Leveraging Power Skills in The New Hybrid World by Raluca Apostol

Automatic Summary

Leveraging Power Skills in a New Hybrid World

Thank you for joining this engaging discussion about the importance of power skills in our new hybrid world. I'm the Chief Product Officer and Co-founder of Nestor, a People Intelligence Platform focused on employee engagement, performance management, and development planning - all with a skills-based approach.

Understanding the Shift to a Hybrid Workplace

The transition to a hybrid working environment brought by the pandemic has posed new challenges to both employees and leaders. Until recently, performance management and career development were seen as two separate processes within organizations. However, we've realized that they are intertwined and significantly impact on how successful a business can run or an employee can grow, both professionally and personally.

The Role of Power Skills

Power skills, formerly referred to as soft skills, have become increasingly essential as we continue to adapt to the new hybrid work environment. Skills such as creativity, problem-solving, leadership and collaboration are now vital factors driving an individual's growth both professionally and personally. These skills help us navigate change in our lives and careers, enabling both individuals and teams to succeed.

Important Power Skills in the Workplace

These power skills can help organizations gain resilience and agility, demonstrated by the resilience during the pandemic and the transition to a hybrid work model. Skills such as optimism, flexibility, trust, teamwork and happiness help fuel success in our personal lives and workplaces. Additional power skills worth highlighting include problem-solving, communication, self-management and self-awareness.

Putting Power Skills into Action

Power skills, unlike technical skills, might seem difficult to measure, but when thoughtfully and intentionally developed, they have a measurable impact on professional and personal development. Regardless of your position within the workplace, it's essential to identify and measure the power skills that drive motivation and ensure effective involvement.

Using Data to Measure Power Skills

With the help of technology, you can measure your skills by answering questions that reveal your power skills, values and what motivates you. This insight is particularly powerful in identifying your driving factors and how you collaborate with others. Building skills profiles and assessing them over time are effective ways to track progression.

Embedding Power Skills into Processes

We can integrate power skills into various organizational processes, such as 360 feedback and leadership development programs, to measure and improve them across the organization. These approaches offer valuable insights about the behavior and culture within teams and contribute to the development of leadership and coaching skills among managers.

Power Skills and Organizational Culture

Power skills signify more than just individual abilities. They offer a glimpse into an organization's culture by showing us how people behave, interact, and inspire each other. Striking a balance between business operation metrics and people's emotions, desires, and capabilities produces transparency, helps measure skills, and optimizes strategies. Above all, it's crucial not to just focus on what is achieved but also how it is achieved.


Power skills are more important now than ever with the shift to hybrid workplaces. Not only do they play a vital role in an individual’s personal and career growth, they also greatly contribute to the overall success and agility of an organization. Thank you so much for joining this discussion – I’m excited to answer your questions and engage further on this topic.

Video Transcription

Thank you so much for uh for joining this session today. Uh It's a pleasure to be here. It's a pleasure to uh join Woman Tech um uh conference and talk about um leveraging power skills in the new hybrid world.Um So, what I would love to start with today is to uh tell you a little bit about myself. Uh and my motivation for this uh uh for this presentation today. Um So about myself. I'm the chief product officer and I'm also co-founder of Nestor. Uh Nestor is a People Intelligence platform. And what we are doing here is to connect everything that is related to employee engagement, performance management and development planning, but with a skills based approach. So basically, uh when we are looking at people, when we are looking at organizations, how effective they are and how we balance uh what people want and what business wants. What we do here at Nestor is uh we connect all of those through skills. So this is the main motivation for my uh topic today. And it's a pleasure for me to uh talk about this. Um because what we've seen in the, in the past uh in the past years with this pandemic and with this shift from um I don't know, uh jobs that were like really static uh and um jobs that now are like really flexible then uh this hybrid workplace actually brings new challenges for employees and leaders.

And why I'm saying this is because um up until now we've seen in organizations like performance management and uh the piece of career and personal development, like two processes that are really split. But what we think and what we believe and what we've seen over time is that they are like really combined and they are really balanced. So, um what we've seen at this point is that people in companies don't work only for money, of course, money is very, are very important. So um another thing comes and helps the individual be really meaningful in the workplace. And the first thing here is the purpose, how myself as an individual. Um I'm connecting with the company's mission and with the company's purpose um uh in the market and I'm here and I'm working within this company. Um with, I don't know, um with a vision to, to develop myself with a vision to grow. So in order to grow um both professionally and personal, then um I would need someone in uh um in my company. So I would need someone next to me that could guide me to grow.

So this person in general is a manager and we've seen um so far the transition from being a manager to being a coach like you as a manager, you uh are responsible for the growth of your, of your people. Um You do like ongoing conversations with them so that each individual can focus on um valuing their strengths and in this way, they keep that balance between their personal life and between their uh professional life. So, what we've seen is that approaches that consider um the employee like in a holistic way, um help them succeed in the workplace and not work only at work, but also in their personal life as well. So looking at an employee from a holistic point of view, like what are the activities that this person is doing in order to uh delete for his job um is really connected to the values that this person has. So um when we are speaking about values, we are speaking about how myself uh I'm connecting, connected with uh whatever I'm I'm doing here. So I, I'd love to develop. Um I'd love to become a leader even though I'm not like a people manager or I don't have like a management role, I would love to become a leader.

So this is the way to uh people's success is like looking at the people holistically so that we also bring together the skills, the skills like, you know, skills profile. So those skills that actually help me deliver at my job but at the same time and those skills that I have so that I, I know interact with other people. So in here we have two type of skills. Usually those hard skills up until now, they've seen um more important than the other ones like the soft skills. But during the pandemic and with this new hybrid world, um the priorities shifted a little bit and soft skills become really strategic for organizations. And at the same time, helped um teams be more cohesive, uh helped each individual relate to um to his, to, to his team teammates uh to the work is being done to the environment. He is in so soft skills now become power skills. And why I'm saying this like transitioning from those soft skills that were not considered very important up un up until now, they are really important when we are in a hybrid workplace. And because um using these interactions, like virtually um are pretty different than um I know in office setup.

So what I would say in here is that soft skills are both vital and it's very important to um to focus on them because also they are within our control and having soft skills developed over time, like creativity, like problem solving, like leadership collaboration uh with other people is driving myself as an individual to focus on my career and it's driving myself as an individual to grow.

Um Even though I'm growing like personally or professionally and another thing that uh that I would love, I would love to point in here is that these soft skills that now become power skills will help us uh drive the change, drive the change uh with our life and career. But at the same time, help other people um also drive change. So what I would say in this um in this um uh idea is that power skills are actually those behavior that enable people to succeed. So, um from my point of view, you um you as an individual, you have some motivators and these motivators are really important uh when you are connected with people so that you can deliver things. So most of the time you cannot deliver um by yourself, um let's say a team objective, you work with other people as well. So interacting with others, understanding each other, uh being able to support each other, being open to help each other is really important so that a group of people becomes a team. So a group of people having a common mission becomes a team and in this way they succeed. So power skills are the basis of this relationship. And um with regards to that, I would love to also uh share some power skills that are really important uh in the workplace at this point.

And this power skills um are helping organizations um gain that resilience and uh gain that agility that uh we really need at this point. And the pandemic actually demonstrate that to us, also this new hybrid world also demonstrate that uh that to us. So some of the power skills that I would love to mention here uh here is like um a table that uh is brought from the Josh person report. So skills like optimism, um flexibility, uh the way you build, trust, trust, like integrity, how you work in a team, like teamwork, um happiness, happiness, not only work but also in your personal life. So these are power skills that help us succeed. And uh other than that is like problem solving. Um maybe communication, which is so important when we want to deliver within a team. And one thing that I would love to mention and one really power skill for us as individuals um is self management that self-awareness that emotional intelligence that help us understand ourselves. But at the same time, help uh uh help uh help, helps us understand others as well.

So how we can put this power skills into action. Um Most of the times we are thinking about power skills or maybe those soft skills that now uh have this um uh this new uh this new name um cannot be measured. But actually, when we uh are really intentional about developing our um um our skills and developing ourselves, then with no action, there is no impact there, there is no impact in our personal uh development, our professional development in the work that we are doing and in the, I don't know, um, things that we are delivering together with our teams.

So it doesn't matter if you are in the workplace, just a contributor, individual contributor or you are like a people manager or you are, um, I don't know, an executive, it's really important to be responsible for change. So it's important to identify what are those power skills that really drives motivation, that really drives the uh willingness to uh to be involved in um activities and delivering uh uh at your job. So it's important to identify those and then to measure those. So over time, you see if there is any development way, so data will help us a lot. And um technology is um that piece that would help us to understand what are those skills that we want to measure and what are their impact in uh in the things that we are doing? And one thing that I would love to share with you is how um we could uh we could see or we could identify this uh this power skills. So we at Nestor, we developed this framework and we look at skills like from multiple points of view, like from your point of view as an individual. What is your first purpose? What is your purpose working within an organization?

And then what are those activities that you are um uh involved in? Then what is the work environment? That I'm um most productive in and what um are those work interactions and how I feel about those and how we behave while working within team within teams. So that all those actually helps me achieve high performance. And the way to identify that and using and gathering uh data is for different questions. So basically, it's for feedback uh from this point of view. So once um you are answering to some questions or you are answering to some of your questions, then we use technology so that you can identify what are your values, what are your uh power skills so that you understand yourself and what drives you forward. And then another thing that I would love to mention in measuring the these skills over time is um at work building skills profiles and having that profile that starts from one point and evolves over time is important to you to understand um where you started and where you are at this point and what are the next steps there?

So one of the things that we uh would try to measure this uh these skills is by inserting them through um data collected from feedback. So using machine learning methods, like behind the scenes, they can correlate and they can identify those skills based on the um I don't know questions that you answer. Then you can have a very powerful insight for you to identify your drivers, your own motivators. But at the same time to identify why you are here and how you deliver together with others. Another thing that I would say is linking skills everywhere. So processes in the organizations uh tend to be like split. But when you actually bring those together for a skills based approach, you can identify both what are those technical skills and power skills that would help this person succeed. And it is very important to have this over time because this is how you understand. Um And you can uh identify what would be your path forward and then involving the manager so that you as an individual, you connect with your manager. And um uh let's say one on one conversations with regards to your own growth, you can build like your uh uh a sort of a growth plan with actionable um steps that you can take towards your development.

So, so if leadership is something that you want to develop, then you may see what is the gap there, what is your uh the recommended um proficiency level so that you can see what is the step that you can um that you can uh take uh to go forward. And then these types of approach uh helps also managers to develop their leadership skills as well and also their coaching skills. So this is how they engage people and help them like set and achieve individual objectives and making that balance between what people want and what organizations want.

Um and then using proficiency levels is also a way of establishing a common language uh within your team, within your organization. Like understanding, if I'm, let's say I'm in a role at this point like the President of Sales, let's say, and one of the skills that um like communication should be like at an advanced proficiency level. And this is recommended for me. Then based on the gap that I identify, I would know what next I I should take in order to, to develop some of those kios. Um and then embedding skills also in 360 feedback, it's something that is really important so that you don't have to assess those skills only from your point of view or only from the manager uh from your manager's point of view. But also taking in consideration all the information that is coming from your peers, from your customers, um take a moment of self reflection. And in this way, you can identify what are those power skills that would drive you? What are those trends? What are those um areas to develop? So, in this way, skills assessment is really important for you to also have a path forward. Another step that uh we could also measure is through leadership development programs.

And also there are skills assessment that will help you identify those leadership styles that you may have as a people manager. So identifying if you are like more towards a coaching style or a supporting leadership style and based on the gaps that you have and you identify from your the team's perspective, and also from your own perspective, then you will see what is the gap you will see how you can actually adapt.

And at the same time, you will see what would be your next step as a manager as well. So taking actionable insights from data will really give you the information that you need so that you will see that you have, you are on the same page with your team. And then another thing when measuring all these power skills will give you an insight about how behaviors are in your team. And this um uh taps into the team culture part, you'll have like a peak of your team culture, uh team culture and you'll see how these power skills are distributed in your team or in your organization so that you can know when you bring another people in your another person in your team, you'll see what would be that impact so that it is important to maintain a balance and keep a diversity of these power skills based also on the mission of your team.

And having all this data collected from all this point of point of view you will have at an organizational level. A very nice dashboard with insights and predictive analytics is one of the uh one of the things that would really help you because in this way, you can understand what is the skills distribution in your company, how this type into behaviors, how this connects with people, performance, and also how balanced are skills from this point of view in your team.

Um And then like in a final note, what I would love to also say is that organizational culture um is really um is really a thing when we are working. Uh we, when we are uh speaking about power skills, because power skills are not just at, at an individual level. So multiple people work uh in the same team, in the same organization, it gives you a sense of your organizational culture as well. So how we behave, how we interact with others, how we inspire other people. So it's important to have a view about um what are those power skills, what are the gaps, what we need to fill in so that we become agile as an organization and also we can drive innovation and then we can also um uh we can also tap into uh into a transformative business, let's say when we are thinking about problem solvers.

Um So all in all, it's about how we connect emotions, desires and people capabilities with actually business results that are usually measured from metrics and KPIS. So we have some goals at an organizational level and this taps into the operational part. And also we have people with all the capabilities and skills involved that they wanna be developed. And then when balancing those with the help of our leaders in the company, then we are able to produce that transparency. We are able to measure those skills and how they actually um they, they actually influence one each others and how behavioral drivers are so important to be measured when we wanna actually optimize a strategy. So looking or uh at this, at this part, looking at power skills, looking at um uh at business results. Um A final, final note from my point of view would be like, don't measure only what is achieved but how it is achieved most of the times, how things are delivered, how people behave, use more results or more um add, adds more impact in the organization. So it's important to measure this part and it is important to, to mind the gap so that we can have actionable insights and um this would uh would lead to um actions that are in implemented so that we can optimize um things.

So this is um this was my talk today. It was really short from my point of view. Thank you so much for uh for joining my conversation of my, my session today. If you have any questions, I would love to take them.