It doesn’t matter whether you have completed a university degree, other higher education courses or just completed some level of schooling, when starting work in an organisation or in your own business, the four fundamental key skills for success in your personal or business life, that emerge from numerous studies, are:
- Communication. The ability to communicate effectively, through both written and oral skills, is always at the top of the list for achieving success. Business transactions mainly involve the interaction between people, therefore, building relationships with people requires effective communication and interpersonal skills. Persuasive communication skills are also needed to influence other people, whether in your own organisation or in another organisation.
- Negotiation. Negotiating terms and deals is important in business and personal life, whether you are engaged in a licensing deal, a distribution agreement, a manufacturing contract, sales terms, or simply purchasing a new motor vehicle or house. A good understanding of the process of negotiation and the different strategies available will assist you in your business and personal life.
- Creativity. Being able to tap into your creative abilities will allow you to generate new ideas for new business opportunities. Creativity is also needed to solve complex problems through identifying and sourcing innovative solutions or looking at problems from a different perspective. Furthermore, the ability to identify new business opportunities that other people have overlooked requires the right mindset, including, an open mind that is able to make the appropriate connections in the business environment or marketplace.
- Marketing/selling. The ability to market yourself and your organisation increases your exposure in the marketplace. Although many people don’t consider, or want to consider themselves as salespeople, everyone is a salesperson and therefore needs to understand and utilise the power of selling. For example, it is important to be able to sell your ideas and products to other people but also to sell your capability and skills, particularly in service based industries or when you are applying for a job.
I would also add a fifth skill, which is relevant in today’s digital world; the ability to understand and utilise the power of the Internet, particularly Google, YouTube and social media applications such as LinkedIn, facebook and twitter. Through Google and the Internet you can find virtually any information, knowledge and online learning resources for continuing self-education and personal development. The Internet provides a medium to source ideas and new opportunities that can be applied to different business environments. The Internet is also a network of fluid connections allowing you to connect to other people who may have the knowledge, capability or related interests, to assist you with your business, or who may become your future clients.
Start developing these skills today, that have the potential to make a difference to your future!
Dr John Kapeleris