As with any practice, it is always useful to have a set of skills to draw from. This is no different for business. Business moves at a fast pace and it is necessary to be able to keep up and perform well. Business skills are simply those tools employees possess that keep a company competitive, efficient, and productive. Cultivating one’s business skills not only gives you a boost in your professional development but also improves the chance of an employer retaining you.
One quick way in building your skills is to increase your vocabulary, particularly in areas of specialized words used for your specific industry. This could be obtained by brushing up on your industry’s literature and materials. Podcasts and webinars offered on the Internet, community seminars and workshops, and company led training are all good places to not only add to vocabulary, but to gain a better understanding of your industry. Get comfortable with the definitions and the context in which the specialized words are used. For those industries that rely a lot on acronyms, resort to making lists to help with memorizing and keeping them straight.
Time management and organization are important skills that most employers desire in employees. These two areas often lead to greater efficiency and profitability for any company. Are you on time? Is your work area neat and manageable? The ability to work under pressure, meeting deadlines, and knowing how to handle stressful and tense situations are practices that serve most people well.
Daily communication skills are a necessity in any business whether you work retail, service, or high-tech. Emailing, participating in meetings, working side by side with co-workers are all part of the job. Refined social communication with your co-workers in any these formats enhances collaborations, increases productivity, as well as improves workplace safety. Learning how to conduct oneself while public speaking and in a teamwork setting is vital. Above all, learn to listen to what others are saying before responding and action. It will help you to gain understanding of multiple perspectives.
In addition, the ability to exhibit language proficiency in the workplace is critical for clear communication. Being multi-lingual will give you an even greater advantage in the business world. It is a desirable trait that makes you a valuable employee and will help distinguish you among other candidates. Jane Playdon for Top Universities.com discusses several valid reasons on why everyone should consider acquiring more language skills.
Don’t forget the importance of body language and its role in business skills. Body language can sometimes convey more information than the spoken word. Psychotherapist Sally Hall outlines nine body language tricks for Fast Company.com that include the acceptable amount of personal space required for business, as well as perfecting the handshake.
Whichever combination of skills you employ, a company can only benefit from the positive impact if every employee took even a few to heart. However, there are always more to learn if you want to improve. For more techniques that prove useful in the workplace, check out the SmartPlanet Bulletin that lists 12 business skills that stand the test of time.
Which business skills do you find particularly helpful in your industry?
Written by Marlene Martzke for English Classes by Skype