There are certain skills that will always be needed at work, like teamwork and problem-solving. But you’ll need skills that go above and beyond those to truly succeed in a modern workplace. Focusing on these skills will boost success for you and your company.
- Bravery - The idea here is facing things head-on so little problems don’t turn into big ones. It’s offering to help a colleague, then stepping up to brave the awkwardness and say, “Here’s how you can help me.”
- Curiosity - The secret to being a real problem-solver is knowing more stuff than you do now. Art Markman, vice provost and professor of psychology at the University of Texas, says, “It’s being willing to spend time learning about things without knowing why you need to know them.” And being curious will help get you there.
- Patience - Once you have all that information, you have to know how and when to apply it. “Never be satisfied with the first thing you come up with,” Markman says. That means keep trying until your fourth or fifth answer to find the solution, which takes patience.
- Knowing your audience - We all have different approaches and temperaments and once you know those, you can tailor your approach and play to your colleagues’ strengths. Markman says people have five basic traits:
- Openness - They think anything new is cool.
- Conscientious - They finish what they start, but they’re sticklers for rules.
- Extroversion - They don’t mind being in front of big groups and getting attention.
- Agreeableness - They’re empathetic and want to be liked, but don’t always have thick skin.
- Neuroticism - They worry about hidden dangers and take on whatever the current mood is.
- Prioritizing - Everything on the to-do list may seem important, but being able to know what work matters most is helpful to the company, not just you.
- Understanding when to give advice - Sometimes people don’t want an answer, they just need to figure something out on their own. Knowing when to advise or offer help and when to just listen is valuable at work and for life in general.