Four Business Skills That Can Improve Your Work and Social Life

Four Business Skills That Can Improve Your Work and Social Life

People learn most of the fundamental skills for business when they’re young. Some kids take leadership roles, while others create the games or activities in which they participate. These salient skills become better defined as individuals take high school and college courses and complete challenging projects, though not every skill can be learned in school. In the corporate world, however, the most successful people cultivate many business skills that can also carry over to their social life. 

The same could also be said about habits that can leave a person less than able to do and be the best that one can be. This is where coaching and mentoring comes in. A well-seasoned coach can offer support and guidance for those with strong habits that need to be nurtured, retooled and in some cases relearned. Here are some of the essential skills you’ll need to succeed in your career and social life that you can develop on your own or with the help of a coach/mentor.

Business Skill 1: Communication

Our first business skill focuses on how we get ideas and thoughts across to others. Communication skills include the ability to listen, speak, read and write effectively, according to the Center for Development & Learning. You must be able to listen, hear and read instructions to complete tasks the right way. Understanding how to write and speak effectively to get your point across or inform your colleagues, and leadership is a key function in a company’s performance or financial results process. Even in your personal life, communication is crucial. Kyani explains “Dating coaches and sales professionals often teach the need to create desire, and want for more in a conversation in order to achieve success.” In your social life, good communication alleviates stress with your loved ones, enhances relationships and creates new opportunities based on clarity instead of confusion.

Business Skill 2: Networking

We have spoken about the power of talk before. Perhaps one of the most frightening skills to master, the ability to socialize in work settings, or networking enables you to develop contacts for which to conduct business, find colleagues and develop an identity in the workplace.  Business is a numbers game. The more people you know, the better your chances for success. Networking is also essential as a way to enhance your social life, whether you meet people through social media, church, events or online dating sites. The technique of “making small talk” can help take you from “standing in the corner” to “being part of the group”. Start increasing your exposure today in both your work and personal life. You’ll enjoy the fruits of your efforts. Take little steps; one of my favorite exercises is to suggest someone go to a coffee shop but instead of keeping your face on your tablet or phone, engage someone a conversation. The conversation doesn’t have to be long or in-depth but it should be enough to do the following take you out of yourself and bring you at the moment with salient topical talk. 

Offer an open-ended greeting

Add to it an inquiry [note -This could about the weather, the taste of what they are eating, observational query on what they are reading etc]

Be aware of your body language. are you looking at the person? are you making eye contact?

Do they appear interested in talking more?

Listen to the reply and respond as appropriate.

It will feel forced, but as you practice it will begin to feel more natural as you develop your natural sense of inquiry.

Business Skill 3: Decision-Making

Making proper decisions is an essential step in becoming a leader, according to Mind Tools. When you make a decision, you must take a systematic approach to get there. For example, if you’re deciding which features or styles you need for a product, your modus operandi should include surveying or talking with customers. Developing decision-making skills is one of the most valuable abilities you can learn, and business leaders know how to make the hard calls. They’re the ones buying your product. Similarly, the ability to decide where to go on a date or how to handle a personal situation is an attractive quality to the opposite sex.

How you communicate as we mentioned above also relates to this process. Hearing “I don’t care” is very different than “I do not have a preference and willingness to “. The intent is often not implied, so practice clarity in the decision making process.  What are you needing to make the decision?

Business Skill 4: Negotiating

Negotiating is one of the most valuable and fundamental compromise skills anyone can learn. In sales, for example, you have competitors who may be vying for the same clients. To get the order, you must stress the benefits of your product over competitors, defend any organizational shortcomings and even change the price to close the deal. Negotiating is also essential in your personal life. You may need to sacrifice a session at the gym or skip a favorite event to appease your spouse.

Start developing some of these essential business skills that can have a profound effect on both your work and social life. You’ll be a much happier and contented person because of it. It may feel awkward at first – but you have to learn to stand before you can run!

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Also published on Medium.

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