Adapt to Change
Interact Effectively with Others
Work Effectively in Diverse Teams
Guide and Lead Others
Be Responsible to Others
SOURCE: Excerpted from P21 Framework Definitions, Partnership for 21st Century Skills December 2009 [copyrighted—available at http://www.p21.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=254&Itemid=120 [August 2011].
These and other available definitions are not necessarily at odds, but in Fiore’s view, the lack of a single, clear definition reflects a lack of theoretical clarity about what they are, which in turn has hampered progress toward developing assessments of them. Nevertheless, appreciation for the importance of these skills—not just in business settings, but in scientific and technical collaboration, and in both K-12 and postsecondary education settings—has been growing. Researchers have documented benefits these skills confer, Fiore noted. For example, Goleman (1998) found they were twice as important to job performance as general cognitive ability. Sonnentag and Lange (2002) found understanding of cooperation strategies related to higher performance among engineering and software development teams, and Nash and colleagues (2003) showed that collaboration skills were key to successful interdisciplinary research among scientists.