Moving Beyond Technical Skills

Leap of FaithTo do any job you have to have the right technical skills.  This doesn’t mean you have to be a rocket scientist just that you have to have the skills needed to do the tasks of the job.  Typically you need technical skills to get hired.  That’s the good news.  The bad news is that in most cases technical skills alone will not get you promoted very far.  To be successful in a career you need to have people skills. This is true because in almost every position you will be dealing with other people: bosses, co-workers, clients, customers, sub-ordinates and so on.

How do you develop these skills?  Here are seven tips to get you started:

  1. Leaders are Everywhere:  Even without a title of supervisor, manager or director you can be a leader.  Every work team has one person who is the unofficial leader the person people look to for help and guidance.  This person is a leader without the title.  It can be you.
  2. Focus on Others:  Being in a leadership position gives you the opportunity to help your organization move forward.  You need your team on board to make that happen.  If you put your emphasis on the success of your team, you will be successful.  If you put yourself first you will eventually fail because no one has your back.
  3. Recognize Diversity:  Keep in mind that everyone is different and this is a great thing.  Better ideas are generated and innovative solutions come from the open exploration of different viewpoints.  Look for the ways the people around you are different from you and each other.
  4. Identify Strengths:  As you uncover the differences in people, take a moment to their strengths.   This will help you see the positive in the differences and help you find ways to bring out their best.
  5. Listen First:  If you want to know how to work well with others, listen to what they have to say.  Ask open ended questions and then really focus your attention on their answers.  Don’t worry about your response, just listen and take in their ideas.  Then reflect back what you heard to make sure you got it right.  They will feel valued and will be more open to what you have to say when the time comes.
  6. Celebrate Positives:  Take the time to recognize and reward people who are doing well.  It doesn’t have to be big and fancy.  Sincere thanks and public acknowledgement goes a long way towards helping people feel valued.  Have a team lunch, do something fun together, give silly awards if appropriate, or hand write a thank you card for a job well done.
  7. Keep Learning:  This is a journey not a destination.  Get feedback on how you are doing and look for opportunities to learn how to grow your skills.  Take time to meet with people you admire to learn from their stories.  Find a mentor, take classes, read relevant information, and connect with others who are interested in growing their skills.

You can learn the soft skills if you are willing to take the time and effort to improve yourself.  These skills are critical to long-term career growth.  Having strong people skills is a key indicator of the ability to lead others and is one important factor companies use when deciding who to promote.

How are you developing your skills?

If you want to explore more about what you can do to advance your career visit Delta Consulting Group, LLC for more information.  Schedule a time for a complimentary strategy session to help move forward by clicking here.

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Filed under Leadership, Personal Development

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