5 Professional Skills Everyone Needs Regardless Of Their Job TitleJan 25, 2021
Most people recognize the importance of these skills in business.
Yet many don’t realize how much value they add to everyday life.
No one is born with these skills.
And not many were encouraged to develop them along the way.
Yet even if you only master one, you’ll dramatically improve your life.
As you read through each section, see if you notice a common thread running through each skill. I’m sure you will.
The Art of Negotiation
We’ve all developed unconscious biases and brain shortcuts. So we tend to view the world through our own coloured lenses.
In addition, we carry a self-serving aspect into each relationship.
Put it all together and you understand why people struggle. It’s not easy to come to a mutual agreement when both sides see things from a different point of view.
Life is filled with negotiation.
Chris Voss, the former FBI lead hostage negotiator tells us: ” Your career, your finances, your reputation, your love life, even the fate of your kids—at some point, all of these things hinge on your ability to negotiate”.
Did you notice Chris points to every area of your life and not just your profession?
As an entrepreneur, I suffered many losses because of my inability to negotiate.
I dreaded the thought of ironing out tough terms, lest I damage the relationship. I was afraid to ask for better pricing for fear of losing the product. I hated any form of confrontation.
Learning the art of negotiation changed my life.
Differing viewpoints didn’t need to involve conflict. It was my responsibility to:
- be empathic
- actively listen to their needs
- be respectful to them
- focus on the best solutions available
- be logical and factual
- control my emotions and stay calm
I could be honest and self-assured. Yet still give my desired outcome the importance it deserved. We could work together to come to a mutually beneficial agreement.
Good negotiation skills have far-reaching effects.
In your business. Your career. And especially in your personal life.
Relationships improve because you’re open and truthful. You listen without judgement. You play fair and work to find a solution that benefits both sides.
Instead of conflict, you maintain a positive atmosphere.
If you want to take control of your career, business and personal life, start with art of negotiation.
Your Own Selling Style
I know. You’re terrible at selling, right? It’s so not you.
Yet, I don’t believe you.
What if I asked you to recommend your favourite restaurant? Your favourite activity. Or for a product or service recommendation.
In no time, you’d list off the reasons for your recommendations. In others words, you sold to me perfectly didn’t you.
All it took was a little passion and excitement about the topic.
Too often, we’ll avoid ‘selling’ because we don’t want to seem pushy. Yet, to achieve your ideal life, at some point you need to sell:
- an idea
- a product
- a service
- your point of view
At its core, sales is a belief in what you’re selling. And understanding who you’re selling to.
It’s about offering something of value.
Where you know the other person stands to lose if they don’t take you up on your offer.
It takes this level of confidence to be successful.
I struggled with sales until I learned there were different sales types.
After my assessment, I found my strengths were in the long sales cycles. Where I took the time to build relationships and become the trusted advisor.
This understanding helped me to become successful many areas of my life.
Get your selling skills assessed. Know your strengths and areas where you’ll need to improve.
It’ll open your eyes to new possibilities. And give you the tools to design your own selling style.
A Unique Leadership Style
You can be a leader in any role.
As a parent. An employee. A member of a team, church or entertainment group.
It’s not exclusive to business managers or owners.
Any time you’re given responsibility, you’re watched to see how you handle those tasks. How you carry yourself. How you treat those who are counting on you.
Your leadership style shows in how you choose to handle your responsibilities.
A corporate leader who scares everyone into submission is the epitome of an authoritarian.
But other leadership styles are becoming more acceptable.
Each is good in their own way. One style isn’t better than another. It’s all about balance.
I didn’t believe I’d be a good leader because I was too empathetic. But I developed my own style and achieved a high level of success. Before I found success though, I had to:
- learn to use my strengths effectively
- bolster my weaknesses to reduce problems
- install checks and balances to create accountability
You’re already the leader of your own life and for anyone else that depends on you.
Build on your strengths to enhance your own unique style. Give yourself the opportunity to reach greater success.
The Art of Communication
Unless you’re on a deserted isle, you need to communicate with others. Communication is so much more than what you say. It’s also about:
- your tone of voice
- your body language
- the specific words you use.
Yet there’s one big point many people miss:
It’s not communication until the other person understands, in the way you intended.
And this my friend, is where the problems start.
Too often, we assume the other person has our knowledge. So they should understand what we mean.
But in reality, your knowledge gives you your own unique perspective. Even when you agree, others still have their own viewpoint.
Although we all know how to speak, not everyone knows how to communicate effectively.
Poor communication lead to misunderstandings.
Misunderstandings cause irreparable damage in relationships, organizations and between nations.
We’re given very little training on communication. But it’s a skill you can learn. Find books and courses both online and off.
These days, we can communicate—virtually—with anyone in the world. The ability to understand one another leads to deeper connections.
Your satisfaction in life depends on how well you communicate.
Speaking In Public
Some would rather die than speak in front of others. Whether on stage, the boardroom, an online meeting, a church group, even to your child’s teacher.
This fear affects millions regardless of culture, gender or language.
It stems from two main issues:
- you think your opinion isn’t important
- you’re afraid of what others might think or how they will respond
So you silence yourself.
What happens if:
- your child gets bullied and your voice will make the needed change
- you’re asked for input about your job and your feedback could positively change your life
- the bank makes a mistake on your account or you’re being taken advantage of
Are you willing to sit back and do nothing? Allow others to make decisions on your behalf? Even though no one else has your inside knowledge?
Your silence means you’re okay with what’s going on.
If you’re not okay with it—your silence isn’t truthful.
You’re not being honest with yourself or others. And without honesty, you can’t build trust.
It’s hard to speak in public when you’re afraid of what others think.
I get it. I’ve been there. What if I stumble, stutter, or sound like I don’t know what I’m talking about?
Listen, we’re all human. We ALL make mistakes. Learn to be okay with it.
You have something valuable to contribute, everyone does. Your perspective is needed.
Start by practicing one on one. Join groups like the Toastmaster’s Club to learn this skill.
You need to use your voice.
You won’t reach any level of success without this skill.
Worse, you could end up going in the wrong direction. All because you kept your mouth shut and allowed someone else to choose for you.
Attain Your Ideal Life With These 5 Business Skills
Did you notice the common thread? ‘Your unique perspective’ is how you make these skills work for you.
No one else sees the world or interprets it the same as you.
It’s this unique perspective that lets you take each skill and make it your own.
What’s more, all these skills intertwine.
Each skill on its own adds value to your life. But when you stack one with another, they boost your confidence and self-esteem. Help you feel more comfortable in more situations.
For some skills, you’ll need an assessment to discover your unique style. Life Compass offers these assessments and more.
Once you know where you stand, build on that skill.
Give yourself the best chance to make your ideal life a reality.
I’d love to know your favourite and least favourite skills… and why. Share them with me in the comments below.