The assumption that you’ve made it and have all the skills you need to succeed in career could be one of the biggest mistakes you have made or will make in your life. The ability to improve yourself, Self-improvement as we call it, can be achieved through continuous learning.
Dr. Travis Bradberry on his recent article on Quartz online magazine, provides us with 9 skills that can facilitate continuous learning, subsequently resulting in successful career.
Emotional intelligence (EQ)
EQ is the “something” in each of us that is a bit intangible. It affects how we manage behavior, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions that achieve positive results. EQ is your ability to recognize and understand emotions in yourself and others and your ability to use this awareness to manage your behavior and relationships.
People with a high degree of EQ make more money, an average of $29,000 more per year than people with a low degree of emotional intelligence. Increasing your EQ won’t just increase your bank account, it’ll make you happier and less stressed as well.
One of the biggest hurdles that gets in the way of effective time management is the “tyranny of the urgent.” When you succumb to it, you spend so much time putting out fires that you never get any real work done. How many times have you left work at the end of the day, only to realize that you didn’t move the important things along even one inch? Learning to manage your time effectively frees you up to perform at your absolute highest level.
A lot of times, we think we’re listening, but we’re actually planning what we’re going to say next. Focusing solely on what the other person is saying, is what true listening is about. It’s about understanding, not rebuttal or input. Failing to keep your ears (and eyes) open could leave you out of the game.
No is a powerful word that you should not be afraid to wield. When it’s time to say no, avoid phrases such as “I don’t think I can” or “I’m not certain.” In order to successfully fulfill your existing commitments, you must say “No” to new ones. When you fully master the ability to “No”, you free yourself from unnecessary constraints and free up your time and energy for the important things in life.
Asking for help
The last thing a leader wants are employees who keep on trucking down the wrong path because they are too embarrassed or proud to admit that they don’t know what they’re doing. The ability to recognize when you need help, summon up the courage to ask for it, and follow through on that help is an extremely valuable skill.
Getting high-quality sleep
The recent study form the University of Rochester found that when you sleep, your brain removes toxic proteins, which are by-products of neural activity when you’re awake, from its neurons. This slows your ability to process information and solve problems, kills your creativity, and increases your emotional reactivity. Learning to get high-quality sleep on a regular basis is a difficult skill to master, but it pays massive dividends the next day.
Knowing when to shut up
Sure, it can feel so good to unload on somebody and let them know what you really think, but that good feeling is temporary. In conflict, unchecked emotion makes you dig your heels in and fight the kind of battle that can leave you and the relationship severely damaged. When you read and respond to your emotions, you’re able to choose your battles wisely and only stand your ground when the time is right. The vast majority of the time, that means biting your tongue.
In theory, initiative is easy—the desire to take action is always there—but in the real world, other things get in the way. There’s a big difference between knowing what to do and being too scared or lazy to actually do it. That requires initiative. You have to take risks and push yourself out of your comfort zone, until taking initiative is second nature.
We’ve all received the well-meaning advice to “stay positive.” The real obstacle to positivity is that our brains are hard-wired to look for and focus on threats. This survival mechanism served humankind well, but today, this mechanism breeds pessimism and negativity. You must be intentional about staying positive if you’re going to overcome the brain’s tendency to focus on threats.