Importance Of Developing Skills And Tips For Development
Updated 30 September 2022
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Whether technical or soft, skills are important attributes and traits for success in a workplace. It is important to develop transferrable skills that can make you competitive in your workplace. Understanding relevant skills, their importance and how to develop them can help you constantly improve them for personal and professional growth. In this article, we discuss the importance of developing skills, highlight some skills you can develop and provide tips for developing your skills.
Importance of developing skills
Developing skills is important because it allows you to improve attributes and qualities vital to effective workplace performance. By developing these skills, you can also begin your path to personal development, which can help you maximise your potential and achieve your career goals in record time. Beyond this, by developing specific skills, you can naturally fit them into your routine and use them to better yourself, improve your talents and strengths, find satisfaction and fulfilment and advance in your career.
Skills you can develop for personal and professional improvement
Your skills usually involve qualities or traits that you possess or those that you can learn or acquire through training and education. While these skills differ based on individual goals, some skills that are relevant regardless of the industry include:
Communication skills involve your ability to write, read, listen and speak. This skill is vital to help you understand information from others and convey your ideas to colleagues and friends. For instance, communication can help you delegate duties to team members and achieve organisational goals as a manager. Usually, good communicators can speak and write clearly, maintaining a positive and appropriate tone depending on the situation.
You can also refer to interpersonal skills as social or people skills, and it refers to the nonverbal and verbal reactions and behaviour during interactions with others. This skill affects your potential to build and sustain relationships with others or make a positive impression on them in a social situation. In addition, this skill can include other qualities such as empathy, patience, motivation and dependability.
Related: Interpersonal Skills: Definitions And Examples
Organisational skills involve maintaining a tidy and organised physical or digital space. It also extends to planning for the future, scheduling your activities and prioritising between competing tasks. Good organisers can save time, meet deadlines and improve work efficiency.
Problem-solving involves your capacity to handle surprising and challenging situations. Generally, unplanned circumstances are common across most industries and workplaces. Problem-solvers are professionals who can remain calm during such situations, analyse the situation, assess available options and identify the most suitable solution for the issue.
Self-confidence is a founded belief in your capacity, actions and decisions. It often involves an overwhelming but founded belief in your capabilities to complete your tasks and achieve positive results. If you are self-confident, you are more likely to try new tasks and pursue ambitious objectives while believing you can succeed.
Adaptability refers to adjusting easily and quickly to new situations and ideas. For instance, as an adaptable professional, you can maintain your performance even if your work partner changes. Adaptable people can manage change, collaborate with a wide range of personalities and thrive regardless of the environment.
Integrity refers to a commitment to stating the truth and taking the right course of action, even when challenging. Integrity is an important attribute as people usually trust individuals who present themselves as honest in their dealings. Maintaining your integrity and standing by your values can also create a good reputation within an industry, providing opportunities for career advancement.
Work ethic involves your perception of responsibility and your commitment to work. Usually, it involves hard work, reliability, quality, discipline, determination and responsibility. As an individual with a good work ethic, you are often productive and maintain a positive attitude to assignments. This can help create a positive work environment that inspires other employees to perform efficiently.
Leadership skills invoice the ability for you to guide other individuals in a group. As a good leader, you can motivate your team members and support them to achieve team goals. You can also help build the team's confidence and improve their morale in cases of challenging situations.
Read more: 10 Common Leadership Styles
Tips for developing your workplace skills
Here are some guidelines that can help you develop your workplace skills for improved personal and professional satisfaction:
Overcome your fears
Usually, fear can stop you from achieving your development goals. For instance, fear of speaking poorly can prevent you from speaking in public even when the need arises. It is important to take active steps to build confidence and overcome this fear.
For example, you can take public speaking classes to help you overcome your fear of speaking. You can also join a community of people looking to become better speakers to help reassure yourself that you are not alone and that there is room for improvement. Constantly taking the initiative and introducing yourself to small groups at a workshop or reception can also help prepare you for a larger crowd.
Believe in yourself
Sufficient confidence in your actions and decisions can often spur others to believe in you. This can create a positive feeling within your workplace and spur you to pursue more personal development. Doing this prepares you to handle subsequent challenges and reach your goals.
Reading is an effective way to expand your knowledge and gain new perspectives on various issues. It can help keep you updated and informed about recent community events and expand your vocabulary. It can also help stimulate your mind, improving your critical thinking and analytical skills. You can set reading goals, such as reading a motivational and educational article each day or two books per month.
An important part of communication is listening attentively to others. This allows you to receive feedback, understand what others have to say and provide an accurate response. As an entry-level employee, this can ensure you perform your duties based on the accurate specifications provided by your manager. For managers, it also ensures you can delegate duties appropriately to team members and achieve the intended results.
Learn new ideas
Learning new ideas through self-learning or formal and informal classes can help you improve your knowledge base. It can also help you improve your relevance in your workplace and industry. For instance, you can learn a new language to help you interact with cross-border clients better. You can also learn a new software program, explore creative writing or research social media marketing.
Adapt to change
Changes at work and in your personal life are common and often due to circumstances beyond your control. It is important that you are flexible and can cope with these changes. This ensures you can work alone or in a team, deliver regardless of the conditions and accept and implement new ideas.
Read more: How To Be Flexible At Work: A Complete Guide
Feedback is an important part of improving your skills, as it allows you to identify areas for improvement. For example, you can ask your family member or friend for feedback on relevant aspects of your skill, such as empathy or interpersonal skills. Asking your manager or colleague for feedback about more technical skills such as problem-solving or your work ethic during a project can also spur improvements. You can use these comments to identify what you did well and where you underperformed.
You can also watch and learn from other professionals who you consider inspirational. For instance, you can feel inspired by your supervisor's team management or communication skills. In such cases, you can monitor them to determine how they display these skills so you can replicate them during your workplace performance.
Networking is valuable for a wide range of reasons during your journey to professional development. For example, networking allows you to interact with various categories of people, providing access to new ideas and understanding of diverse personality types. Networking also allows you to form formidable partnerships that can help you in the future. For example, you can network through shared interest groups and industry organisations or attend events and conferences on relevant issues.
Read more: What Is Business Networking? (With Benefits And Types)
Use a journal
Keeping a journal daily or weekly provides a vital opportunity for self-awareness and easy reflection on your conversations, decisions and events. You can use a private journal and opt for a hand-written or digital journal. Blogging is also another useful way to record your experiences while setting and assessing your progress towards personal and professional goals.
Meditating is an effective way to gain awareness and clarity about important issues in your professional and personal life. It can also help you reduce anxiety and stress. This is because it spurs a positive and healthy approach to personal development. You can schedule regular breaks from work to meditate in a quiet place, relax and improve your focus.
Get a mentor
A mentor is a professional in the same industry with considerable experience and usually in a higher position. For instance, your mentor can be a professor, supervisor, manager, consultant or someone you revere in your field. A mentor can be useful to help you identify areas for improvement and how to achieve it. For instance, your mentor can help you navigate an industry dilemma more easily, especially if they have experienced it before.
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