Technical skills. How to make, fix or improve things are the baseline of any organisation. You need a mechanic to know how to fix your car. You need a financial expert to calculate company payroll. You need medically trained staff to diagnose and treat illnesses.
However it’s people skills which are the mortar that hold the bricks of organisations, employees and customers together and ensure all can flourish, especially where we are navigating the sometimes choppy waters of blended working. People skills ensure organisations have a heart as well as a pulse.
Here are 10 people skills that will ensure you secure roles and progress in your career, while also contributing to workplace wellbeing.
1. Team players
People who put others before themselves, willing to cover for staff who are absent, help out at short notice and support less experienced colleagues. They enjoy collective success and contribute to staff feeling a sense belonging.
2. Emotional intelligence
People who know how to deal skilfully with a tricky situation or individuals and who have the ability to tune in to others’ needs and feelings are a valuable asset to any team.
Staff who lead with kindness quickly build relationships with those around them. Being patient, showing authentic appreciation and understanding that people are human cultivate a caring culture.
A boss who has your back creates a two-way climate of trust and loyalty. In turn, you will do your best work for them.
The willingness to work differently and adapt to unprecedented circumstances, open to trying out different approaches has never been more important. This applies to both staff and to managers.
With all that’s been expected of employees in recent times, perhaps you feel you’ve reached ‘peak’ resilience. However, the ability to remain resilient in the face of ongoing uncertainty and to support others who struggle with change is a key personal skill.
The pace of change is relentless- Chat GPT anyone? And if we aren’t continuing to learn, frankly we’re going backwards. Employers can only do so much by way of investing in employees’ learning. You need to take responsibility for your own development too, routinely following your curiosity and experimenting with new ways of doing things.
When times are turbulent, the ability to communicate clearly, frequently and in different ways helps others to stay calm and ride the waves of change more easily. Knowing what’s expected and why significantly helps to reduce staff stress.
People who are skilled at bringing others together to explore the bigger picture and collaborate to improve systems or processes. They look beyond their team boundaries and acknowledge the value of different views, expertise and roles.
The ability to diffuse stress and poke fun at situations so people are able to see the ridiculousness of organisational politics is a valuable skill. Making people laugh makes people feel connected and ‘in it together.’
How have you supported your colleagues, customers and organisation?
It may feel challenging to ‘promote’ your people skills. They can feel more altruistic than technical where it can be easier to quantify impact. A kind word to a colleague, expressing gratitude and supporting staff to adapt to new ways of working may not feel as though you’re setting the world on fire. However, by contributing to staff wellbeing, the ultimate impact on your organisation’s bottom line is unquestionable.
Capture your impact
Whether you’re looking to progress in your career or simply updating your CV, make sure you capture the contribution and impact you’ve made with your people skills. Don’t just describe what you did. Consider the difference you’ve made to your organisation and your colleagues.
‘It is with the heart that one sees rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye’. Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince
First published @ www.thecareercatalyst.co.uk