Business Communication For Beginners – For example, for business owners, it is important to ensure that all members of the company possess skills such as critical thinking, time management, and effective communication to ensure that day-to-day operations run smoothly and business goals are achieved.
Here’s an overview of why improving your business skills is important, and ten things you should prioritize to advance your career.
Business Communication For Beginners
A business foundation not only increases confidence in the workplace, but also opens the door to countless career opportunities. For those who expanded their knowledge by attending HBS courses, the experience resulted in the following outcomes:
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Here are ten business skills you should develop if you want to achieve something similar in your career.
A basic knowledge of economics is valuable in any industry. As well as gaining insight into pricing strategies and market demand, studying economics can give you the toolbox to make critical decisions in your business.
For Nicholas Grecco, a former CORe participant and current educator and healthcare administrator, the managerial economics class helps his company invest in solar energy.
“I knew investing in solar energy was a great opportunity, but the concept of willingness to sell (WTS) helped me understand and explain why,” Grecco said. “Because of the additional incentives from city planning and the buying power of the group, the electrical contractors were willing to sell the solar system at a much lower price than usual, thus increasing consumer surplus.” By explaining WTS, I was able to convince the owner to go ahead with the project.
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Research shows that more and more companies, including Microsoft, Uber, and Blue Apron, are using analytics to drive growth and improve their services and operations.
Analytical thinking is one of the most sought-after hard skills in today’s job market, according to LinkedIn. Knowing how to aggregate data sets, identify trends, and test hypotheses can provide an analytical framework for tackling complex business problems and help you make informed decisions that benefit your business.
“Using data analytics is a very powerful way to have an impact on organizations,” said HBS professor Jan Hammond, who teaches a business analytics course. “If you can go to a conference where other people have an opinion but you have the data to support your arguments and recommendations, you can make an impact.”
Accounting knowledge can benefit your career even if you are not in a numbers-based role. While this may seem like an intimidating subject, it’s easier to understand than you might think.
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Concepts such as cash flow and profitability help to understand a company’s performance and potential, but knowing how to read and interpret a balance sheet is critical to communicating financial results.
Pankaj Prashant, an engineer who attended CORe, said the principles he learned in financial accounting helped him solidify his technical background and advance his career.
“I’ve been paying attention to my company’s annual report, and what I’ve learned about accounting helps me see where the company is headed in the future,” Prashant said. “I’ve also been looking at several other companies for investment purposes, and I realized that as my knowledge of the company’s financials increases, I can make more informed decisions.”
Whether you’re just starting your career or working at a high level, it pays to be an effective negotiator. A World Economic Council report identified negotiation as one of the top 10 human skills needed to thrive in the workforce of the future.
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Improving your negotiation skills can not only help secure your company’s value at the table, but it can also help yourself when negotiating a higher starting salary or raise.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to developing an effective negotiation strategy. According to Mike Wheeler, a Harvard Business School professor who teaches negotiation skills, the key is to be willing to improvise and be willing to think on your feet.
“No matter how you view yourself as a negotiator, most people you deal with will likely have a different style, at least to some degree,” Wheeler says. “To be successful, you have to be agile. That means using different skillsets depending on the situation and who you’re dealing with.”
Strong management skills are intrinsically linked to organizational performance. A Gallup study found that managers account for 70% of changes in employee engagement, highlighting the need for companies to develop leaders who can improve productivity and team morale.
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Knowing how to manage meetings and communicate organizational change is important for experienced and aspiring managers alike. It’s also important to be aware of common mistakes team managers make.
For PR account manager Monica Higgins, taking a basic management course was a way to increase her management knowledge and develop a new attitude to her role.
“I’m more about looking at things through a bigger lens, a different perspective,” Higgins said. “I’ve always loved asking thoughtful, educational questions — as opposed to making statements — and I’m very much into it now. sing a different tune.
Whether you hold a managerial position or not, leadership skills are critical to success in the workplace. Although some people think that leadership and management are the same thing, there is a difference between the two. Where management focuses on implementing processes, leadership focuses more on people and the vision to drive change.
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In addition to improving your management skills, developing your leadership skills can be of great benefit in any career. From learning to stay calm under pressure to developing your own leadership style, these skills can help you understand how to achieve your vision and make your team successful.
In any business setting, professionals rely on communication to coordinate work and achieve organizational goals. Ineffective communication — or lack of communication at all — can have disastrous consequences.
In addition to developing your skills, understanding and adapting to other people’s communication styles is an important part of success. Other key communication skills include active listening, empathy and reading body language.
Emotional intelligence is another essential business skill that research shows is a leading indicator of workplace performance. According to a study by TalentSmart, 90% of top performers have high emotional intelligence.
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Emotional intelligence is generally broken down into four concepts: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. Simply put, this skill refers to your ability to understand your own emotions, and to recognize and influence the emotions of others.
No matter your industry or position, knowing yourself and those around you can give you greater control over your relationships and effectively achieve your goals.
All professionals need strong decision-making skills to address complex workplace challenges. The demand for these skills is even greater for those who specialize in business or management.
Determining how to allocate resources, which employees form teams, and how to implement a new organizational plan are all carefully considered decisions. As more tools and resources become available to capture data, managers can fuel their processes with valuable insights to make data-driven decisions and create better outcomes.
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Whether you want ideas or advice on a specific challenge, or are preparing for a career change, the people who make up your professional network are invaluable resources.
To get the most out of your network, take the opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and form new relationships. Once you’ve established your network, it’s important to maintain the relationships you’ve already established and find new ways to expand your network.
If your goal is to advance your career, the value of business acumen cannot be overemphasized. As your business grows, you’ll need soft skills (such as emotional intelligence and leadership) in addition to hard skills (such as financial accounting and understanding economics).
No matter what industry you’re in, knowledge of fundamental business concepts can help you better understand your company’s performance and gain the tools you need to lead plans and drive strategic decision-making.
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Want to take your career to the next level? Check out our foundational business courses. Download our free flowchart to choose the right course for you.
Matt Gavin is a member of the Marketing team at Harvard Business School. He lived in North Carolina, where he worked in journalism and content marketing, before returning to his native Massachusetts to join Harvard Business School. He has a background in video production, having previously produced several documentaries for Boston-based PBS station WGBH. In his spare time, he enjoys running, exploring New England, and spending time with his family. We use necessary cookies to perform our work. By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storage of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage and assist in our marketing efforts.
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