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10 Universal Skills Successful People Should Master

10 Universal Skills Successful People Should Master

Do you want to be successful? There are many different, important aspects of being a well-rounded, successful adult, but all of these skills are important for different reasons.

Having all of these particular skills will help you become more successful in different aspects of your life. Check out these 10 universal skills successful people must master, regardless of their profession and position.

1. Organizational Skills

Organization is a very important skill for successful people – it helps them to handle responsibility and ensure that they are reliable people. It isn’t just about making sure they are on time to events; organizational skills will ensure they prioritize tasks and find effective solutions to any problems they may encounter.

Without these management and organizational skills, it can be easy to fall behind.

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2. Negotiation Skills

Successful people are good at negotiating because they are both confident and persuasive. This skill is useful both at work and in their personal life, as it can make their day-to-day life more pleasant and more beneficial.

At work, strong negotiation skills could mean promotions, pay rises and new clients.

3. Strong Communication Skills

No matter what your job or status is, communication is an essential part of success. From sharing information with clients to collaborating with co-workers, successful people are effective communicators on a daily basis.

If you struggle to communicate, consider all the different ways you can do it. Face-to-face, email, Skype and over the phone.

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Try to choose the method that will help you communicate in the most effective way you can.

4. Emotional Intelligence Skills

Emotional intelligence is an important part of how well successful people relate to and understand others, as well how well they empathize with them. This skill is particularly important if they work as part of a team, or if their job requires networking.

Emotional intelligence will help successful people to secure clients and deals, as well as get along effectively with their co-workers. A good way to improve your emotional intelligence is to put yourself in the other person’s shoes.

5. Critical Thinking Skills

Critical thinking helps successful people to solve problems and faults in a creative and useful manner. Being a critical thinker often means they will solve problems faster by assessing the situation quickly, independently and reasonably.

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6. Focus Skills

Being able to maintain focus will makes successful people more effective at achieving long-term goals and dreams. It helps them to stay on track as they work toward their future, helping them to not get side tracked by other daily problems.

7. Teamwork Skills

Teamwork skills are useful in most jobs, and essential in daily life. From working on a project with their boss and other co-workers to living with a partner, teamwork skills help successful people to collectively perform better.

If one person struggles with teamwork skills, they could slow down the whole project.

8. Balance Skills

Having balance in their lives helps to give successful people perspective and a healthy rationale. Being able to juggle tasks at an efficient rate not only alleviates stress but makes it that much more possible to succeed.

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Balance allows them to know what makes them happy, both in their personal life and their career, helping them to be successful in each aspect.

9. Confidence Skills

Even when successful people do not feel confident of the time; they work on developing and improving their own confidence skills for their own benefit. Improving their body language and social skills helps them to gain the respect of others and put some weight behind their words, making them more effective.

10. Research And Analysis Skills

Perhaps the most important skill of them all, the ability to research information, analyze it and recognize patterns will be useful in nearly every job role. These skills help successful people to become more proactive people as they help them to analyze and improve their current situation.

More by this author

Amy Johnson

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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Last Updated on April 9, 2020

5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You)

5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You)

It takes great leadership skills to build great teams.

The best leaders have distinctive leadership styles and are not afraid to make the difficult decisions. They course-correct when mistakes happen, manage the egos of team members and set performance standards that are constantly being met and improved upon.

With a population of more than 327 million, there are literally scores of leadership styles in the world today. In this article, I will talk about the most common types of leadership and how you can determine which works best for you.

5 Types of Leadership Styles

I will focus on 5 common styles that I’ve encountered in my career: democratic, autocratic, transformational, transactional and laissez-faire leadership.

The Democratic Style

The democratic style seeks collaboration and consensus. Team members are a part of decision-making processes and communication flows up, down and across the organizational chart.

The democratic style is collaborative. Author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek is an example of a leader who appears to have a democratic leadership style.

    The Autocratic Style

    The autocratic style, on the other hand, centers the preferences, comfort and direction of the organization’s leader. In many instances, the leader makes decisions without soliciting agreement or input from their team.

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    The autocratic style is not appropriate in all situations at all times, but it can be especially useful in certain careers, such as military service, and in certain instances, such as times of crisis. Steve Jobs was said to have had an autocratic leadership style.

    While the democratic style seeks consensus, the autocratic style is less interested in consensus and more interested in adherence to orders. The latter advises what needs to be done and expects close adherence to orders.

      The Transformational Style

      Transformational leaders drive change. They are either brought into organizations to turn things around, restore profitability or improve the culture.

      Alternatively, transformational leaders may have a vision for what customers, stakeholders or constituents may need in the future and work to achieve those goals. They are change agents who are focused on the future.

      Examples of transformational leader are Oprah and Robert C. Smith, the billionaire hedge fund manager who has offered to pay off the student loan debt of the entire 2019 graduating class of Morehouse College.

        The Transactional Style

        Transactional leaders further the immediate agenda. They are concerned about accomplishing a task and doing what they’ve said they’d do. They are less interested in changing the status quo and more focused on ensuring that people do the specific task they have been hired to do.

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        The transactional leadership style is centered on short-term planning. This style can stifle creativity and keep employees stuck in their present roles.

        The Laissez-Faire Style

        The fifth common leadership style is laissez-faire, where team members are invited to help lead the organization.

        In companies with a laissez-faire leadership style, the management structure tends to be flat, meaning it lacks hierarchy. With laissez-faire leadership, team members might wonder who the final decision maker is or can complain about a lack of leadership, which can translate to lack of direction.

        Which Leadership Style do You Practice?

        You can learn a lot about your leadership style by observing your family of origin and your formative working experiences.

        Whether you realize it, from the time you were born up until the time you went to school, you were receiving information on how to lead yourself and others. From the way your parents and siblings interacted with one another, to unspoken and spoken communication norms, you were a sponge for learning what constitutes leadership.

        The same is true of our formative work experiences. When I started my communications career, I worked for a faith-based organization and then a labor union. The style of communication varied from one organization to the other. The leadership required to be successful in each organization was also miles apart. At Lutheran social services, we used language such as “supporting people in need.” At the labor union, we used language such as “supporting the leadership of workers” as they fought for what they needed.

        Many in the media were more than happy to accept my pitch calls when I worked for the faith-based organization, but the same was not true when I worked for a labor union. The quest for media attention that was fair and balanced became more difficult and my approach and style changed from being light-hearted to being more direct with the labor union.

        I didn’t realize the impact those experiences had on how I thought about my leadership until much later in my career.

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        In my early experience, it was not uncommon for team members to have direct, brash and tough conversations with one another as a matter of course. It was the norm, not the exception. I learned to challenge people, boldly state my desires and preferences, and give tough feedback, but I didn’t account for the actions of others fit for me, as a black woman. I didn’t account for gender biases and racial biases.

        What worked well for my white male bosses, did not work well for me as an African American woman. People experienced my directness as being rude and insensitive. While I needed to be more forceful in advancing the organization’s agenda when I worked for labor, that style did not bode well for faith-based social justice organizations who wanted to use the love of Christ to challenge injustice.

        Whereas I received feedback that I needed to develop more gravitas in the workplace when I worked for labor, when I worked for other organizations after the labor union, I was often told to dial it back. This taught me two important lessons about leadership:

        1. Context Matters

        Your leadership style must adjust to each workplace you are employed. The challenges and norms of an organization will shape your leadership style significantly.

        2. Not All Leadership Styles Are Appropriate for the Teams You’re Leading

        When I worked on political campaigns, we worked nonstop. We started at dawn and worked late into the evening. I couldn’t expect that level of round-the-clock work for people at the average nonprofit. Not only couldn’t I expect it, it was actually unhealthy. My habit of consistently waking up at 4 am to work was profoundly unhealthy for me and harmful for the teams I was leading.

        As life coach and spiritual healer Iyanla Vanzant has said,

        “We learn a lot from what is seen, sensed and shared.”

        The message I was sending to my team was ‘I will value you if you work the way that I work, and if you respond to my 4 am, 5 am and 6 am emails.’ I was essentially telling my employees that I expect you to follow my process and practice.

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        As I advanced in my career and began managing more people, I questioned everything I thought I knew about leadership. It was tough. What worked for me in one professional setting did not work in other settings. What worked at one phase of my life didn’t necessarily serve me at later stages.

        When I began managing millennials, I learned that while committed to the work, they had active interests and passions outside of the office. They were not willing to abandon their lives and happiness for the work, regardless of how fulfilling it might have been.

        The Way Forward

        To be an effective leader, you must know yourself incredibly well. You must be self-reflective and also receptive to feedback.

        As fellow Lifehack contributor Mike Bundrant wrote in the article 10 Essential Leadership Qualities That Make a Great Leader:

        “Those who lead must understand human nature, and they start by fully understanding themselves…They know their strengths, and are equally aware of their weaknesses and thus understand the need for team work and the sharing of responsibility.”

        The way to determine your leadership style is to get to know yourself and to be mindful of the feedback you receive from others. Think about the leadership lessons that were seen, sensed and shared in your family of origin. Then think about what feels right for you. Where do you gravitate and what do you tend to avoid in the context of leadership styles?

        If you are really stuck, think about using a personality assessment to shed light on your work patterns and preferences.

        Finally, the path for determining your leadership style is to think about not only what you need, or what your company values, but also what your team needs. They will give you cues on what works for them and you need to respond accordingly.

        Leadership requires flexibility and attentiveness. Contrary to unrealistic notions of leadership, being a leader is less about being served and more about being of service.

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        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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