Skills that will make you exceed in business

Suzanne van Gils, Emilie Lapointe, Sheryl Winston Smith, Peter Jarnebrant

Business schools are known for training in financial and economical skills. However, a key requirement in business training, which is often underestimated, is the importance of soft skills.

This article is written by research assistant Emma Skjelten Daasvatn.

When leaders are asked what they know now, that they wish they had known 10 years ago, their top answer is “we wish we had better interpersonal skills”.

Good relational skills are essential in business

Business schools aim to develop business professionals in disciplines that can contribute to advancement in all spheres of society, from marketing managers, to communication specialists, to entrepreneurs, and CEOs. In these fields, having good relational and interpersonal skills is essential, even if the business may be focused around numbers and quantitative skills. Moreover, a digitalized future makes us have to look at new ways of approaching business, especially when it comes to complex decisions that are uniquely human. 

Thinking outside the box, seeing opportunities where others do not, building a team, and working with investors and boards, are only some of the crucial processes in organizations that require skills which are centered around people. Unfortunately, business students sometimes underestimate those skills. But fear not; soft skills, like any other skill, can be nurtured and developed. 

What soft skills do you want to train?

Soft skills include interpersonal skills, communication and listening skills, time management, problem-solving, leadership, and empathy, to name a few. As these skills are important for most professions, they are sought after by employers. So ask your self, what can I become better at?

Develop your people skills

People, social relationships, and human resource development are critical for organizations to succeed in reaching their strategic goals and objectives. Furthermore, being a good leader means taking an active part in diverse teams, and to lead and influence processes that are necessary for effectiveness, inclusion, and growth in organizations. 

If you understand the importance of putting people at the forefront, chances are you will be able to make any organization more effective. Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, employees are likely to be much happier at their workplace.

Learn how to really understand your customers 

All services or goods need to have a market. To conquer the market, you must create solutions based on both on research, measuring, and tracking. But making use of market data is not enough, you also need to listen and make use of empathy, to understand the psychology and behaviour of your customers. Telling good stories that wake the consumer’s emotions is important for brand loyalty.

In other words; understand your customers, and you may increase your chances of creating future-proof businesses that are able to create value for their customers, and make profit in an ever-changing marketplace.

Increase your soft skills through the Master of Science programmes:

Meet the challenges in an increasingly digitized future

The development of organizations is transitioning into an increasingly digital future, and is not likely to slow down any time soon. Therefore, developing your skills within this digital domain will be of immeasurable worth, if you wish to increase your understanding of the digital economy, and address the communicative aspects of the social and organizational challenges we are facing.

Such skills may include the ability to understand human-machine interaction, and master communication in online and offline settings, only to mention a few. These are skills are vital for well-functioning relationships in a hybrid work setting. To be able to analyze digital and social media data with a sensitivity to cultural differences and sustainability, will also be important. 

Develop an entrepreneurial mindset and build winner teams

Do you have a dream of starting and developing your own business? Then you may want to consider training and developing your entrepreneurial mindset; develop your ability to handle uncertainty and risk, the skills necessary to quickly identify opportunities, test solutions, and adapt them to customer needs. Learn this, and you may become better at discovering opportunities where others do not, evaluate them in close dialogue with the environment, market, and customers, and implement innovative solutions or business areas. 

When in search of funding, investors will look for startups with well-functioning teams. So as entrepreneur, you will need strong relational and communications skills to foster team spirit and engagement. This type of competence will the start-up grow and scale up faster.

Increase your soft skills through the Master of Science programmes:

Published 15. February 2023

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