Whether you are actively working towards a career goal – even if you have already attained the majority of your career goals – you need to continuously focus on your value as an employee. Professional growth increases your value and marketability as you attain new skills, experience, and expertise. This growth enables you to stand out from the crowd, for your employer and clients, and by the way, it also provides you with greater job satisfaction. As professional coaches, we recommend you consider these three ways to increase your value as an employee, manager and professional.
Enhance your communication skills. No matter what industry you currently work in, communication skills, just as emotional intelligence, are critical to your success. Because speaking with coworkers, clients, supervisors is an everyday occurrence, knowing how to communicate clearly impacts productivity. Not being able to express an idea clearly reduces effectiveness and creates frustration.
To communicate more effectively at work, consider the following:
- Body language. Make sure that your body language matches what you are saying, or you could be sending the wrong message.
- Different communication styles. Different teams communicate in different ways. Some prefer a team chat, others prefer a meeting, other teams can be effective by just reading the powerpoint deck. Be aware of, and leverage, the different ways to communicate in order to best work with your employees and team
- Time of day. Determine if an issue is urgent and needs to be handled right away or if it can wait until the person you need to talk to can better assimilate the information at another time.
- Know when to listen. Make sure that you are approachable so that others feel comfortable approaching you.
Bonus tip: For more ideas, download our free presentation, Dealing with Difficult Coworkers or Employees.
Cultivate your team-building skills. Whether you currently work on a team or not, knowing how to work with others is an important skill to cultivate. If you are in a management position, you need to know how to help the team you manage work together more effectively, so honing those skills yourself will make you a more effective leader. Consider the following ways you can build your team’s effectiveness.
- Problem-solving. Working with others means that there will be different ideas, different ways of doing things, and personality differences. It is important to know how to solve these issues, not contribute to them.
- Delegation. If you work on a team, you can’t and shouldn’t do everything yourself. Know how to pass on tasks and learn which teammate is most effective at handling certain projects.
- Motivation. Knowing how to cheer your team on is an important skill. Help them stay motivated by providing encouragement, incentives, and a positive attitude.
Find a mentor. You don’t have to learn by trial and error. A mentor, or adviser, can help you continue to grow as a professional by helping you set new career goals and provide you with feedback about your current skill level. Ask them for suggestions to improve your skills and put them into practice. Keep in mind that it may be helpful to have multiple mentors for different skill sets, including a coach who will teach you how to stay on track towards your goals.
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