7 Soft Skills to Survive in a Highly Competitive Industry

Regardless of the kind of job you currently hold, if you put together the right set of soft skills you will experience growth and achieve success. These skills will be especially invaluable if your work involves serious risks where failure is not an option. To experience success in a high-stakes industry career such as those in the field of finance, construction, aviation, pharmaceuticals and law, make sure you have and refine the following soft skills.

1: Communication

Good verbal and written communication skills are a must for all employees today. In a very competitive industry, you need to come up as being effective in providing and explaining details verbally and through written communication so that you can convince others to make a decision in your favour.

The key to being an effective communicator is to work on your listening skills first. Listen intently to what the other person is saying and ask follow-up questions if you need to. Only when you have all the details and understand everything should you say your piece.

The same concept applies when replying to emails and messages. Read the message carefully before crafting your reply, and if something is not clear, ask the sender for additional details or an explanation.

2: Problem-solving

Most high-stakes jobs require employees to deal with a problem on a regular basis. Because of this, you should develop and master this skill, too.

When you excel at problem-solving, you will easily earn the trust and respect of your colleagues, customers or clients, and anyone else you work with. To sharpen your problem-solving skills, you need to be an expert in the following:

  • Weighing all the available options quickly
  • Identifying the key issue or issues at hand
  • Making a firm decision regarding the best course of action to resolve the issue

3: Creative thinking

In a high-stakes industry, being creative means searching for ways to solve problems with limited resources. You have to be resourceful with looking for and coming up with the most suitable solutions for the issues at hand. Keep in mind that most of the time, you will have to handle all of these problems on your own. As such, you have to know how to use your disadvantages to your advantage.

4: Negotiation

Whenever you’re trying to close a sale or sway a person’s decision, you have to know how to do it without causing any confusion or annoyance to anyone. This is where being an expert in negotiating will help you out. Mastering the skill of compromising will ensure everyone involved can make a mutual decision that will benefit all parties. You can also make sure everyone leaves a meeting satisfied and without any unresolved issues or complaints.

5: Collaboration

Working and collaborating with others is a regular occurrence in all industries. To provide the best service or come up with excellent results, you need to know how to work well with your colleagues.

During these instances, you need to put aside your personal interests. You have to forget about showboating as well since having an intensely competitive personality will do nothing good for the success of the project and the organization overall.

6: Personal accountability

No matter how meticulous you are, mistakes can and will happen. If you are responsible for these errors, do not ignore or make excuses for them. Acknowledge and take full accountability for any mistake or oversight you know you are responsible for.

You also need to take on the responsibility of fixing or solving the problem. Ask for help when necessary to ensure the problem is completely resolved. You also need to learn from this mistake and use it to better yourself.

7: Resilience

Resilience is a soft skill that many employees forget to develop. It pertains to your ability to bounce back after facing adversity. Since having a highly competitive job means constantly facing high-pressure and seemingly impossible situations, you need to have this skill to survive and succeed in your work.

To prove your value and efficiency as an employee in a high-stakes industry, you have to be able to cope with all the ups and downs that come with your job. You need to constantly practice introspection and have confidence in your ability to always deliver.

To experience growth and success in a high-stakes industry, complement your hard skills with the right soft skills. Always find ways to develop and master these skills so that you can keep on the path to success even if it is rocky and plagued with stress.

Annick Nuyens Guest Blogger The Shortlisted Magazine

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