There are skills needed for one to be successful in their profession. Certificates alone do not prove one worthy of acquiring a job. For one to build a career that is meaningful and rewarding, the individual needs to recognize the thinking processes, actions and behavior that is appropriate for the profession. These skills make the individual competent among peers and he/she stands out. These skills include; behavior management, communication skills, building relationships, decision making, leadership, advocating and negotiating for oneself ,boundary enforcement, work-life balance and career management and planning (Caprino, 2012). The three top skills among these required for a commencing graduate are behavior management, communication skills and decision making. The following essay will talk on two of these behavior management and communication skills. It entails a discussion with a potential employer and what the person considers as the most important professional skills.
In order for one to succeed in their career one needs to communicate effectively with clarity and confidence. Effective communication helps as create an environment where creative ideas can be developed, conflicts can be resolved and people are able to build trust and respect.
Good communication skills are very important for a graduate who wishes to be employed. Not only may they help him pass an interview but they will also be of great assistance as he develops his career. Professionals require their applicants to have good communication skills since communication is inevitable while working. Employees communicate with fellow employees, clients and their leaders. Effective communication skills are even more important when negotiating, advocating for things, making presentations and communicating to cross-cultural clients (Satyawan, 2008). Courses such as public relations and human resource largely deal with educating students on how to develop good communication skills.
The way a person communicates could be the draw the line between getting into a business deal and losing it. Level of education plays a great role in getting a good job but people of the highest levels of education without good communication skills have difficulty succeeding in their careers. People with good communication skills with low levels of education have managed to run their businesses more successfully than people with high levels of education who have poor communication skills. Communication skills influence relationship building which is important between employee-customer relations. Poor communication skills lead to misunderstandings which can cause conflicts in the workplace creating a stressful working environment.
Effective communication usually entails; Completeness, Consideration, Concreteness, Courtesy, Clarity, Correctness and Conciseness (Caprino, 2012). Communication skills also include how one communicates in written letters, memos, reports and emails and these are also extremely important. Listening is one of the most important communication skills (Caprino, 2012). Effective listening creates and environment that allows free expression of ideas, makes the speaker feel understood and saves time by avoiding misunderstandings and avoiding conflicts. Non-verbal communication is especially important as sometimes body language expresses what is unsaid. Non-verbal communication involves; facial expressions, body language, tone, eye contact, posture and gestures. One’s non-verbal signs should match their body language otherwise a client may not appreciate what is being communicated.
Behavior management means acting accordingly when in the workplace. It is important in maintaining good working relationships and in turn creating supportive work environments. Employers have a certain code of conduct that is expected form their employees. The code of conduct may vary but there is a standard professional behavior expected from employees in all work settings. Employees should have respect and dignity for their fellow employees and employer. All employees have the responsibility of creating a safe workplace, one free of violence. Behavior says a lot about a person and can either enhance the workplace environment or destroy it.
Dysfunctional an inappropriate behavior in the work place can affect work productivity, have psychological effects on the wellbeing of staff and job satisfaction (Lewis, Packard & Lewis, 2007). Unaccepted workplace behavior is behavior that would be abusive, offensive, threaten or belittle other people in the workplace. Employers take behavior management very seriously and these is why letters of recommendation are required when one is applying for a job since they inform the potential employer on what kind of behavior he/she can expect from the applicant. A university graduate who is looking for a job needs to know the kind of behavior is preferred in the workplace. Unacceptable workplace behavior has caused some people to lose their jobs. Behaviors such as bullying in the workplace are not allowed. Professional training can help graduates to learn professional behavior and avoid unprofessional behavior in the workplace.
Behavior management practices that can be used in workplaces include;
- Being mindful of one’s own reaction; it enables the individual to know how their behavior affects the behavior of others. When an individual knows how their behavior affects others they know what to expect and can control their behavior to avoid conflicts (Lewis, Packard & Lewis, 2007).
- Maintain rational detachment; an individual who is rationally detached does not take negative comments personally. Thus negative reactions which could cause damage are avoided.
- Positive self-talk; it enables one to maintain his cool in the midst of a negative outburst. Sometimes employers may be harsh to their employees but employees need to know how to keep calm and not respond to the comments physically otherwise they end up losing their job.
Unacceptable workplace behaviors fall under the following categories; sexual harassment, bullying, discrimination, abuse of power, conflict of interest and unfitting workplace relationships (Satyawan, 2008). In workplaces where employees behave well relationships are enhanced and a good working environment is created which allows the generation of ideas. Good behavior management practices enhance working relationships and improve productivity.
Decision making is an important skill in workplace functioning (Satyawan, 2008). Often critical decisions need to be made in the work place which may determine productivity in a firm. Employers are hence pleased with employees who are good decision makers. Employers who are good at decision making are an asset to the company’s growth. Good decision making is especially important for the graduate as he is trying to progress career wise.
Professional skills are an important tool for both employees and employers. In university much of the emphasis is placed on level of education until the graduates go out looking for jobs and find out in addition to their certificates they need professional skills. It is advisable for students to undergo professional skills training before getting into jobs.
Caprino, K. (2012). What You Don't Know Will Hurt You: The Top 8 Skills Professionals Need
Lewis, J. A., Packard, T. R., & Lewis, M. D. (2007). Management of Human Service Programs,
4th Ed.. California: Thomson Brooks Publishers.
Satyawan, H. (2008). Business Communication. Mumbai: Rishabh Publishing House.