of solving a problem in multiple ways
  • Challenge norms and traditions

#Skill No.4: Critical Thinking – Unique vision

You have a brain and mind of your own. Use it, and reach your own decisions.

napoleon hill
young woman thinking with pen while working studying at her desk
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Have you ever stopped and asked: WHY is something THIS way and not THAT way?

You are exercising critical thinking.

I have made it a practise these days to question everything I do with a simple, WHY? The more you ask this, the more new ideas come to my mind. This helps me solve problems better than most.

Critical thinking is simple and can also be termed as thinking well. Learning to think critically will lead to other qualities such as higher level of concentration, deeper
analytical abilities, and improved thought processing. Critical thinking helps in better decision making. And in today’s world, where we have 1000s of options, it helps to be a critical thinker.

Companies and organisations are looking for critical thinkers to drive costs down, improve process efficiencies etc. It helps companies better serve customers, develop better products, and continuously improve themselves within an ever-changing global economy.

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How to develop critical thinking?

  • Seek clarifications.
  • Ask Why for all the scenarios.


All the four skills mentioned above are of paramount importance. And together they make up a strong culmination of a better human. Leading experts on critical
thinking stress its connection to creative thinking skills. While it is important to emphasize communication skills, it can be difficult to separate them from the other Cs—especially collaboration.

Creativity is closely intertwined with some of the other skills previously identified. Innovation today has a social component and requires adaptability, leadership, teamwork, and interpersonal skills. Increasingly, today the capacity to innovate is linked to the ability to connect with others and with a facility for communication and collaboration.


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