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Last Updated on February 20, 2019

17 Work Related Skills to Equip Yourself with for a Successful Career

17 Work Related Skills to Equip Yourself with for a Successful Career

While core skills will always be the most important to pursue any career stream, complimentary skills help you to move up the success ladder.

These are work related skills that enhance your work, productivity, personality and leadership qualities. So what work-related skills you should acquire to equip yourself with a successful career?

1. Communication

Communication, written or spoken, is important for any job form. Your work could be internal or external, communication will always be a key.

Paul J Meyer said,

“Communication – the human connection is the key to personal and career success.”

Having strong communication skills mean that you will always be able to connect better with your peers and will be able to articulate and present your thoughts in a clearer manner.

Having strong communication skills mean that you can express ideas and thoughts clearly and with a flair, through written, oral and non -verbal mediums.

Learn more about effective communication skills:

How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home

2. Team-work

You will always have people around you who you are working for or working with. Often team-work is an extremely crucial skill. It means that you can see the larger picture, work with individuals who may or may not share the same point of view, and still get the work done.

It involves mutual respect, the ability to listen and be amicable to other individuals. This would also mean that you will act as a catalyst for others to do their job better and mitigate conflict.

Learn more about team building:

17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

3. Adaptability

A lot of organizations are becoming extremely dynamic. This means the structure, be it internal or external keeps changing. This can also mean slight modification in your job role.

As an individual, if you display adaptability to meet the needs of a modern-day organization, you will surely be appreciated. People who embrace change find it easier to stay on top of things as opposed to people who are stringent and don’t have the ability to adapt.

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Learn more about how to adapt to the ever-changing environment:

Adapting to Change: Why It Matters and How to Do It

4. Critical Thinking

What is the objective of the business? Why is this task happening? What is the expected outcome? What return on investment (ROI) would it yield?

If you are able to analyze and think about the fundamental and critical factors, then you are sure to bring in better results.

Critical thinking is also becoming important in businesses because of the constant disruptions happening. Individuals who can solve for unforeseen industry changes become a sought-after asset.

Learn how to improve your critical thinking skills:

How to Upgrade Your Critical Thinking Skills and Make Smart Choices

5. Initiative

Initiatives is all about contributing more and doing better than you were asked for. Task-executors never stand out, people who constantly improve and take initiatives take the lime-light.

As an individual, you should be looking to add value to improve processes, yield better ROI and motivate others to do well. Handling issues before they take place is a great way to demonstrate initiative.

“Do more than is required. What is the distance between someone who achieves their goals consistently and those who spend their lives and careers merely following? The extra mile.” — Gary Ryan Blair

6. Problem-Solving

Individuals who can problem solve become much more important than people who are looking for others to fix things for them.

Problem solving means having the ability to gauge an issue and find a way to fix it, rather than waiting for things to fall in place. It also means taking logical and matured decisions and to do what is best for the business.

Here’re 6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

7. Reliability

If you constantly miss deadlines and your team can’t look up to you for delivering quality work, then essentially you are not reliable and will soon be unimportant.

A lot of “work from home” has started to happen in recent times owing to technological advancements.[1] In this scenario, managers are always looking for people who they can rely upon and will always deliver.

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Reliability would also include basics like showing up on time, meeting deadlines and producing quality work.

Learn to develop reliable work ethic:

How to Build a Reliable Work Ethic

8. Learning & Development

Whatever your skills are, they will soon become irrelevant because of the advances in technology, industry adaptations and consumer needs.

Willingness to invest in self development here holds the key to a path to success. It not only helps you to stay ahead of the curve but also pitches in ideas that would ultimately benefit the organization and makes you a valuable resource.

Life long learning is important and this is how to train your brain to crave lifelong learning:

How to Train Your Brain to Crave Lifelong Learning (And Why It’s Good)

9. Leadership

Organizations always respect and value individuals who bring in leadership qualities. Leadership not always necessarily means managing a team of people, it also means being responsible, producing results and getting the most out of the resources provided.

Leaders are people who the organization can trust to deliver result and champion critical projects. It also means that you are a role model in terms of the tasks you perform and results you deliver.

Take a look at these leadership qualities revealed by the world’s most successful leaders and learn from them:

10 Leadership Qualities Revealed by the World’s Most Successful Leaders

10. Professionalism

Every organization has a code of conduct and following them adds to your personality. It may sound basic, but a lot of employees really miss out on this.

You might be monitored on your punctuality, reporting ability, minimized unplanned leaves and acceptable dressing. It also means that you respect your peers and their space and don’t get too personal with them.

Still not sure how to do it? Here’re some tips:

11 Ways to Impress Employers and Network with Your Professionalism

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11. Planning & Organizing

“For every minute spend organizing and hour is earned”.

Efficiency in any work is critical. Your per hour output matters a lot.

Time, resource allocation and prioritizing tasks have become key skills for managers to look for in their team members.

Learn how to prioritize right here and how to manage your time here.

12. Self-Management

Self-Management means the ability to work with minimum supervision. It means that irrespective of whether you are reporting regularly or being watched, you are disciplined enough to organize yourself and deliver the task at hand consistently.

Take a look at this article to better organize your life:

12 Rules for Self-Management

13. Technology

Software is eating the world. But it doesn’t mean that you must be adept at coding (unless it’s your job of course) but you need to be able to understand how software works. It is important to pick up skills in platforms and digital tools that are directly related to your job to be able to climb up the success ladder.

It is also imperative to know how technology will be affecting your industry for you to stay relevant. Manual jobs will get automated. More and more job descriptions are asking for technical skills and if you are not adding value to the process, you might feel stagnant or even irrelevant in your organization.

So you may want to start to improve your computer skills first:

How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

14. Global Perspective

The world has become flat. Buying and selling now happens across the globe for all marketplaces. As a professional, you would need to have a broader outlook and think about audiences around the globe.

This also means bringing to the table best practices and benchmarks that have been deployed globally. Hence, having a global perspective not only helps to broaden your thinking but also add value to your job role.

One of the best ways to maintain perspectives is to learn continuously:

15 Ways to Cultivate Lifelong Learning for a Sharper Brain

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15. Values & Ethics

Most good organizations put values and ethics above all skills that an individual might have. Integrity is non-negotiable.

As an individual, all your dealings and working should fall within the values defined by the organization.

Compromising on ethics could not only be a downward spiral but it might also be something where you can never come back from.

So, irrespective of any situation or circumstances, ensure that you always do what is right – for the organization and morally.

16. Resilience

Things might not be going according to how you want them. It could be professional or personal reasons.

However, not to give up in those situations makes up resilience. The idea of always moving ahead irrespective of any circumstances shows a great character.

Organizations always look forward to individuals who never give up and keep trying hard, even in unfavorable conditions. As an individual, you should accept your current situation, believing better times are to come and work towards it.

Learn how to build resilience to face what life throws at you:

We Don’t Need a Lot of Self-Help Books, We Need Resilience

17. Attitude

A positive attitude does more for you than you can think. A lot of people talk about having a great attitude and most of them are correct. Your attitude defines not only who you are as a person but also how you will be able to handle organizational tasks.

Work towards developing a learning attitude where you say “let me try”, instead of “this can’t be done”.

Take a look at this article to learn more about how to stay positive:

10 Tips To Make Positive Thinking Easy

Final Words

I am sure most of you would possess some of the above-mentioned skills. The idea is to keep working towards self-development and never stop learning.

Do not be afraid of feedback both external and internal. It is important to constantly evaluate yourself and try to be a better version of yourself with each passing day.

More Resources About Career Advancement

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Harsh Binani

Harsh has helped a lot of multi-national corporations and startups to leverage technology for greater productivity.

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Last Updated on March 15, 2019

How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

When I began managing people 15 years ago, I thought having a fancy title was synonymous with influence. Over time, I learned that power is conferred based on likeability, authenticity, courage, relationships and consistent behavior. When leaders cultivate these attributes, they earn power, which really means influence.

Understanding influence is essential to professional growth, and companies rise and fall based on the quality of their leadership.

In this article, we will look into the essentials of effective leadership and how to be a leader who is inspiring and influential.

What Makes a Leader Fail?

A host of factors influence a leader’s ability to succeed. To the extent that leaders fail to outline a compelling vision and strategy, they risk losing the trust and confidence of their teams. Employees want to know where a company is going and the strategy for how they will get there. Having this information enables employees to feel safe, and it allows them to see mistakes as part of the learning journey versus as fatal occurrences.

If employees and customers do not believe a company’s leadership is authentic and inspiring, they may disengage, or they may be less inclined to offer constructive criticism that can help a company innovate or help a leader improve.

And it is not just the leadership at the top that matters. Middle managers play a distinct role in guiding teams. Depending on the company’s size, employees may have more access to mid-level managers than they do members of the C-suite, meaning their supervisors and managers have greater influence on the employee and the customer experience.

What Is Effective Leadership?

Effective leadership is inspiring, and it is influential. Cultivating inspiring and influential leaders requires building relationships across the company.

Leaders must be connected to both the teams they lead as well as to their own colleagues and managers. This is key as titles do not make a person a leader, nor do they automatically confer influence. These are earned through trusting relationships. This explains why some leaders can get more out of their teams than others and why some leaders experience soaring profits and engagement while others sizzle out.

Eric Garton said in an April 25, 2017, Harvard Business Review article:[1]

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“… inspiring leaders are those who use their unique combination of strengths to motivate individuals and teams to take on bold missions – and hold them accountable for results. And they unlock higher performance through empowerment, not command and control.”

How to Be an Inspiring and Influential Leader

To be an inspiring and influential leader requires:

1. Courage

The late poet Maya Angelou once said,

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”

Courage is required in the workplace when implementing new strategies, especially when they go against professional norms.

For instance, I heard Lisa TerKeurst, bestselling author and founder of Proverbs 31 Ministries, explain her decision to move away from her company’s magazine. While the organization had long had a magazine, she saw a future where it didn’t exist.

In order to make the switch, she risked angering her team members and customers. She took a chance, and what started out as a monthly newsletter, has grown into a multi-dimensional organization boasting half a million followers. Had Lisa not found the courage to change the direction of her organization, they undoubtedly would not have been able to experience such exponential growth.

It also takes courage to give and receive feedback. When leaders see employees who are not living into the company’s mission or who are engaging in behavior that may undermine their long-term success, one must risk temporary angst and speak candidly with the colleague in question.

Similarly, it takes courage to hear constructive criticism and try to change. In business, as in life, courage is necessary for being an inspiring and influential leader.

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2. A Commitment to Face Your Internal Demons.

If you feel great about yourself, enter a leadership position. You are likely to be triggered in ways you didn’t think possible. You are also likely to receive feedback that may leave you second-guessing yourself and your leadership skills.

The truth about leading others is that you get to a point where you realize that it is difficult to take people to places where you yourself haven’t gone.

To be an influential and inspiring leader, you have to face your own demons and vow to continually improve. Influential leaders take their personal evolution serious, and they invest in coaching, therapy and mindfulness to ensure that their personal struggles do not overshadow their professional development.

3. A Willingness to Accept Feedback

Inspiring and influential leaders are not afraid to accept feedback. In fact, they actively solicit it. They understand that everyone in their life has a lesson to teach them, and they are willing to accept it.

Inspirational leaders understand that feedback is neither good nor bad but rather an offering that is critical to growth. Even when it hurts or is an affront to the ego, influential leaders understand that feedback is critical to their ability to lead.

4. Likability

Some people will argue that leaders need not worry about being liked but should instead focus on being respected. I disagree. Both are important.

When team members like their boss and believe their boss likes them, they are more likely to go the extra mile to fulfill departmental or organizational goals. Likable leaders are moved to the front of the line when it comes to being influential.

Relatedly, when colleagues feel management dislikes them, they experience internal stress and can spend unnecessary time focusing on the source of their manager’s discontent versus the work they have been hired to do.

So, likability is important for both the leader and the people she leads.

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5. Vulnerability

Vulnerability is critical for being an inspiring leader. People want the truth. They admire leaders who can occasionally demonstrate vulnerability. It promotes deeper relationships and inspires trust.

When leaders can showcase vulnerability appropriately, they destroy the illusion that one must be perfect to be a leader. They also demonstrate that vulnerability is not a dirty word; they too can be vulnerable and ask for a helping hand when necessary.

6. Authenticity

Authenticity is about living up to one’s stated values in public and behind closed doors.

Influential leaders are authentic. They set to live out their values and use those values to guide their decisions. The interesting thing about leadership is that people are not looking for perfect leaders. They are, in part, looking for leaders who are authentic.

7. A True Understanding of Inspiration

Effective leaders are inspirational. They understand the power of words and deeds and use both strategically.

Inspiring leaders appropriately use stories and narratives to enable the teams around them to see common situations in an entirely new light.

Inspirational leaders also showcase grit and triumph while convincing the people around them that success and victory are attainable.

Finally, inspiring leaders encourage the teams they lead to tap into their own genius. They convince others that genius is not reserved for a select few but that most people have it in them.

As explained in the article True Leadership: What Separates a Leader from a Boss:

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“A leader creates visions and motivates team members to work together towards the same goal.”

8. An Ability to See the Humanity in Others

Inspiring and influential leaders see the humanity in others. Rather than treating their teams as mere tools to accomplish organizational goals, they believe the people around them are unique beings with inherent value.

This means knowing when to pause to address personal challenges and dispelling with the myth that the personal is separate from the professional.

9. A Passion for Continual Learning

Inspiring and influential leaders are committed to continual learning. They invest in their own development and take responsibility for their professional growth.

These leaders understand that like a college campus, the workplace is a laboratory for learning. They believe that they can learn from multiple generations in the workplace as well as from people from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Influential leaders proactively seek out opportunities for learning.

The Bottom Line

No one said leadership was easy, but it is also a joy. Influencing others to action and positively impacting the lives of others is a reward unto itself.

Since leadership abounds, there is an abundance of resources to help you grow into the type of leader who inspires and influences others.

More Resources About Effective Leadership

Featured photo credit: Markus Spiske via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Harvard Business Review: How to Be an Inspiring Leader

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