One of my mentors once told me as I asked for advice about how to advance my career, “You don’t know what you don’t know and you think you know.” Ouch. My pride was a little bruised, but I knew he knew what he was talking about so it was in my best interest to listen up.
In my work as a keynote speaker at some of the largest companies and organizations around the country, I’ve noticed a common theme. Many companies say employees know how to do their jobs, but don’t understand the importance of the soft skills that are needed to really climb the ladder of success. Do you have the soft skills that will take you to the top? Use this short list to where you might have an opportunity to enhance your soft skills and boost your career:
1. Let people get to know you.
Building a strong network is about making authentic connections. People want to know you. And the only way they know you is if you let them take a peek into your world. Notice I said a “peek.” This doesn’t mean you need to share all of your personal business at work, but opening up about what you enjoy, hobbies, and interests can help you others find common ground with you beyond the job.
2. Be interested in others.
Likewise, take an interest in the lives of those you want to build professional relationships with. Remember their interests, tidbits about their family, and what makes them human beyond the work they do. Reach out rather than always waiting for others to initiate conversation and opportunities. By being willing to approach others, you become more approachable.
3. Hone your communication skills.
Look at just about any person who has ascended the ranks in business and you will find a common theme – communications skills. In many instances, communication can be even more important that technical skills when it comes to advancement. If your ability to communicate and influence others is lacking, make it a goal to actively improve. Practice. Buy books. Join Toastmasters. Get some coaching.
4. Ask questions and listen.
The most successful people are always asking questions. They are open to learning. They assume they don’t know it all, so they seek out people who know more and they observe and listen. Who could you learn from? Who’s “been there, done that” and has wisdom that would benefit you? Shorten your learning curve by asking questions.
Valorie Burton is a life coach and bestselling author of several books, including What’s Really Holding You Back? and Successful Women Think Differently. Read more of her advice and subscribe to her weekly e-newsletter at valorieburton.com.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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