How To Improve Your Business Skills – For example, it is important for business owners to ensure that all members of their organization are equipped with skills such as critical thinking, time management and effective communication so that day-to-day operations run smoothly and business goals are achieved.
Here’s an overview of why it’s important to improve your business skills and ten things you should prioritize to advance your career.
How To Improve Your Business Skills
Being grounded in a business can not only lead to greater confidence in the workplace, but can also open doors to career opportunities. For those who expand their knowledge through Harvard Business School courses, the experience has paid off:
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If you want to achieve similar goals in your career, here are ten business skills you should develop.
A basic knowledge of economics can be valuable in any industry. In addition to an in-depth understanding of pricing strategy and market demand, the study of economics can provide your company with a set of tools for making key decisions.
Nicholas Greco, a former CORE participant who works as a teacher and health care administrator, said the lessons learned for business managers helped his organization invest in solar energy.
“I knew investing in solar was a good opportunity, but the concept of readiness to sell (WTS) helped me understand and explain why,” says Greco. “With the added incentive of the City program and the group’s purchasing power, electrical contractors were willing to sell solar energy systems at much lower prices than usual, increasing our consumer surplus. With the assurance of WTS, I was able to convince the owner to proceed with the project.
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Research shows that a growing share of companies, including Microsoft, Uber and Blue Apron, are using analytics to grow and improve their services and operations.
According to LinkedIn, analytical reasoning is one of the most sought-after skills in today’s job market. Knowing how to summarize data sets, identify trends, and test hypotheses can provide an analytical framework for solving complex business problems and help you make informed decisions that benefit your firm.
“Using data analytics is a very powerful way to make an impact in an organization,” says Ian Hammond, an HBS professor who teaches a business analytics course. “If you can go to meetings and other people have opinions, but you have data to back up your arguments and recommendations, you become influential.”
How accounting knowledge can benefit your career, even if you’re not in a numbers-driven role. While this may seem intimidating, it’s more accessible than you might think.
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Concepts such as cash flow and profitability are useful for understanding your organization’s performance and potential, while knowing how to read and interpret a balance sheet is critical to communicating financial results.
Pankaj Prashant, an engineer who took CORE, says the principles he learned in financial accounting helped him build a technical background and advance his career.
“I keep track of my company’s annual accounts, and the accounting I’ve learned helps me understand where the business can go in the future,” says Prashant. “I’ve also been looking at some other companies for investment purposes and have realized that I can make more informed decisions by improving my knowledge of the company’s finances.
Whether you’re just starting out on your professional journey or working at a senior level, it pays to be an effective negotiator. In a report by the World Economic Forum, negotiation was named as one of the top 10 human skills needed to develop the future workforce.
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Honing your negotiation skills can provide value not only to your organization at the negotiating table, but also to yourself when advocating for a higher starting salary or raise.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to creating a successful negotiation strategy. According to HBS professor Mike Wheeler, the key to teaching negotiation skills is to be open to improvisation and plan to think on your feet.
“Even though you see yourself as a negotiator, most people you deal with have a different style, at least to some extent,” Wheeler says. “Therefore, in order to be successful, you have to be flexible. This means making yourself flexible so that you can use different skills depending on the situation and who you are dealing with.
Strong managerial skills are intrinsically linked to organizational performance. A Gallup study found that managers account for 70 percent of the difference in employee engagement, highlighting the need for companies to develop leaders who drive team productivity and morale.
What Are Some Of The Ways To Improve Business Communication Skills?
For experienced and novice managers alike, it is valuable to know how to lead meetings and deliver organizational change. It is equally important to be aware of common mistakes made by team leaders.
For Monica Higgins, Public Relations Account Director, taking the Fundamentals of Management course was a way to increase her managerial knowledge and develop a new perspective on her role.
“I’m more aware of things from different perspectives, looking at them through a bigger lens,” says Higgins. “I’ve always been a fan of asking thoughtful, probing questions — as opposed to making statements — and now I’m a big fan of playing devil’s advocate.”
Whether you are in a management position or not, leadership skills are critical to success in the workplace. Although some people think of leadership and management as the same thing, there are differences between the two. Where management focuses on implementing processes, leadership focuses more on people and the vision that drives change.
How To Improve Your Business Analysis Skills
In addition to honing your management skills, developing your leadership skills can be beneficial in any profession. From learning to stay calm under pressure to developing your own leadership style, these skills will help you learn how to bring your vision to life and position your team for success.
In any business environment, professionals rely on communication to coordinate efforts and achieve organizational goals. Ineffective communication – or a complete lack of communication – can be disastrous.
As you develop your skills, a key contribution to success is understanding and adapting to the communication styles of others. Other key communication skills include active listening, empathy, and reading body language.
Emotional intelligence is another important business skill, and research shows it’s a leading indicator of workplace performance. According to TalentSmart research, 90 percent of top performers have high levels of emotional intelligence.
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Emotional intelligence is generally divided into four concepts: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. In short, this skill refers to your ability to understand your own emotions and to recognize and influence the emotions of others.
No matter your industry or position, knowing yourself and the people around you can help you gain more control over your interactions and achieve your goals more effectively.
All professionals need strong decision-making skills to navigate complex workplace challenges. For those who work especially in business or management, the need for such skills is even greater.
Deciding how to allocate resources, which employees will make up the team, and how to implement new organizational initiatives are all decisions that require careful consideration. With the growing number of tools and resources that can be used to capture data, managers can enhance their processes with valuable insights to make data-driven decisions and achieve better results.
How To Improve Your Conversation Skills (and Why It’s Important In Business)
Whether you’re looking for ideas or advice on a specific challenge or preparing for a career change, the people who make up your professional network can be a valuable resource.
To make the most of your network, be open to opportunities to step out of your comfort zone and build new relationships. Once you’ve established your network, it’s important to find new ways to maintain the relationships you’ve built and expand your network of contacts.
If you are looking to advance your career, the value of business skills cannot be overstated. In addition to hard skills (such as understanding financial accounting and economics), you need soft skills (such as emotional intelligence and leadership) as your organization grows.
No matter your industry, knowing essential business concepts can help you better understand your organization’s operations and give you the tools you need to take initiative and make strategic decisions.
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Matt Gavin is a member of the Marketing Team at Harvard Business School. Before returning to Massachusetts to join HBS, he lived in North Carolina, where he worked in news and content marketing. He has a background in video production and previously worked on several documentaries for Boston’s PBS station, WGBH. In her free time, she enjoys running, exploring New England, and spending time with her family. In this blog article, I’m going to share with you different ways you can improve your business English, either alone or with a teacher.
I’m also going to share with you why it’s important to improve your business English skills and how it can change your personal and professional life for the better.
Be sure to write down new points and fields for yourself. At the end of the article, you should understand how you can improve your business English skills quickly and easily and without a teacher or a paid course.
Business Skills Every Professional Needs
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