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  • Alice Hale

Top Skills Every Professional Needs to Have

Too many business ventures start strong but lose steam along the way. Having a big idea and working hard is just one part of it. The best businesses succeed when passion translates into actionable deliverables. Proficiency in fundamental business skills is imperative for aspiring and seasoned managers alike.

Business skills refer to skills that shed light on consumer and organizational behavior. Leaders use this information to enhance a company’s products or services, enabling long-term growth and profitability. Fundamental business skills typically comprise a mix of technical and soft skills that professionals should have.

Here’s a list of fundamental business skills to ensure success:

Management Skills

Teams are only as effective as their managers. Whether you’re an experienced or aspiring manager, develop skills that drive employee engagement. Managing teams start with small steps – leading team meetings and establishing processes and guidelines. Even seasoned managers need to pause and take new approaches to team management now and then.

Leadership Skills

You don’t need to be in a managerial position to have leadership skills. Management involves implementing processes and ensuring outcomes. On the other hand, leadership skills are more people-oriented – skills that shape the vision and direction of an organization.

Accounting skills

Whether a role is numbers-centric or not, financial know-how enables career progression. Most people are intimidated by finance, but it’s far less daunting. Start by understanding concepts such as profitability and cash flow. Learn how to read and study balance sheets. Financial knowledge helps you know the company’s future and make informed decisions.

A Grasp on Economics

You don’t need to be an Economics whiz. Still, understanding the fundamentals of the subject is always an advantage. Economics offers valuable insights into the market, providing concrete direction and reasoning behind specific business decisions. 

Negotiation Skills

Good negotiation skills ensure that organizations or individuals secure the most value. Effective negotiators secure profitable business deals for a company. Negotiation skills can also mean better pay raises or recognition since you can skillfully advocate for yourself. The key is to be agile and think on your feet. Use several tactics depending on whom you’re interacting with. 

Data analysis

Thanks to advancements in technology, most companies have reams of data that can inform business decisions. However, data without meaningful insights serve little purpose. Employees who can recognize trends, patterns, and summarizing datasets are highly sought-after in the market today. An individual armed with facts and data will always have more credibility over others.  

Effective Communication

Effective communication is vital in any space. It can make or break the chances of success in business settings. What do the best communicators have in common? They adapt communication styles to different people and contexts. For this, people must learn how to listen actively and with empathy.

Emotional Intelligence

Studies have shown that at least 90 per cent of top-performers possess high levels of emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence refers to a person’s ability to understand emotions (of the self and others) and their impacts across various situations. Awareness of others and yourself is a powerful skill to have. It enables better control over emotional responses, avoiding unnecessary friction at work.

Decision-Making Skills

When workplace challenges get complex (and they will), teams benefit from decisive action. For anyone in decision-making roles, these skills are crucial to have. Managers must carefully consider how to build teams, allocate resources, or navigate crises whenever required. The most effective managers quickly consider multiple perspectives and data before arriving at decisions.


Networking comes naturally to some people since it suits their personality types or backgrounds. Others must actively put themselves out there and make those connections. Stepping continually outside your comfort zone is the only way to build new relationships that could lead to exciting career possibilities.

What helps early on is identifying what skills you already possess and those you will have to learn or delegate to team members. The success of your enterprise depends on a cohesive mesh of skillsets that you and your team will bring.


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