Technical Skills Required For Banking – For example, it is important for business owners to ensure all members of their teams are equipped with skills such as critical thinking, time management, and effective communication to ensure daily operations are moving in line with business goals.
Here is an explanation of why it is important to improve your business skills and you should prioritize ten to improve your career.
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A foundation in business can not only create confidence in the workplace but also opens the door to career opportunities. For those who have expanded their knowledge by taking a Harvard Business School course, the experience has resulted in results such as:
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If you want to achieve a similar goal in your career, here are ten business skills you should develop.
A basic knowledge of economics can be important in any industry. In addition to a deep understanding of pricing strategies and market needs, economic analysis can provide tools for making important decisions in your company.
For Nicholas Grecco, a former CORE participant who works as a teacher and health care provider, the lessons learned in Economics for Managers were instrumental in helping his organization invest in solar energy.
“I knew investing in solar was a good opportunity, but the WTS concept helped me understand and explain why,” Grecco said. “Due to additional incentives from the city program and group purchasing power, electrical contractors are willing to sell solar energy systems at lower prices than usual, thereby increasing our consumer surplus. Through the information of WTS, I was able to convince the owner to proceed with this project. “
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Research shows that a growing percentage of companies—including Microsoft, Uber, and Blue Apron—are using analytics to continuously improve their operations and services.
According to LinkedIn, analytical thinking is one of the most sought-after skills in today’s job market. Knowing how to summarize data, identify trends, and test hypotheses can provide an analytical framework for tackling complex business problems and help you make decisions that benefit your company.
“Using data analytics is an effective way to gain organizational effectiveness,” says HBS Professor Jan Hammond, who teaches the Business Analytics course. “If you can go into a meeting, and other people have an opinion, but you have data to support your arguments and proposals, you will be effective.”
Mathematics can be useful for your career, even if you are not in a role focused on numbers. While it may seem like a scary topic, it’s closer than you think.
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Concepts such as cash flow and profitability are useful for understanding your organization’s performance and potential, while knowing how to read and interpret balance sheets is essential for communicating financial results.
Pankaj Prashant, a mechanical engineer who took CORE, said the principles he learned in accounting helped him build on his skills and advance his career.
“I have been observing the company’s annual reports, and the calculations I have learned help me to understand where the business can go in the future,” said Prashant. “I also tracked a few other companies for investment purposes, and realized that I could make informed decisions with a better understanding of the company’s finances.”
Whether you’re just starting your professional journey or working at a senior level, it pays to be an effective negotiator. In a report of the World Economic Forum, it was stated that negotiation is one of the top 10 skills needed to develop in the workforce in the future.
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Improving your negotiation skills will not only help secure value for your team at the bargaining table but for yourself when proposing a starting salary or promotion.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to creating a successful negotiation strategy. The key, according to HBS Professor Mike Wheeler, who teaches Conversational Leadership, is to be open to improvisation and ready to think on your feet.
“However you see yourself as a negotiator, most of the people you deal with have a different style, at least to some degree,” Wheeler said. “To be successful, therefore, you have to be smart. This means being flexible so that you can use different skills depending on the situation and who you are dealing with.”
Good management skills are related to team work. A survey by Gallup found that managers account for 70 percent of the differences between employees, emphasizing the need for companies to develop leaders who promote team growth and morale.
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For experienced managers alike, it is important to know how to lead meetings and communicate organizational change. Equally important is knowing the common mistakes that team leaders make.
For Monica Higgins, account director of public relations, taking the Essentials of Management course was a way to expand her knowledge of management and develop a new perspective in her role.
“I’m more aware of looking at things through a bigger lens, from different perspectives,” Higgins said. “I used to be interested in asking thoughtful questions, learning questions – as opposed to making statements – and now I’m a big fan of the devil’s game.”
Whether you hold a management position or not, leadership skills are essential to workplace success. While some people think that leadership and governance are the same, there are differences between the two. Whereas management is based on the implementation of processes, leadership is more focused on people and vision that lead change.
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In addition to developing your management skills, developing leadership skills can be useful in any career. From learning to stay calm in times of pressure to developing your own leadership style, these skills can help you understand how to bring your vision to life and position your team for success.
In any business setting, professionals rely on communication to coordinate efforts and achieve organizational goals. Poor communication—or no communication at all—can prove disastrous.
Along with developing your skills, a major contributor to success is understanding and adapting to the communication styles of others. Some key communication skills include active listening, empathy, and reading body language.
Emotional intelligence is an important business skill, and research shows it’s a leading indicator of performance in the workplace. According to a study by TalentSmart, 90 percent of top performers have a high level of emotional intelligence.
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Emotional intelligence is usually divided into four areas: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. In short, this skill refers to the ability to understand your emotions and recognize and influence others.
No matter your industry or position, knowing yourself and those around you can allow you to gain more control over your interactions and achieve the right goals.
All professionals need strong decision-making skills to manage complex challenges in the workplace. For those who work especially in business or management, the need for such skills is even greater.
Determining how to allocate resources, which employees comprise the organization, and how to implement the new organizational plan are all decisions that require careful consideration. With the increasing number of tools and resources that can be used to capture information, managers can use their work with the necessary skills to make decisions with information and provide better results.
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Whether you want ideas or advice on a specific challenge or are planning to make a career change, the people who make up your professional network can be valuable resources.
To make the most of your network, be open to opportunities to step out of your comfort zone and build new relationships. Once you have established your network, it is important to maintain the relationships you have established and find new ways to expand your network.
If you are aiming to improve your career, the value of business skills cannot be overstated. In addition to hard skills (like accounting and economics), you’ll need soft skills (like common sense and leadership) as your organization grows.
No matter your industry, knowing key business concepts can help you better understand your organization’s operations and gain the tools needed to lead initiatives and drive strategic decision-making.
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Do you want to take your career to the next level? Check out our business essential courses, and download our free e-book on developing your career with essential business skills to learn how improving your knowledge can help you make an impact in your organization and stay competitive in the job market.
Matt Gavin is a member of the marketing team at Harvard Business School. Before returning to his home state of Massachusetts and attending HBS, he lived in North Carolina, where he worked in news and content marketing. He has a background in video production and previously worked on several films for Boston’s PBS station, WGBH. In his spare time, he enjoys running, exploring New England, and spending time with his family. Learn how our banking business examples can help you create an outstanding resume and land you the interview you’ve always wanted.
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