Are you an ambitious professional with high aspirations for your career?
Maybe you’re a young professional who is driven to one day reach a leadership position. Or perhaps you’re a mid-level manager who wants to be noticed for the next round of promotions.
Regardless of the leadership position you’re currently in or where you aspire to be, if you’re a professional and you have high ambition, you need to develop a unique set of skills that all true leaders possess; and that is social skills for business.
Social skills for business, or business etiquette skills, are critical in today’s fiercely competitive job market. They make you stand out from the crowd. They help you interact with coworkers and clients more efficiently and effectively. They also help you communicate your potential and true worth to decision-makers in your company or industry.
Teaching social skills to professionals is my job. In this article, I want to share with you four specific social skills that you can immediately implement to attract the career and business success you seek.
1. Dress for the Job You Want, Not the Job You Have
When you dress for the job you want, and not the job you have, you move out of the limits of your current position and send the message to others that you’re ready and determined to get a higher position in the company. How do you dress for the job you want? Look at what people in higher positions wear and emulate their style. If they wear formal business suits to work, do the same. If they wear jeans with a blazer, add that outfit to your executive wardrobe.
2. Find Similarities to Create Likeability
Finding similarities with somebody is one of the most powerful ways to get somebody to “like” you. It stems from the principle that “people like people who are like them”, and it can greatly impact, influence, and grow your business relationships. How do you find similarities with others? That’s where you need to start conversations. Ask questions about that person’s background, hobbies, and interests. Point out a similarity when you find one. If you don’t have a similarity with that person, maybe somebody you know does. That connection will still play in your favor for creating a strong business relationship.
3. Become the Conversation Leader
Many people mistakenly believe that having a conversational leadership means you do all the talking. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Being the conversation leader means you ask all the questions and encourage the other person to do all the talking. Why? Because when you ask all the questions, you can steer the conversation to where you want it to go. The next time you’re at a networking event or client meeting, make an effort to ask more questions for greater control of the conversation.
4. Establish Your Credibility on LinkedIn
Credibility is a crucial part of leadership presence. It’s often the reason why people will hire you and promote you. The first place you should establish credibility is on your LinkedIn profile. Why? Because this is often the first place people will look to find out more about you. First, you need to make sure your education and experience sections are fully completed, and don’t forget to mention how you added value to that company. Second, ask for recommendations from current and past coworkers and clients. People and businesses are often confronted with the same problems. When you show you’ve successfully helped somebody else with a particular problem, it will boost your credibility and communicate your competence to the world.
Anybody can become a leader. However, you need to focus on building a skill set that your peers don’t have. More often than not, the skill set that will set you apart is your level of social skill in business.
You can get social skills training by Kara in her new video course, Business Etiquette 101: Social Skills for Professional Success.