Collaboration is a needed, but untaught, workplace skill

As part of my employment with a university, I receive a daily briefing from EAB. EAB, according to its website, helps education leaders solve problems.

Today’s daily briefing included an article about a “skill employers are desperate for–but that’s rarely taught in school.”

That skill? Collaboration.

According to a survey by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, over 80% of midsize or larger employers search for collaboration skills, but only 40% of the employers said new graduates actually had these skills.

A report by the Partnership for 21st Century Learning and Pearson found that collaboration has three components: managing tasks, communication with others, and conflict resolution.

This need is consistent with some great research authored by Christine Porath and Christine Pearson, published in the Harvard Business Review, where 98% of workers have reported experiencing “uncivil behavior,” about half deliberately decrease their effort or quality of work, and not only are internal relations damaged, but customer relations are damaged, as well.

Now that we know what’s happening–that we aren’t teaching these skills and the lack of education is hurting the workplace–what do we do about it?


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