Degrees like the
Bachelor of Arts Honours in communication are celebrated for their versatility. This is important for working world success, where a host of skills are needed in order to become indispensable to a business. No matter how qualified you are for a certain position, many recruiters look for certain personality traits in addition to what you might have studied.
Industry knowledge aside, you need “people skills” to be successful in the modern working world. What do we mean by this? It comes down to the way that you engage with other people, in both a verbal and non-verbal way. From your tone to displays of empathy, there are several things that make up effective “people skills”.
Why are these important?
The work setting can often be a harsh and stressful place for a lot of people. With these skills offering a way to interact with those around us, it makes the office a happier and more welcoming place to be. This can boost team morale, productivity and even help with conflict resolution. Candidates who possess and display these skills are often better liked by their peers and usually the ones who climb the corporate ladder faster.
Skill one: Communications
A Bachelor of Arts Honours in communication will give you far more than just an extra qualification that sets you apart. It imparts vital communication abilities that allow you to forge connections with everyone you encounter in the business context. In addition to this, communication studies help you articulate feelings and ideas in a way that ensures that others listen to you. This is useful for meetings, pitches and general conversations where you require people to buy into what you’re saying.
Skill two: Relatability
Are you able to relate to others and see where they are coming from? This is a crucial part of forming working relationships because you’re able to consider the viewpoints of others. This doesn’t always mean that you have to agree with what everyone else thinks and says though. There are ways of agreeing and disagreeing whilst still showing respect. An approach like this one lets people know that you understand where they are coming from. This goes a long way with colleagues because they’ll feel like you’re prepared to meet them halfway. Of course, this isn’t only important within a spoken context, you need to ensure that it is carried through to all written correspondence as well. With technology driving most of our communications, they’re either written, spoken telephonically or via video call. This makes articulation the key to success, no matter what the medium may be. Thus, tone is always an imperative factor to consider.
Skill three: Listening
A massive part of communication is being able to listen and really hear what is being said. Most people listen to respond instead of listening to understand. This tends to take the importance away from what is being said and the person who has said it. As a result, the person trying to get their point across often feels like what they have to say is unimportant. In honing those listening skills, you’ll find that colleagues are more likely to converse with you, confide in you and include you in the sharing of their ideas. To improve your abilities in this area, listen without interruption and make sure that you are showing visual signs of understanding. These include eye contact and gestures such as nodding. Avoid body language that suggests you might be disinterested like crossing your arms.
Skill four: Patience
Although this skill is tough to get the hang of, it’s one that can really take you far. It’s an asset that will get you noticed by management. With patience influencing how well you handle stressful and time-sensitive situations, it is something that will enable you to cope with the most testing of people as well. Whilst a little goes a long way, it’s always easier said than done. This makes it something you should never stop working on.
Skill five: Trust
As we get further down the list, the skills tend to get tougher. When it comes to trust, it is common for people to find it difficult to exercise. This is especially true when you take into account what some people are prepared to do in order to get to the top. From dishonesty to theft and then some, it’s no wonder trust is hard to come by. But it is necessary in the working world and without it, businesses would crumble. In trusting those you work with, you are promoting the spirit of cooperation. As a member of a team, you need to be able to trust each member of the team to do their jobs without micromanaging them. When a person feels trusted, they are empowered to give of their best. Knowing how to recognise a break down of trust is also essential to keeping a team moving forward. Identifying it and putting measures in place to build it back up again are absolutely vital.
Skill six: Motivation
Whether it’s self-motivation or inspiring your peers towards greater things, a little motivation makes a tangible difference. Especially when there are targets and goals involved. No matter how successful people are, they still want to feel like their colleagues believe in them. Displays of encouragement will ensure that those around you keep their eye on the prize. This might include words of affirmation or even as trivial as getting someone a cup of coffee to say thanks for the role they played in your latest project. As a result, those you work with will want to be around you because of how you make them feel about themselves.
Skills that take you to the next level
In an age dominated by technology, it’s important to maintain engagements with those we work with. This makes people skills the key to keeping us all connected. This could mean the difference between a cohesive and effective team and one that continuously drops the ball. With your attitude being just as important as your skills, knowing how to deal with human emotion will make you more employable.
In our experience, an accredited qualification and promising people skills are a formidable combination and the first step towards a bright future. If you’re looking for an extra edge that will help you stand out from the competition, a full-time IIE BA honours in communication at The IIE’s Varsity College offers just that. For more information on this popular programme or to secure your place, please click
here. Varsity College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE).