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 (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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