There are some business skills you may need to know and be capable of using regardless of your role in your company. Others may be specific to certain roles, departments, companies or industries. Here are five critical business skills you need to know.
1. Negotiation And Conflict Management Skills
If you’re a manager or are working to become a manager, then you need to be able to negotiate and manage conflict. These skills are also imperative to other types of jobs and tasks, such as making a sale or negotiating your salary. You should also have a basic knowledge of conflict management for your daily life and workplace relationships, as unresolved, negative impacts on these relationships can have major effects on your attitude and work ethic, as well as those of others. There are many negotiations training options available. Depending on your role, the training your company offers, your interests and your career plans, you may be able to choose to take one or more classes.
2. Decision-making Skills
No matter what type of work you’re doing, you need to have strong decision-making skills and confidence in your ability to make decisions. Ideally, you should be capable of making both well-researched, informed opinions and decisions under pressure. These decisions can be as simple as organizing your workday or as complex and deciding in what direction your department should head for the next fiscal year. Learning to develop and apply decision-making skills occurs throughout one’s life, beginning with learning from caretakers, progressing to educational decision-making and continuing as you progress through and make advancements in your career.
3. Critical Thinking And Problem-Solving Skills
Not only do you need to be able to make various types of decisions throughout your career, but you also need to be able to think critically and practice problem-solving. You need to be able to take in all of the information related to an issue, analyze all the factors in an impartial way and come up with a decent solution. Creativity and out-of-the-box thinking are essential aspects of this skill that you’ll need to hone over time. You also need to be aware that your solution may not work for everyone, even if it is the best possible solution under the current circumstances. Part of problem-solving is acknowledging that no solution will be perfect while striving to be accommodating.
4. Relationship Cultivation And Trust Building Skills
You’re unlikely to advance in any career if you’re no good at cultivating relationships and building trust. Most jobs require you to be able to work well with others and collaborate. You may be interacting with customers to make sales, collect feedback or solve problems. You will almost certainly be required to collaborate with other departments and members of your team on projects. It’s also a good idea to ask for feedback on solo work. No matter the reason you have for working with someone else, you need to be able to trust him or her and prove that he or she can trust you. If you start a strong relationship with someone, he or she will also be far more likely to be willing to work with you in the future, and you both may even enjoy working together.
5. Delegation Skills
No one can do everything on his or her own. You may need to delegate or ask someone else for help at any given time. Managers, in particular, must be able to effectively delegate tasks to the teams they manage. This means you have to be knowledgeable of your team members’ skills and areas of expertise. It also means you need to be able and willing to let other people help you or do tasks for you, which isn’t always easy for everyone.
Always seek out opportunities to develop and improve your skills, no matter whether you plan to advance your career, switch careers or stay where you are. You never know when a business skill may be useful to you or to your coworkers.