FAQ: The Importance Of Behavioural Skills In The Workplace
Updated 6 November 2022
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There are many skills you can learn and develop to help you be successful in your career. Behavioural skills are attributes that help you interact well with others, perform your job tasks effectively and work towards your own self-improvement. Regardless of your field, improving these skills can make you an attractive candidate for many jobs and provide you with opportunities for career advancement. In this article, we explain the importance of behavioural skills in the workplace and answer some other frequently asked questions about these traits.
What Are Behavioural Skills?
Behavioural skills are soft skills you can develop to help you throughout your career. These skills can help you learn about your thoughts, emotions and actions and those of other people. A lot of social skills are about forming relationships with surrounding people, which can help you and the professionals near you perform better together. Many people develop these skills naturally as part of developing in a society, though you can practise them to help you use them more effectively.
Related: Soft Skills: Definitions And Examples
What Is The Importance Of Behavioural Skills?
It is beneficial to learn about the importance of behavioural skills because they allow you to interact with people more effectively. Understanding different behavioural skills can give you insight into how other people think and feel and can help you influence other professionals. For example, if you are in a leadership position, you can use your knowledge of your team members to assign work that helps them feel effective in their role and matches their qualifications. Outside of your professional life, you can use behavioural skills to create better relationships with your family and friends.
What Are Types Of Behavioural Skills?
Below are types of behavioural skills:
This behavioural skill can include many areas of communication, such as nonverbal cues, active listening and the ability to write clearly. Communication skills help you convey key information accurately and efficiently to other people. They can also help you understand what others are saying.
For example, professionals with communication skills can listen to their manager to understand the instructions for an assignment. People with these skills can also listen to the needs of other professionals and help them complete tasks in the workplace. These skills can improve your efficiency at work and help you feel more confident in your role.
Related: Top Communication Skills For A Resume (With Examples)
Conflict resolution skills can help you manage disputes and disagreements positively. Professionals with these skills know how to resolve conflicts through effective communication. Often, professionals with conflict resolution skills can act as a moderator on a team to facilitate communication and encourage others to work together to solve problems. They can also identify potential problems and analyse solutions to resolve the issue proactively. This trait can help you collaborate with others and work as a part of a team effectively because you can understand why a conflict may arise and create solutions that are acceptable to everyone involved.
Decision-making is an important behavioural skill because it lets you lead others effectively. Most people use their decision-making skills for large and small tasks every day. For example, you may choose what breakfast you eat, the route you take to work and the order you complete tasks for your job. Decision-making is important because it lets you control how you interact with your surroundings. For example, during a conflict, you can use your decision-making skills to find an immediate solution, postpone a solution for that conflict or help others find their own solutions to the conflict with your guidance.
Related: What Is Decision Making? Definition, Types And Tips
Empathy is an important behavioural skill because it helps you understand the feelings and emotions of other people. Professionals with empathy skills can understand another person's perspective and recognise why they may have that viewpoint. For example, a professional with strong empathy skills may notice that a coworker appears stressed and ask if they want some help with their job tasks. Empathy skills can help you collaborate with others and make them feel comfortable with you. Having empathy at work can also help you learn about people more effectively, allowing you to interact with them more easily.
Related: Empathic Skills: Definition And Examples (With Tips)
Self-improvement is the act of creating benefits for yourself in healthy and new ways. Self-improvement can also be the method you use to identify and pursue areas where you can grow. For example, you may recognise your need for improving your writing skills and develop a plan to increase the clarity, concision and effectiveness of your writing. This is an important behavioural skill because it helps you become a better professional and serve as a role model for other professionals to emulate.
This can be especially helpful if you are in a leadership position because the people you manage can recognise your willingness to grow, which encourages them to pursue their own development.
Time management is an important behavioural skill because it can help you remain organised throughout your work. This skill applies to both short-term and long-term tasks. For example, you can organise your workday into sections where you complete specific tasks, aligning more arduous tasks with your best production times.
For long-term tasks, you can identify when to start projects or tasks so you complete them by their respective deadlines. Understanding time management and applying it to your career can help you progress by increasing your awareness of your abilities. This skill also increases your awareness of the length of projects.
Related: Time Management Skills: Definition and Examples
How Can You Learn Behavioural Skills?
Below are steps you can follow to learn behavioural skills:
Choose one skill to focus on
As there are several behavioural skills you can learn, choose one to start. Choose a skill you think can help you in your career currently. For example, you may choose to learn how to communicate better because you noticed your communication is not always clear with your coworkers. There are many reasons you can choose a skill, but some questions you can consider as you think about what skill you want to develop include:
Can the skill benefit you right now?
Is the skill something you need for long-term advancement?
Do you notice a need for the skill in your workplace?
How often do you wish you had the skill?
Are there related skills you need before you learn the new skill?
Search for opportunities
Once you identify a skill you want to develop, find opportunities to practise that skill. For example, you may identify there is a lot of conflict in your workplace and decide to develop your conflict resolution skills to help everyone around you. Once you decide this, you can learn about how to help resolve conflicts and apply what you learn to conflicts you see around you. This can have several benefits, including helping others come to you as a resource for their conflicts, giving you insight into the lives of your professional colleagues and easing tensions in your workplace.
As you find opportunities to practise your behavioural skills, set goals for yourself. One way to set goals is by using the SMART method of goal setting. This method gives you the skills to set specific and attainable goals you can use to grow your skills. This is important so you can track the progress of your skills as you use them. For example, you can say by the end of the month, you want to practise your communication skills at least ten times.
Related: SMART Goals: Definition and Examples
Observe others using the skill
Another way you can develop your skills is by watching other professionals use them. This includes how your colleagues, your managers and your executive leadership use the skills you want to develop. This can also include reading about how leaders in your industry and around the world use the skills you want.
Observing these skills can show you different ways you can apply your skills to challenges, helping you overcome them. For example, you can watch how your executive leadership communicates with people within your organisation and learn what works best for you and the professionals with which you work.
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