Basics: Skills

The type of skills on the Indigo Report are soft skills, also called 21st Century Skills. Soft skills are based on experience and relate to how you interact with others and personal qualities that you bring to a team. The good news is that skills are just strengths you can learn. While some skills may come more naturally to you, it is possible to learn any skill.

How to Read the Skills List

To interpret your results you will need to understand how to read the skills list.

Top Skills

Locate the skills chart on the top left of your Summary Page.  The skills that are listed there are your top five skills.  The skills on the report are soft skills, which are also called 21st Century skills.  These are skills that employers are looking for in the people they hire.  There isn’t really a test score you can show to prove you have these skills, but you can provide details of your experience using them.

When you look at your full report, you will see a list of all 23 Indigo skills, ranked from strongest to weakest. The skills at the top are your strongest skill; they’re what you are good at.  The skills at the bottom are the skills that you are less proficient in.  You are capable of doing these skills, they just take much more time, effort, and energy from you to do them.

Your brain has the most connection points in regions where you are most skilled.  Therefore, it is easier to get better at things you are already good at compared to areas where you have no experience.  Because you can grow in the skills areas you focus on, it’s strongly recommended that you focus on your top skills and try to find work that aligns with them.  In fact, you can put these skills right on your resume with examples of how you have previously used them.

Bottom Skills

Think of the skills at the bottom of your list as requiring more energy. There are several possible reasons why these skills require more energy for you:

    1. You don’t have a lot of experience using this skill yet, so it hasn’t had a chance to develop.
    2. You dislike performing this skill (even if you are good at it). Note: If this is the case I recommend avoiding a job role where you have to use skills you dislike on a regular basis.
    3. You are genuinely not good at that skill, which is totally OK.  You don’t have to be good at every skill to be successful in life.  Self-awareness in areas where you aren’t as strong allows you to choose colleagues who are strong in areas where you need a little more assistance.

You don’t have to be good at every skill to be successful in life.  The only reason a bottom skill is relevant is if it is hindering you in some way. For example, if a student has Presenting as one of her bottom skills, and she is in a public speaking class, it is probably causing her stress and it makes sense to practice that skill to pass the class.  If the bottom skills are not hindering your life in any significant way, move on, it doesn’t matter.  You don’t have to be good at everything.

Introduction to Skills

Next, learn about how to approach your skills with this introduction to the 21st Century Skills.  Navigate the slideshow below by using the little arrows or bars underneath the content.

Exploring Your Top Skills

Explore your top skills in more detail.

Chances are, there is a passion contained in your top skills. Often these skills are also connected to your Motivators and DISC styles.  Once you tap into that passion, you can seek out situations that allow you to apply your skills in a fulfilling way.


    • If a student has Written Communication as one of his top skills, he may excel in creative writing. Perhaps the student is a poet or enjoys writing encouraging notes to family members. 
    • If Management is a top skill, a student is probably good at delegating roles for group projects. She may express genuine joy in being able to navigate a team through a challenge.
    • If Persuasion is a top skill, a student might be proud of a time he convinced someone else to acknowledge and accept his point of view. He may enjoy mock trial or a corporate sales role.

Expand your top 5 skills below and watch the videos.

Analytical Problem Solving: Analyzing, diagnosing, and resolving problems.

  • Utilizes logic and systematic processes to analyze and solve problems.
  • Defines the causes, effects, impact, and scope of problems.
  • Evaluates the potential impact of possible solutions and selects the best one.

Conflict Management: Addressing and resolving conflicts for positive outcomes.

  • Readily identifies and addresses issues, concerns, or conflicts.
  • Listens to understand an issue from different perspectives.
  • Tries to settle differences fairly.

Continuous Learning: Taking initiative in learning new concepts and methods.

  • Demonstrates curiosity and enthusiasm for learning.
  • Actively interested in new technologies, processes, and methods.
  • Spends considerable effort on learning.
  • Identifies uses for knowledge.

Creativity/Innovation: Ability to formulate new approaches, ideas, concepts, and methods.

  • Expresses non-traditional perspectives and/or novel approaches.
  • Encourages and promotes innovation.
  • Develops and tests new ideas to explain or solve issues.
  • Imagines new or revolutionary concepts.

Decision Making: Utilizing effective processes to make decisions.

  • Can make tough decisions in a timely manner.
  • Creates a rationale for making decisions.
  • Willing to correct wrong decisions when necessary.
  • Defends rationale for decisions when necessary.

Diplomacy & Tact: Effectively handling difficult or sensitive situations concerning others.

  • Maintains good relationships with others through fair treatment and respect.
  • Respects diversity in race, national origin, religion, gender, lifestyle, age, and disability.

Empathy: Identifying with and caring about others.

  • Demonstrates genuine concern for others.
  • Is sensitive to the emotions people experience.
  • Tries to understand the real needs, concerns, and feelings of others.
  • Advocates for the interests, needs, and wants of others.

Flexibility: Ability to adapt to changes.

  • Responds promptly to shifts in direction, priorities, and schedules.
  • Effective at juggling multiple priorities and tasks.
  • Adapts personal style to work with different people.
  • Maintains productivity during transitions, even in the midst of chaos.

Futuristic Thinking: Imagining, envisioning or predicting what has not yet been realized.

  • Demonstrates an ability to connect the dots and see the big-picture.
  • Recognizes, supports, or even champions progressive ideas.
  • Envisions possibilities others may not.

Goal Orientation: Focusing efforts on meeting a goal, mission or objective.

  • Establishes goals that are relevant, realistic, and attainable.
  • Identifies and implements required plans and milestones to achieve specific business goals.
  • Stays on target to complete goals regardless of obstacles or adverse circumstances.

Interpersonal Skills: Effectively communicating, building rapport, and relating well to all kinds of people.

  • Demonstrates sincere interest in others.
  • Treats all people with respect, courtesy, and consideration.
  • Develops and maintains relationships with many different kinds of people regardless of cultural differences.

Leadership: Achieving extraordinary results through people.

  • Inspires others with compelling visions.
  • Takes risks for the sake of principles, values, or mission.
  • Demonstrates optimism and positive expectations of others.
  • Delegates appropriate responsibilities and authority, & demonstrates loyalty to constituents.

Management: Achieving excellent results through effective use of resources, processes, and people.

  • Comfortable making decisions that affect other people.
  • Delegates tasks and roles appropriately.

Mentoring/Coaching: Guiding and supporting the growth of others.

  • Identifies developmental needs. Encourages initiative and improvement.
  • Provides opportunities for training.
  • Trains, coaches, and mentors others to develop.

Negotiation: Ability to bargain effectively and facilitate agreements.

  • Listens to identify and understand what each party wants.
  • Determines what each party is willing to accept in an agreement.
  • Develops the terms for an agreement.
  • Ensures each party understands the terms of agreement.

People Advocacy: Understanding, defending, and supporting other people’s needs and expectations.

  • Places a high value on customers and their issues.
  • Anticipates customer needs and develops solutions.
  • Meets commitments made to customers.

Personal Responsibility: Taking initiative and responsibility for personal actions.

  • Accepts personal responsibility for the consequences of personal actions.
  • Applies lessons learned from past failures toward achieving future successes.

Persuasion: Ability to convince others to change the way they think, believe, or act.

  • Builds trust and credibility before attempting to promote something.
  • Uses logic and reason to develop arguments that challenge current assumptions, attitudes, beliefs, and behavior.
  • Identifies and addresses the barriers that prevent people from agreeing.

Planning/Organizing: Using orderly procedures to meet objectives.

  • Works effectively within established time frames and priorities.
  • Prioritizes tasks for highest productivity.
  • Makes adjustments to plan as needed.

Presenting: Communicating effectively to groups.

  • Presents information in ways that makes complex concepts clear.
  • Projects authenticity, confidence, conviction, and passion.
  • Engages the heart and mind of the audience.
  • Communicates in ways that enlighten, educate, challenge, and persuade the audience to think, believe, or behave in a specific way.

Teamwork: Working effectively and productively with others.

  • Meets agreed-upon deadlines for team assignments and commitments.
  • Supports team decisions.
  • Behaves in a manner consistent with team values and mission.
  • Provides constructive feedback to team and its members.

Time and Priority Management: Ability to manage time and priorities, maintaining self-control.

  • Prioritizes activities as necessary to meet goals.
  • Keeps working toward goals without direct supervision (self-directed learner).

Written Communication: Writing clearly and getting thoughts across effectively.

  • Writes in ways that make abstract concepts clear.
  • Succinctly presents viewpoints and arguments.
  • Achieves communication objectives by organizing information in logical sequences that lead readers to come to natural conclusions.
  • Adjusts writing style to specific audiences as needed.

Skills Concept Evaluation

Complete the Skills Concept Quiz to review the material in this module.  Use the skills list on the right to answer the first two questions.

  1. Creativity/Innovation
  2. Leadership
  3. Flexibility
  4. Goal Orientation
  5. Presenting
  6. Management
  7. Decision Making
  8. Empathy
  9. Futuristic Thinking
  10. Interpersonal Skills
  11. Persuasion
  12. Diplomacy/Tact
  13. Personal Responsibility
  14. Conflict Management
  15. Teamwork
  16. Written Communication
  17. Analytical Problem Solving
  18. Mentoring/Coaching
  19. People Advocacy
  20. Continuous Learning
  21. Planning/Organizing
  22. Negotiation
  23. Time and Priority Management

Skills Reflection

Reflect on how your skills show up in your life and write two maximizing statements.  

Write a Maximizing Statement for at least two of your top skills. Focus on two of your top skills that you want to get better at and how you can create an action plan to do that.  Go through the questions below for each skill.

Which of your top skills would you most like to work on?

Why do you want to get better at this skill? How will it help you at school or in life?

What strategies are you going to use to get better at this skill?

Write out a complete Maximizing Statement using this format: “I plan on getting even better at [Skill] by [Action Step]”.


  • I plan on getting even better at Leadership by becoming president of the debate team.
  • I plan on getting even better at Planning/Organizing by making a schedule of all my assignments every week.
  • I plan on getting even better at Mentoring/Coaching and Empathy by joining the school’s Peer Mentor Program.
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