It is that time of the year – when festive songs bounce off the walls in shopping malls; when things slow down a little at the office; when we take some time to reflect about the past year and make promises about being a better version of ourselves in the upcoming year.

From commentaries on new year resolutions to opinion polls on top trends to look out for in 2020, there is a vast sea of suggestions on how you can improve yourself in the upcoming year. Here at IE Singapore, we are keeping it simple by focusing on 3 skills to make 2020 our year!

  1. Storytelling

When used effectively, storytelling goes beyond entertaining the listener. It conveys purpose and captures the listener’s loyalty by providing context to the speaker’s beliefs, promises and value proposition. The Dean of Communication and Media at IE’s School of Human Sciences and Technology, Begoña González Cuesta, shares brief insights on how you can use storytelling in business through this infographic.

  1. Negotiation

Just yesterday, I typed the words “will I lose my job” on google and interestingly, the first option in the drop-down list of suggestions read “will I lose my job to a robot?”. The fear of job automation is real making it more important for us to develop soft skills like negotiation. An effective negotiator builds sustainable, positive relationships with a myriad of stakeholders despite their competing demands. While some are innately good at negotiating, this skill can also be developed by conscious, continuous practice. Take a look at Professor Paula Almansa’s commentary on the art of negotiation.

  1. Cognitive Flexibility

Change is inevitable. The greater the resistance to change, the greater the discomfort. In the face of obstacles, setbacks and new information, train yourself to be cognitively flexible. Do not resort to tried and tested ways. Instead, try to see things from a different perspective and give yourself time and space to recalibrate, adapt and innovate. Curious to find out more about innovative mindsets? Listen to what Professor Paris de l’Etraz has to say!


In T.S Eliot’s words, last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice”. We’re hoping that the tips shared will set your professional targets on track and kickstart a successful 2020 for you. Happy new year, from all of us at IE.