Ever wondered why fresh grads are considered noobs in the workplace? Many pro skills or career hacks are not taught in school. Some say that climbing the career ladder or even having a good time at work boils down to three factors: your boss, your colleagues, and finally, your work performance. Yes, in this sequence. Surprise, surprise! Career success is built upon problem solving, from daily bumps to cracking major projects.
There are plenty of ways to overcome difficult clients, coexist with colleagues in a friendly environment, work well with your boss and handle any hot potatoes at work. Here are five hacks to smooth out any bumps at work.
1. The Conflict Resolution Pro Skill: Finding The Peace
Due to communication breakdown and emotional tension, conflicts are unavoidable even if you behave like a doormat. It comes knocking when you least expect it too. To handle conflicts well, be sure to know what the house rules are! It could be the code of conduct written by the company, or boundaries determined by yourself or limits set by your boss. Knowing what is at stake helps you to assess the situation and compromise suitably. Hold your horses! Apologising is always awkward even when arguing might be shiok.
2. The Performance Management Pro Skill: Beyond Dangling Carrots
Tracking your performance is not the job of your manager. It is your duty to answer to yourself when it comes to driving your own growth, charting your path, meeting deadlines, exceeding expectations and becoming a pro at work. Thinking and acting on the areas you’d like to improve on in the long and short term is gritty work to be done on your part. Bonuses and perks on the job are enticing (kaching kaching) but don’t forget your innermost motivations of why you’re here to become really good at what you do.
3. The Effective Negotiation Pro Skill: Getting What You Want
Asserting yourself confidently, listening sincerely to the other party and relating on a personal level helps in putting your needs across. On a daily basis, we are already practising the art of negotiation, when selling something, pitching and asking for a favour. Negotiating like a boss means that you know what’s in it for yourself as well as the other party. Propose conditions to your stakeholders and create or identify new and varied benefits for them. Now that requires some creativity, which we will elaborate in the next two points! 🙂
4. The Critical Thinking Pro Skill: New Ways of Thinking
Creating solutions and benefits requires thinking beyond the superficial level. And critical thinking is most decidedly one of those pro skills you need. Finding all angles to look at an issue and being alert to opportunities are marks of a critical thinker. When faced with a problem, analyse it before locating the crux and tackle that like a kungfu master.
Being curious and open-minded is the first step to critical thinking. Next comes quiet observation and giving deep thought rationally on the consequences of all possible courses of action.
Critical thinking is pretty much a highly reflective process to brainstorm for solutions. Your confidence in your own reasoning skills will increase greatly!
5. The Strategic Innovation Pro Skill: New Ways of Doing
Strategic innovation goes beyond new ways of thinking to rolling out new and better solutions! This comes in the form of proposing feasible new SOPs at work, being willing to try out new methods to decide on the best one and most importantly, daring to make mistakes in the spirit of becoming better.
Before making any moves at work, consider the question again – are you raising a solution or absent-mindedly, another problem? The next time you meet with a roadblock, try these pro skills and hacks, and keep working at it to master them effectively!