LinkedIn kicked off the year with an article about the skills that will be most needed by companies in 2019 and we thought that we would join the conversation and ask our Mentors to contribute their thoughts and advice!
In this series of blog posts, we’re going to be exploring the ensuing skill categories:
- Internal ‘business-as-usual’ skills
- Soft skills
- Design & creative skills
- Communication skills
- Development and back-end skills
Following our well-received first look at BAU skills, this month we’re shining the spotlight on Soft Skills required in business with our pick of Mentors covering popular industries of: IT & Technology; Marketing, Media, Advertising & PR; Sales & Retail; Science & Research; Creative & Production, and HR & Recruitment.
Read this month’s contributions on Time Management, Adaptability, Collaboration and Persuasion — all important soft skills that are owed the same respect, focus and development as any learned skill. Thank you to this month’s Mentors for their time and brilliant advice:
TIME-MANAGEMENT — Waheed Warden, EMEIA ABM and DBM Lead at Fujitsu
Time management is a crucial skill because it enables you to achieve your goals in a structured way. This is even more important now because the environment that companies operate in has changed and managing time effectively enables agility. Although ad-hoc tasks / projects will always come up, setting aside time to accommodate these will still enable progress towards core goals. Effective time-management also contributes to a work-life balance on a personal level and can help free up time for learning and development opportunities, so you can keep your skills up-to-date as the market changes.
ADAPTABILITY — Sandra Berko, Talent Coach at SB Vision Coaching
Companies are constantly demanding new ideas, challenging the status quo and working out new solutions to problems they’re trying to solve. Adaptability shifts employees from a reactive to a proactive state which enables them to become resourceful and build up their resilience in an environment of uncertainty, especially in the world of startups.
COLLABORATION — Tony Hughes, Commercial Director at CityCurator
Without collaboration, innovation does not happen. Simple as that.
Whether you are building a website, a programme, a computer game or a football team… without collaboration the dream stays a dream. Good teams work when you are competing ideas, methods or approaches fighting for air time — this way as teams move forward what they produce is constantly checked, revised and if you are doing it right, improved. The creative abrasion between people with different viewpoints is the catalyst for innovation turning into implementation and giving you a chance of success.
PERSUASION — Hutton Henry, CEO at Beyond M&A and B-urself
Persuasion is the skill to present an idea and importantly — take action.
Most customers we work with want to reduce costs, increase agility and/or improve quality. This often means making significant changes to their business/tech, and this takes persuasion — asking people across the business to “make change”.
Look at the purpose of the intended change you intend or recommend. Fully-flesh out how you think it will work, and what success “looks” like before involving others. It does not take long to do this, say 10–30 minutes, and will help you persuade yourself — with better data — before trying to persuade others.
Once your idea is formed, you will need to present it in a way that others will relate to it. In all cases you’ll need to be clear and concise, but you will also need to ensure you focus on the output of the work/change — does it impact time/cost/quality? You may also have to consider what’s in it for the customer to undertake this project or piece of work, and so also have to develop your presentation and further persuasion skills.
Key takeaway points from our wonderful Mentors are:
- Training yourself to master the above soft skills will give you more freedom in both your professional and personal life
- There’s a significant positive impact on an organisation’s efficiency and profitability when you’re able to successfully employ and utilise soft skills
- These skills can be learned — to reap all the benefits, proactively exercising and practicing each in turn will enhance how you interact in all workplace situations
We hope you’re enjoying the series so far! Keep checking our social media channels for the next instalment!
Our third post in this series will take a closer look at design and creative skills in business where our Mentors will outline how these skills are mandatory in any workplace to a) effectively deliver your product or service to market and b) reach your target audience. Stay tuned!
The Connect Mentors team
Written by Heli Metsmaa-Petersons, Operations Director.
More about Connect Mentors…
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