Fact: The higher up you go in a business or organization, the less it's about technical skills and the more problem solving and people skills become more important.
The truth of the matter is, you can hire people to do the technical skills. It is however, harder to hire someone to manage people and teams when they report to you.
Regardless of the industry, there are skills which matter. These are skills which add value to your curriculum vitae and to your stock as a professional.
These are the same skills which will help you get far in life no matter where you work and whom you deal with.
Skill #1: Listening skills
Perhaps one of the most underappreciated skills, one's ability to listen is so, so much.
A study done in the United States has revealed that almost 50% of those whom resigned from their jobs did so because they felt they were not listened to enough and therefore felt unappreciated. Also, less than 2% of professionals received formal training on how to listen better. (Sources available upon request)
Surprised? I wasn't. Often I get requests to train others how to speak better, which is great. Unfortunately, it's very rare I get asked to do training on how to listen better.
Great listening skills activate one's ability to listen to what their clients really need and want. Shouldn't that be more of what we want?
Skill #2: Critical Thinking skills
Critical thinking is the root of some of the most crucial skills one can have: the ability to make sound decisions and the ability to problem solve.
To be frank, I've met more individuals who aren't strongly analytical and great critical thinkers than ones who exhibit strength in this area.
The good news is, you can start honing this skill today and wiithout a doubt, your future self will be thanking your present self that you did.
Skill #3: Networking skills
As they say, no man is an island. Whether you're a business owner or employed, you've got to learn to expand your network. It's with the growth of your network that opportunities grow too.
Skill #4: Conversational skills
Just because you're extroverted doesn't mean you're a great conversationalist, and just because you're introverted doesn't mean you have to be scared about doing things.
There's a way to do this which will allow you to create a great impression on others.
Oh, and make sure it's more about others than it is about you because trust me - everyone wants to talk about themselves. So let them.
Skill #5: Collaboration skills
Unless you live under a rock, you've got to work with others.
Whether or not you enjoy doing it is an entirely different issue. But whether or not you do, you've got to learn to work with others because the world is one big network and we work with others in different capacities all the time.
What do you think are the most important skills to learn now?
Share in the comments below!
(Photos from Shutterstock)