By DeVry University
March 5, 2020
4 min read
March 5, 2020
4 min read
Interested in a career in business? You're probably exploring degree programs that can help grow your knowledge in areas like accounting, operations and marketing. You might even be thinking about the hands-on, technical skills you’ll add to your future resume. But have you thought about "soft skills"? Communication skills, business acumen and adaptability are all important to cultivate if you aspire to become a leader in your field.
In addition to having strong technical skills and educational backgrounds, successful professionals constantly seek out ways to improve their leadership qualities and expand their personal brands. See how these 13 professional attributes can become some of your most effective tools for success:
Give your full attention when listening to others, particularly to their interests and needs.
Listen without arguing, disputing or asking direct questions right away.
Talk about yourself only when connecting to something the other person is saying.
Ask questions that help you learn more about what the person is feeling.
Empathy is something you can put into action every day as a respected leader.
Master video sharing
According to Social Media Today, “research has also shown that LinkedIn users are 20x more likely to share a video on the platform than any other type of post.” If you want to be viewed as a thought leader in your field, start by sharing relevant video content that your connections may find valuable.
Leverage technology to engage in lifelong learning
through programs that help you level up specific skills – or brush up on what you already know. For example, LinkedIn Learning offers online training on everything from design to web development, coding, marketing, small business ownership, project management and more.
Demonstrate thought leadership
across all social channels – LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and even Instagram – by offering learnings, tips and information around your education or work.
Preventing and resolving conflict on the job.
If your communication skills are not yet up to par, there are ways to practice in your everyday personal and work lives. Here are some strategies outlined by Forbes:
Ask good questions.
Summarize during a conversation to ensure you understand properly.
Use short sentences.
Listen to others before expressing your opinion.
Express your point of view in brief, bite size chunks that people can remember.
Enhancing your communication skills can not only improve your leadership capabilities, but can also help you stand out as you aspire towards higher-level positions that are critical to business planning.
Promotes problem solving
When your team encounters an obstacle, leading them with a creative mindset can help them resolve the issue efficiently.
Encourages a positive work environment
The creative process can inspire people to voice their perspectives and connect with each other, so being a creative leader may help you develop a constructive culture of belonging.
Helps you navigate change
By using creativity in leadership, you can innovate new ideas that align with best practices in your industry. A creative mindset may also help prepare you for future changes in your field.
Improving focus helps increase your effectiveness, which in turn helps you to make more and faster progress.
When we lack focus, we can become overwhelmed. Often, it’s not a matter of having too much to do and too little time, it's more that we don't know where to start, and this is what can create stress.
Leaders who are well focused, can articulate what the goals are and how they are to be achieved can keep their teams motivated and engaged.
May attract more clients
Sales professionals who are focused can engage better with potential clients and more effectively articulate the business solutions they’re offering.
Doing the right thing, despite what others might think of you
Having confidence to try new challenges
Identifying your own weaknesses, accepting them and figuring out ways to overcome them
Accepting praise for your achievements
Having the confidence to express your thoughts and ideas during meetings
An eye for detail and an appreciation for clear, sell-defined processes.
A focus on timelines and deadlines, and a dislike for surprises and errors.
A need for order and the feeling of being in control.
The optimistic leader will always focus on finding the solution to a problem rather than dwelling on the issues causing it.
Unafraid of failure
The optimist is confident in their decision making, accepts the reality of failure and the possibility of making mistakes, which he or she sees as learning opportunities.
Optimists are very comfortable communicating and sharing their desires for a better future or better solutions. They understand the importance of engaging and motivating others.
Skillful in collaboration
Optimist leaders want their teams to be engaged and working together toward a shared vision.
Successful in their mindset
The optimist’s “glass half full” outlook makes them instinctively focus on the positive aspects of a situation, helping them to envision innovative solutions.
People with specific industry experience are often brought in to conduct market research and help you or other entrepreneurs build solid business plans.
In later stages, you might interact with others in similar businesses to gain insights, based on their level of experience, and get an idea of what challenges and opportunities might lie ahead.
Knowledgable professionals in your field might also be an excellent resource to help recruit and hire the right talent based on your goals.
Later, you’re likely to use your own experience to leverage new opportunities – expanding into new markets, acquiring other businesses or working as a paid consultant.
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In New York, DeVry University operates as DeVry College of New York. DeVry University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC), www.hlcommission.org. The University’s Keller Graduate School of Management is included in this accreditation. DeVry is certified to operate by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. Arlington Campus: 1400 Crystal Dr., Ste. 120, Arlington, VA 22202. DeVry University is authorized for operation as a postsecondary educational institution by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, www.tn.gov/thec. Naperville Campus: 1200 E. Diehl Rd., Naperville, IL 60563. Unresolved complaints may be reported to the Illinois Board of Higher Education through the online compliant system https://complaints.ibhe.org/. View DeVry University’s complaint process https://www.devry.edu/compliance/student-complaint-procedure.html Program availability varies by location. In site-based programs, students will be required to take a substantial amount of coursework online to complete their program.
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