10 IMPORTANT BUSINESS SKILLS EVERY PROFESSIONAL NEEDS

10 IMPORTANT BUSINESS SKILLS EVERY PROFESSIONAL NEEDS

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1. An Understanding of Economics

A baseline knowledge of economics can be a valuable asset in any industry.  In addition to an in-depth understanding of pricing strategies and market demand, studying economics can provide you with a toolkit for making key decisions at your company.

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2. Data Analysis Skills

Research shows that an increasing share of firms are using analytics to generate growth.  Companies such as Microsoft, Uber, and Blue Apron leverage data to improve their services and operations. And according to LinkedIn, analytical reasoning is one of the most sought-after hard skills in today’s job market.

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2. Data Analysis Skills

Knowing how to summarize datasets, recognize trends, and test hypotheses can give you an analytical framework for approaching complex business problems, and help you make informed decisions that could benefit your firm.

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3. Financial Accounting Skills

Accounting know-how can be beneficial to your career, even if you’re not in a numbers-focused role. While it can seem like an intimidating subject, it’s far more approachable than you might think. Concepts such as cash flow and profitability are useful for understanding your organization’s performance and potential. And knowing how to 

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3. Financial Accounting Skills

read and interpret a balance sheet is critical for communicating financial results.

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4. Negotiation Skills

Whether you’re just beginning your professional journey or operating at a senior level, it pays to be an effective negotiator. In a recent report by the World Economic Forum, negotiation was identified as one of the top 10 skills needed to thrive in the future workforce. Honing your deal-making skills can not only help you secure 

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4. Negotiation Skills

value for your organization at the bargaining table, but for yourself when advocating for a higher starting salary or raise.

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5. Business Management Skills

Strong managerial skills are intrinsically linked to organizational performance. A recent study by Gallup found that managers account for 70 percent of variance in employee engagement, underscoring the need for companies to develop leaders who can drive team productivity and morale. For seasoned and aspiring managers alike, it’s valuable to 

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5. Business Management Skills

know how to lead meetings and communicate organizational change. Equally important is being aware of the common missteps team leaders often make.

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6. Leadership Skills

Whether you hold a management position or not, leadership skills are vital to workplace success. While some people think of leadership and management as one and the same, there's a difference between the two.  Whereas management is centered on implementing processes, leadership is more focused on the people and 

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6. Leadership Skills

vision that guide change. In addition to honing your management skills, building up your leadership skills can be beneficial in any profession.  From learning to keep calm during times of pressure to developing your own leadership style, these skills will help you understand how to bring your vision to life and set your team up for success.

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7. Effective Communication

In any business setting, professionals rely on communication to coordinate efforts and accomplish organizational goals. Ineffective communication, or a lack of communication altogether, can prove catastrophic. Along with developing your skills, a large contributor to success in this arena is being 

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7. Effective Communication

able to understand and adapt to the communication styles of others. Other key communication skills include active listening, empathy, and reading body language.

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8. Emotional Intelligence

Another essential business skill is emotional intelligence, and research shows it’s a leading indicator of performance in the workplace. According to a recent study by TalentSmart, 90 percent of top performers have a high degree of emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is commonly broken down into four concepts: self-awareness, 

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8. Emotional Intelligence

self-management, social awareness, and relationship management.  In short, this skill refers to your ability to understand your emotions and how they impact certain situations, as well as your ability to recognize and influence the emotions of others.

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9. Decision-Making Skills

All professionals need strong decision-making skills in order to navigate the complex challenges they’ll face in the workplace. For those specifically working in business or management, the need for these skills is even greater. Determining how to allocate resources, which employees make up a team, and how to implement a new initiative 

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9. Decision-Making Skills

across an organization are all decisions that need careful consideration.  With the growing number of tools and resources that can be used to capture data, managers can fuel their processes with valuable insights to make data-driven decisions, often leading to better outcomes.

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10. Networking

Networking is another critical business skill that all professionals should exercise. Whether you’re looking for ideas or advice on a specific challenge, or want to make a career change, the people who make up your professional network can act as an extension of your own knowledge and connections. If you want to make the most 

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10. Networking

of your network, be open to opportunities to step out of your comfort zone and build new relationships.  Once you have your network in place, it’s important to maintain the relationships you’ve formed and continuously find new ways to expand your web of contacts.

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