The Most Underrated Skills: Ranking Hidden Talents and Abilities

Choose the Skill you think is the most underrated!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Jun 16, 2023 10:17 (Updated on Dec 8, 2023 05:23)
Welcome to StrawPoll, where your opinions take center stage! We're thrilled to present our latest ranking - "What are the most underrated skills?" Join us as we delve into the hidden gems of human abilities, and uncover those often overlooked talents that truly deserve more recognition. From mind-blowing memory feats to awe-inspiring artistic flair, we've got it all! Cast your vote and have your say on which underrated skill deserves the spotlight, or suggest a missing option to make this ranking truly comprehensive. Don't miss your chance to be part of this enthralling conversation, as we celebrate the unsung heroes of our skillsets and give them the recognition they truly deserve. Dive in and let the thrilling world of underrated skills leave you spellbound!

What Are the Most Underrated Skills?

  1. 1
    Communication skills - often overlooked, but essential in both personal and professional settings. People with strong communication skills are able to articulate their thoughts clearly and effectively, which leads to greater success in their relationships, work, and personal life.
    Communication skills refer to the ability to effectively convey and exchange information, ideas, thoughts, and emotions with others. It involves not only the ability to express oneself clearly but also to listen actively and understand the perspectives of others. Effective communication skills are crucial in both personal and professional settings as they foster strong relationships, teamwork, and improved understanding.
    • Verbal Communication: The ability to express thoughts and ideas clearly and confidently using spoken words.
    • Nonverbal Communication: The use of body language, facial expressions, gestures, and other nonverbal cues to convey messages.
    • Active Listening: The ability to fully focus on and understand what another person is saying, and to respond appropriately.
    • Empathy: The capacity to understand and share the feelings, thoughts, and experiences of others, leading to better communication and relationships.
    • Clarity and Conciseness: The skill to express ideas and information clearly, accurately, and without ambiguity.
  2. 2

    Critical thinking

    Richard Paul and Linda Elder
    Critical thinking is the ability to analyze and evaluate information in order to make sound decisions. This skill is particularly important in today's world, where there is a lot of misinformation and fake news circulating. People who are strong critical thinkers are able to cut through the noise and make informed choices.
    Critical thinking is the process of analyzing and evaluating information or situations in a logical and systematic manner to form well-reasoned judgments or decisions. It involves actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information gathered from various sources.
    • Logic: Ability to assess the validity of arguments and identify logical fallacies.
    • Reasoning: Capacity to draw conclusions based on evidence and consider alternative viewpoints.
    • Problem-solving: Capability to identify and define problems, generate and implement solutions.
    • Reflection: Willingness to examine and dissect one's own beliefs, biases, and assumptions.
    • Analysis: Proficiency in breaking down complex information into components for examination.
    Critical thinking in other rankings
  3. 3
    Emotional intelligence - the ability to understand and manage one's own emotions, as well as recognize and empathize with the emotions of others. This skill is crucial in both personal and professional relationships, as it helps to build trust and rapport with others.
    Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize, understand, and manage our own emotions, as well as effectively recognize, understand, and influence the emotions of others. It encompasses skills such as empathy, self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, and social skills. It plays a crucial role in personal and professional success, as it enables individuals to navigate and build successful relationships, communicate effectively, and make informed decisions based on emotions.
    • Emotional self-awareness: The ability to accurately perceive one's own emotions and understand their impact.
    • Self-regulation: The ability to manage and control one's emotions, impulses, and behavior.
    • Motivation: Being able to harness emotions to drive motivation and achieve goals.
    • Empathy: The capacity to understand and share the feelings and perspectives of others.
    • Social skills: The ability to build and maintain relationships, communicate effectively, and work well in teams.
    Emotional intelligence in other rankings
  4. 4

    Time management

    Peter Drucker
    Time management is the ability to prioritize tasks and use time effectively. People who are good at managing their time are able to achieve more in less time, which is a valuable skill in today's fast-paced world.
    Time management is the ability to plan, organize, and prioritize tasks in order to make the most efficient use of time. It involves setting goals, creating schedules, and managing distractions to ensure productivity and maximize accomplishments.
    • Goal setting: The skill of defining clear objectives and identifying what needs to be accomplished.
    • Prioritization: The ability to determine the order of tasks and address the most important ones first.
    • Planning: Creating a schedule or action plan that outlines the necessary tasks and their deadlines.
    • Time allocation: Allocating appropriate amounts of time to each task based on its importance and complexity.
    • Organizational skills: Efficiently arranging tasks, resources, and information to enhance productivity and minimize confusion.
  5. 5
    Adaptability - the ability to adjust to new situations and environments. This skill is particularly important in today's rapidly changing world, where new technologies and industries are emerging all the time. People who are adaptable are able to thrive in this environment.
    Adaptability is the ability to adjust and thrive in changing circumstances, environments, or situations. It involves being flexible, open-minded, and proactive in response to new challenges and unexpected changes. Adaptability allows individuals to quickly learn new skills, navigate unfamiliar situations, and embrace new perspectives.
    • Openness to change: Being receptive to new ideas and willing to try different approaches
    • Problem-solving: Using creative and innovative thinking to overcome obstacles and find solutions
    • Resilience: Bouncing back from setbacks and maintaining a positive attitude in the face of difficulties
    • Resourcefulness: Making the most of available resources and finding alternative solutions
    • Emotional intelligence: Understanding and managing one's emotions and effectively adapting to the emotions of others
  6. 6
    Creativity - the ability to think outside the box and come up with innovative solutions to problems. This skill is valuable in both personal and professional settings, as it allows people to come up with new ideas and approaches that others may not have considered.
    Creativity is the ability to generate new and unique ideas, concepts, and solutions. It involves thinking outside the box, finding connections between seemingly unrelated things, and pushing the boundaries of traditional thoughts and practices. It is a fundamental aspect of human nature, enabling us to innovate, express ourselves, and bring new things into existence.
    • Imagination: Creativity involves the ability to imagine and envision new possibilities.
    • Originality: The ideas generated through creativity are unique and distinguishable.
    • Problem-solving: Creativity helps in finding innovative solutions to challenges and issues.
    • Flexibility: It allows for adaptability and the ability to think in unconventional ways.
    • Open-mindedness: Being open to different perspectives and ideas facilitates creative thinking.
  7. 7

    Active listening

    Carl Rogers
    Active listening - the ability to listen attentively and actively engage with others. People who are good at active listening are able to build stronger relationships, since they are better able to understand and empathize with others.
    Active listening is a communication skill that involves fully focusing on, understanding, and responding to a speaker in a thoughtful and attentive manner. It goes beyond simply hearing the words being spoken, and instead emphasizes capturing the speaker's message, emotions, and intent. Active listening can be invaluable in various personal and professional contexts, as it strengthens relationships, fosters empathy, improves problem-solving, and enhances productivity.
    • Enhanced comprehension: Active listening enables individuals to fully understand the message being conveyed, including its underlying meaning and nuances.
    • Verbal and non-verbal cues: Active listening involves paying attention to not only the words spoken but also the speaker's body language, tone, and overall demeanor.
    • Paraphrasing and summarizing: Active listening involves the ability to accurately restate or summarize the speaker's message, ensuring clarity and demonstrating understanding.
    • Asking clarifying questions: Active listening includes asking relevant questions to clarify any unclear points or gather additional information.
    • Providing feedback: Active listening involves offering constructive feedback or affirmation to the speaker, indicating active engagement and encouragement.
    Active listening in other rankings
  8. 8
    Conflict resolution is the ability to resolve conflicts in a constructive and positive way. People who are skilled at conflict resolution are able to navigate difficult conversations and resolve disputes in a way that satisfies all parties involved.
    Conflict resolution is the ability to effectively manage and resolve disagreements or conflicts between individuals or groups. It involves facilitating communication, understanding different perspectives, and finding mutually beneficial solutions in a peaceful manner.
    • Emotional Intelligence: Understanding and managing emotions to maintain a calm and empathetic approach during conflicts
    • Active Listening: Attentively listening to the concerns and needs of all parties involved
    • Communication Skills: Conveying thoughts, opinions, and information clearly and diplomatically
    • Negotiation Skills: Finding compromises and win-win solutions
    • Problem-Solving: Analyzing issues, identifying root causes, and generating innovative solutions
    Conflict resolution in other rankings
  9. 9
    Networking - the ability to build and maintain professional relationships. People who are good at networking are able to leverage these relationships to advance their careers and achieve their goals.
    Networking is the art and practice of building and maintaining professional relationships and connections, typically for the purpose of exchanging information, resources, and opportunities. It involves actively reaching out to others, engaging in meaningful conversations, and cultivating mutually beneficial connections.
    • Communication: Effective communication skills are crucial for successful networking, including active listening, concise and clear verbal communication, and non-verbal communication.
    • Relationship Building: Networking requires the ability to build and nurture relationships with diverse individuals, maintaining connections over time and seeking opportunities to offer support and collaboration.
    • Social Awareness: Being socially aware helps in understanding the dynamics of different social situations, adapting to cultural differences, and respecting others' perspectives and boundaries.
    • Emotional Intelligence: Having emotional intelligence helps to manage oneself and navigate relationships effectively, including being aware of and managing one's own emotions and empathizing with others.
    • Information Seeking: Networking involves actively seeking information, asking relevant questions, and showing genuine curiosity about others' work, experiences, and interests.
  10. 10
    Financial literacy
    Parinaam · CC BY-SA 3.0
    Financial literacy - the ability to understand and manage one's finances. People who are financially literate are able to make informed decisions about their money, which can lead to greater financial stability and security.
    Financial literacy refers to the knowledge and understanding of financial concepts, skills, and practices that enable individuals to make informed financial decisions. It involves the ability to effectively manage personal finances, budgeting, saving, investing, and understanding financial products and services.
    • 1: Helps individuals in making informed financial decisions.
    • 2: Enables effective management of personal finances.
    • 3: Encourages budgeting and saving habits.
    • 4: Facilitates understanding of financial products and services.
    • 5: Equips individuals to handle credit responsibly.

Missing your favorite Skill?


Ranking factors for underrated skills

  1. Practical application
    Consider how often the skill is used in everyday life or in specific industries. A skill that is frequently applicable across various situations is more valuable and therefore may be highly underrated.
  2. Impact on personal and professional life
    Assess how acquiring this skill can improve an individual's personal and professional life. Underrated skills may be those that significantly impact both areas but are not widely acknowledged.
  3. Difficulty level
    Take into account how difficult or easy it is to learn the skill. Some skills may be underrated because they are perceived as easy to acquire or master.
  4. Demand in the job market
    Analyze the current and future demand for the skill in the job market. If a particular skill is increasingly in demand but not widely recognized as valuable, it may be classified as underrated.
  5. Transferability
    Underrated skills are often those that can be easily transferred between industries or different aspects of life. Skills with high transferability are more versatile and valuable.
  6. Recognition and acknowledgement
    Assess how recognized and acknowledged the skill is within society or specific industries. A skill is likely underrated if its importance isn't widely recognized.
  7. Effect on relationships and communication
    Consider how a specific skill can positively impact relationships and communication in various aspects of life. Underrated skills often involve those that improve interpersonal connections and communication.
  8. Accessibility to learning resources
    Analyze the availability of resources to learn the skill, such as training, courses, or self-study materials. A skill may be underrated if it doesn't receive as much attention and readily available educational resources as other skills do.
  9. Long-term benefits
    Evaluate the long-term benefits of acquiring the skill. Some skills may have enduring benefits and relevance, making them underrated in comparison to more ephemeral fads or trends.
  10. Impact on overall well-being
    Consider the potential influence of a skill on individuals' mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Skills that contribute to a well-rounded and healthy lifestyle but are not commonly emphasized or prioritized may be underrated.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most underrated skills. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Skill is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 206 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Skill once every 24 hours. The rank of each Skill is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most underrated skills

Underrated skills are the often-overlooked abilities that can make a significant difference in our personal and professional lives. While many of us tend to focus on acquiring the most in-demand skills, it's important not to neglect the underrated ones that can set us apart from the rest. These skills may not be flashy or glamorous, but they are essential for success in a variety of fields. From critical thinking and problem-solving to adaptability and emotional intelligence, the most underrated skills are the ones that can help us navigate the complexities of the modern world and thrive in any situation. So, take some time to reflect on your own skillset and consider whether you're giving enough attention to the underrated skills that could make all the difference in your life.

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