In the past, we’ve discussed three big soft skills that give you an advantage- communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. This time, we are going to discuss three core skills employers love that will give you that extra edge to push you over the competition- Writing, Adaptability, and Conflict Resolution. If you can master these skills, you’ll be sure to rise to the top of the workforce.
Writing falls under communication, so it may seem like we’ve already covered this. However, writing skills are in high demand by employers, so it’s important to delve into this skill a little deeper.
When employers are asking for writing skills, they aren’t looking for poetry or best-selling novels. Instead, they are looking for people with the ability to convey abstract ideas in a concise and clear manner to a wide variety of people.
Even in this age of quick texts and slang that sounds more like shorthand, there are a variety of documents that require excellent writing skills. Proposals, memos, handbooks, manuals, interoffice communications, negotiations with other companies all require the ability to write well.
Steps to Improve:
Unfortunately, even though this skill is in high demand, it is not readily available in new graduates or applicants. Employers are constantly commenting on the lack of writing skills available in new workers today. Here’s how you improve your writing skills and get ahead of your competition:
- Take a writing course. There are many available online or even at your local library, often for free.
- Practice writing daily. Simple memos, complex ideas, or even just a letter to a friend. Practicing writing will improve your skills drastically.
- Practice editing your work and the work of others. Offer to be a proofreader for a friend. Editing will make your writing skills stronger.
- Read. Read different types of articles, books, and magazines. This helps your mind adopt new ways of writing.
- When you are writing remember to be aware of your audience, keep it professional and concise.
Business is constantly changing. Technology is constantly evolving and new developments are always emerging. If you can’t adapt to change, it will be very difficult for you to find and keep work in today’s workforce.
Employers need team members who can adapt to the demands and changes of the international business world. Knowing how to accept change and adapt to different programs, technology, and practices will set you apart from the crowd.
Steps to Improve
If you are a new graduate or an old pro, show your adaptability in the following ways:
- Continuing Education. Whether you are just out of school or have been in the workforce for years, continuing education shows your commitment to learning and your ability to adapt.
- Stay up to date with technology and changes in the business world. People who can keep up with the latest changes are able to adapt to anything that comes along.
- Try new things. Go on a hot air balloon ride, try a different type of food, take up a new and unique hobby. Show future employers that you enjoy experimenting and they will appreciate your adventurous and adaptable spirit.
3) Conflict Resolution
While most people avoid conflict, it is important to be able to resolve issues that come up, especially in the business world. Employers will love problems solvers, especially when it comes to conflict resolution between people or other companies. Conflict resolution involves the ability to listen, negotiate, and persuade people, even in tense situations. Plus, most conflict resolutions result in stronger relationships and mutually beneficial agreements that could not only put you on top, but actually keep you there.
Steps to Improve
Improving your conflict resolution skills can be a little tricky. Try practicing the following skills to help you during difficult negotiations or conflicts.
- Debate. Practice debating points of an argument or an idea. Make sure to research both sides and use data and facts to help you get the point across.
- Control your emotions. Try to keep emotions out of conflict discussions. Emotional pleas often result in provoking emotional responses that can sometimes create bigger problems.
- Find common ground. There is one instance where emotion can enter your negotiations. If there are values that are shared and agreed on beforehand, you can utilize these shared goals in your discussion.
- Learn to be clear. Most conflicts are created through misunderstandings. If you can learn to be clear and to listen to others, it will help you become a great negotiator.
- Keep others in mind. Even though you might be hoping to persuade someone, never forget their ideas and opinions have merit. Listen, consider, and try to understand before you respond to any conflicts. If you can do these things, you’ll be an incredible asset to any company.
Employers are searching for candidates who have the skills needed to provide innovation and improved communication for their businesses. Mastering these skills takes a little time, practice, and determination. However, once you are proficient in these skills, you’ll be in high demand with employers across the board.