Skills to master for the work environment


By the time you enter your chosen industry, you won’t be able to rely on a qualification alone. A degree in communications like a BA corporate communication might teach you some of the skills you need but there will be others that matter too.

From helping others to apologising, listening and managing stress, there are many skills that will help you achieve your dream career and keep it. Whether you’ve chosen a degree in communications or one that deals with business, teaching, or accounting, here are the attributes that will help you be the best version of yourself.

Listen without talking

Let’s face it, too many of us listen to respond instead of listening to understand. A BA communication teaches the importance of workplace communications and why we need to execute this properly for maximum results. When another person finishes talking, we don’t have to jump in right away. Instead of speaking about ourselves and our own experiences, we should focus on being patient and letting the other person have the limelight. This shows that we have the respect and ability to listen. It’s also a positive way to get your fellow employees to like you. By showing that you listen, they’ll feel heard and more likely to approach you again in the future.

Collaborating with people that you don’t like

The workplace is full of diverse characters and often, some don’t gel with others. This is completely normal, but you should know that you won’t always be able to avoid the people you don’t get on with. They’re sometimes part of the same department as you, meaning that you need to work with them in order to meet company goals. We recommend accepting this from the outset and committing to keeping personal opinions away from work tasks. This will remove the emotional factor associated with feelings of anger or irritation. Yes, you have to work with them and respect them. No, you don’t have to be best friends.

Helping others in a way that empowers them

There’s a big difference between teaching someone what to do and just doing it for them. The same can be said for talking down to people when showing them how to do something. Most of the time, when we’re asked for assistance, many of us are busy with our own tasks. This means that we often get annoyed and would rather get the person and their problem out of the way instead of taking the time to properly engage with them. By guiding someone and providing them with the mentorship that they need to execute tasks well, they’ll be proud and empowered to share their knowledge with others. This is a domino effect that fosters a culture of motivation in a business where people aren’t too busy to help out and invest in each other.

Saying sorry and meaning it

Everyone messes up but surprisingly, not many of us know how to say sorry. If you’ve made a mistake, we suggest acting fast, delivering an apology in person and explaining why it happened and how you’ll be preventing similar situations in the future. By not apologising, things could get awkward at work, which will only harbour feelings of resentment and even guilt. Get it out of the way, both parties will be thankful that you did.

Deal with stress in a healthy way

Stress is a given in life and at work. Managing it means making the most of your time and removing things that cause the most stress. For example, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg turns her phone off at night because her downtime is just that, hers. Another way to manage stress is finding things that relax you. It’s why Bill Gates reads every night before bed instead of scrolling through news on his smartphone. Stress also comes into play when we worry about things that we can’t control. If we can’t control it, why worry? When you consider that worry is interest paid before it is due, you’ll soon see that you’re robbing yourself of happiness.

Get a qualification that’s relevant to your industry

At The IIE’s Varsity College, IIE degrees prepare our graduates for the challenges that await them when they start work. For more on the IIE Bachelor of Arts in Corporate Communication, please visit our website now.

Varsity College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE). South Africa’s leading private higher education provider that’s registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training and accredited by the British Accreditation Council (BAC).


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