A theory on managerial success: managers need “soft skills” too

Research has shown that while intelligence in its traditional form, including tasks assessing verbal, numerical, visuo-spatial, reasoning and working memory, is the best predictor of job performance, other skills are also important for managerial success.

Sternberg’s (1996; 1997) triarchic theory of intelligence proposes that intelligence is comprised of traditional analytic skills, practical skills and creativity. He advises that managers need all these components of intelligence in order to be successful. Practical skills are those used in the workplace to guide interactions, help solve problems and knowing how to act in certain situations. They are usually acquired without the direct help of other people. Creativity in the workplace is about seeing old problems and situations in new ways, or the catch phrase of the early 2000’s: thinking outside the box.

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