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Your Most Important Power Skill

Orange Leaf Consulting shares how power skills give you the advantage in negotiations and making decisions.

By Tressa Jumps

Originally posted at Orange Leaf Consulting

When you hear the phrase “power skills,” what comes to mind? Your mind might wander to all the home improvement projects that you’re planning for Spring and the tools you may need to acquire to get them done.

Well, “power skills” means something else in the world of business. They are the skills that go beyond mere job requirements. They are the “powerful” skills we use to navigate everyday social situations with others.

Power Skills are Key to Success

These are frequently called “soft skills.” But that is a bit of a misnomer. Power skills are just as strong and vital as the more nut-and-bolts skills. And, in reality, they are quite powerful.

They’re different from fundamental workplace skills like operating machinery, accounting, or computer networking. “Power skills” are the attributes you need to succeed in business, specifically in sales. “Power skills” enable you to get the most out of your other skills, such as your decision-making and critical thinking.

And chief among these is communication.

The Power of Communication

Sometimes, there’s a tendency to think of communication as a more basic or routine type of activity. After all, every day, we complete reports, we send emails, we text requests, we make calls. And those processes can be pretty mechanical at times.

The recent unveiling of new A.I. tools capable of composing a wide variety of written communication pieces is likely to blur the line even more. Why bother to give any thought to composing a quick explanatory note to a customer when you can simply feed the parameters into a helpful bot and generate a 200-word memo in less than a minute?

Back in the days of typewriters and carbon paper, we used to use “form letters” that would convey the same information in response to as many customer requests as we could reasonably tie together, changing only the names.

In the future, we will generate form letters far more quickly and capture details that the old versions were incapable of. They may indeed fool your customer and save you a truckload of time.

So what’s the downside?

A.I. Cannot Replace YOUR Brand!

Well, despite all of the new bells and whistles available at the click of a touchpad, communication is still a power skill. You cannot afford to let your personal brand of communication be replaced by something that’s simply more convenient. Your brand is customized, personalized, nuanced, and human. And this is especially true when you work in an environment where “every job is a sales job.”

In other words, a bot can write a note for you, but it can’t capture your personal brand. Your brand is a powerful sales tool indeed.

When it comes to your relationships with others, that personal brand is your most valuable asset. It’s critical for your brand to drive every interaction you have with every potential customer. And it needs to be authentic and genuine. You need to maintain and improve your communication skills constantly to enable your true strengths and memorable qualities to emerge in every message.

Is Your Team Using Their Power Skills?

This is true for your team as well, of course, and that’s why if there’s one takeaway to this month’s message, it’s this: we need to empower our people to maximize their ability to communicate! Nothing is more critical than acquiring and maintaining the kinds of customers who will lift your business to new heights.

And even if you’re not yet a team leader, you can still advocate for training and development for your team. Learning opportunities are everywhere, so don’t be afraid to contribute ideas to your managers and leaders to help others get the training they need to achieve greater success.

Technology is great, but when it comes to communication, there are no shortcuts. It requires a lot of practice.

But in the grand scheme of things, communication may turn out to be the most important power skill you’ll ever end up using.

And doing it the right way helps you…GROW BIG OR GO HOME!

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