Do Barclays Life Skills Work?

The recent Barclays life skills adverts have got me thinking. Are we able as human beings able to cut past appearance and impression, park it, and make a realistic assessment of the worthiness of another person who we might want to employ? Or are we so hard wired that we depend on shortcuts and inferences for all social judgements?

How soon will it be before these once privileged insights into ‘how to look’ , ‘how to talk’ and where to look’ for best effect during personal interactions become commodity insights that end up making no difference at all because we all do them?

Erm…I wonder what will be offered as the next interpersonal differentiator?

Pinning your hopes on a trick of social psychology I reckon is pretty risky. My research suggests as well as the Barclay tips people have to demonstrate their eligibility and credibility in other ways.

Things such as experience and expertise; technical specialism, an ability to read social situations, knowledge of a market, sector or genre, commercial maturity, pro-social values to name a few.

Trouble is these things don’t make for quick performance tips they are often hard won by experience and investment in learning. So sure, make use of Barclays life skills (…really? skills for life now that’s a big claim) in the knowledge that many other things are stress tested in any interview too.

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