In today's increasingly competitive world, employers have hundreds of resumes to skim through and thousands of presentations to grade and review in search of just a handful of employees. In a time and situation like this, it is important to make ourselves an irreplaceable asset to our organization. To be able to build ourselves into that, paying attention to personal skills and honing them is really essential. Education gives you qualification, but personal skills shape you as a person capable of facing both personal and professional challenges, and work towards your own growth while supporting the growth of others around you.
This article lists down a few important personal skills and how to improve them at the base-level. Following are some skills, an upskilling of whose will help you step-up your life:
Personal Courage: Courage is not the absence of fear, rather the awareness and overcoming of it. And that holds true at the workplace as well. Personal courage is important to an organization as well as your own personal growth. Courage can be cultivated in many small ways. The first one is to do a “perspective check” for yourself. Instead of saying, “I can’t do this”, try saying, “I am unable to do this as of now. How can I learn to do this?” This helps you change your perspective from viewing challenges as dead-ends to challenges as opportunities.
Emotional Intelligence: Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to gauge, understand and effectively respond to others as well as your own emotions. Emotionally intelligent people naturally make better professionals because they have a greater understanding of emotional cues. For example, an employee is more likely to be happy working under a boss who can empathize with his personal concerns and be considerate towards them as opposed to someone who is just solely focused on the tasks and disregards employees’ feelings. You can read more on emotional intelligence here.
Stress Management: Stress management is an important aspect of working with challenges in an organization. Every new day at work starts with a new challenge these days. Be it mergers, new projects, cracking deals or forming strategies, work stress can pile up and hinder your well-being. This gets especially worse when you have a tendency to bring work problems at home, then it hampers your personal life. Therefore, active efforts to manage stress are necessary. You can start by practicing things like breathing practices, sublimation, channeling it elsewhere and anything that keeps you emotionally involved in a positive way.
Taking Criticism: Let's be honest, corporate culture can be ruthless. There are times when people disregard a proposal you made on your face, or correct and criticize you with everyone watching. Taking criticism well is therefore really important. It helps to know that someone is not taking jabs at you, but rather helping you improve with constructive feedback. Criticism is also often mistaken by ego clashes or political gimmicks, and even if it is, one could manage one’s emotional state well to see through the corrections and amendments to be done rather than over-thinking.
Self-Awareness and Self-Assessment: When you know your own power, you can power your organization 10 times more. Being aware of your own strengths, weaknesses, aspirations and areas of improvement makes you a sensible professional. Self-assessment almost comes hand in hand with self-awareness or vice-versa in the sense that it helps you gauge your attributes, thus increasing your self-awareness. A very handy and easy tool to increase awareness is the SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis. This can not only help you see the things on the surface but also help you realize the hidden within which you might have forgotten.
Adaptability: A competent professional does not change the environment to suit him, he molds himself to fit in his environment. Adaptability is a very essential personal skill, one that definitely gives you an edge over other people who feel stuck in the face of change. For example, let’s say you’re employed at an event management firm. You sourced all the decorations from an overseas vendor for a wedding that is scheduled to happen the next day. At the last minute, the vendor calls you to inform you that the packages filled with the decoration material are stuck in transit and might not reach the venue by tomorrow. Here, if you have the skill of adaptability within you and the drive to keep going, you’ll make your best efforts and source local materials to make arrangements for the wedding to happen as planned. Changes are the only constant in life, and the person who realizes that and works with it is indeed a valued professional.
Consideration: People often complain about the difficulties of being misunderstood or not being heard. In critical situations, people want to be heard, hence considering their critical situations is very important. We can’t confuse consideration with empathy, as empathy is trying to understand the opposite person from his point of view. Whereas, being considerate is consciously thoughtful and observant of the facts. Being considerate makes you an approachable person which is essential as a workplace quality. Considerate people deal with situations by taking individual’s facts and situations into account, hence it makes them trustworthy and desirable peers to work with.
Workplace cultures are a large part of an organization yet an identity of how the organization operates. People are not born emotionally intelligent, but you can surely encourage a socially intelligent workplace culture within an organization. However, changes never happen by themselves, they need to be struck by someone initially. These changes can be done positively only when you as an individual are ready to accommodate where you work and produce the best of what you can, irrespective of what happens around you in a smarter way that keeps you away from negative reflections and you can reflect positively on the environment - that is when you are on the way of excelling personal skills.
Hope you found this article helpful. If you or your organization is interested to learn more about such attributes and behavioral skills at the workplace, feel free to get in touch with us at RGB Training Services!