We may be living in a smartphone-powered, message-crazy world but in business, some skills will never go out of fashion. It is tempting to pay attention only to the most modern, radical business theories when you are discovering how to be a better leader, business person, entrepreneur or manager. But the following business advice could have come from the 80s, 70s or even earlier – the basic rules for success in business haven’t changed with the arrival of the internet and the tablet. These seven skills stand the test of time.
Time Management Skills
You’re not going to get anywhere in business if you don’t know how to prioritise, plan tasks, and stay organised. Time pressures have always been with us, but today it is essential you know how to stay on top of your projects. It’s tempting to rely on apps to help manage your time but if you don’t know how to use a particular app in the right context you end up wasting it. Plus, you need to know how to sort and process ideas, info and data as it flows into your newsfeed or inbox.
Email is a great time-saver but when it comes to persuading bosses on your new project idea or getting a team to gel and work together, you need to speak up. Communication skills are as essential today as they were in the past when you couldn’t send a text or tell someone to Google a concept. You need to be able to motivate, enthuse, and inform people using your words – written and spoken.
Now more than ever, you need to know when to say no (or rather, when to pass the task onto someone else.) You cannot do everything, no matter how skilled you are. The trick is to surround yourself with people who are equally skilled and who can do the things you cannot or will not complete.
Goal Setting Skills
Have a complete vision of the end result and work towards it – no business will succeed without understanding how it is going to expand and progress.
Public Speaking Skills
More than success in communication, you also need to excel at speaking in public. While a lot of information is now transmitted through email and websites, it is still important to be able to make your point in front of an audience. Face-to-face and filmed encounters bring big exposure and results – just look at TED.
Flexibility, Adaptability and the Ability to Learn
Find tools and information in The Corporate Toolbox and other online sources of business ideas and inspiration. You need to keep learning in order to keep up with the latest technology and also to add skills to gaps you may have in your job or professional life.
Relationship Building Skills
Social media makes it easy to “like” something or someone but it takes effort and skill to develop relationships that bring rewards. Keeping contacts going and moving to the next level after an initial touch-base on social media is crucial.