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The Five Essential Skills for a Global Marketplace

Thanks to the instant world of high-speed computer connections, global partnerships and competitors are different from those that were understood in the past. Consequently, we are required to interact and adapt more effectively. So how do we adapt and, more important, how do we inspire our people to adapt as well? The speed of change and globalization require us to abandon the antiquated approach that limits knowledge to “what you need to know to do this job today.” Instead, we need to respond to the current #business #environment by insisting on the development and implementation of five essential skills: rapport building, curiosity, ambition, #communication, and conflict resolution. By increasing our appreciation for the value and role of these skills, and recognizing that they require constant practice, we can exceed our potential in dealing with the new realities of business.

The five essential #skills that can help us to be more effective in a changing #global environment are detailed below.

1. Rapport Building

The ability to build rapport quickly and then use initial rapport as a basis for a longer-term relationship can be the difference between utilizing your #professional #network to help you adapt to change or standing alone and becoming obsolete. The speed of change requires that we make the most of our global network by building rapport across it. Without rapport, we will have no support system to help us navigate constant change. Rapport building may come naturally to some, but to others, it is an essential skill that requires frequent and open-minded learning in dealing with the variety of personality types and perspectives we may find working on a global team.

2. Curiosity

Curiosity about what should be and what could be is our second essential skill. While curiosity may start as an attitude, it can become a skill when directed toward driving necessary change. Curiosity is the antithesis of approaching tasks from the perspective of “it’s the way it’s always been done.” When we rely only on how we have done things in the past, there is limited opportunity for a learning breakthrough. We become mechanical, simply regurgitating and reusing information. To adapt to our changing environment, we need to be curious about learning different means to achieve new ends.

3. Ambition

Leaders face a paradox. There is a growing sense that many people are not as anxious to move up the organization ladder. We must be careful not to limit the concept of ambition to only upward career advancement. Ambition is a drive to do things better. This may entail moving up the career ladder, or it may involve improving things in a specific work area. It’s up to leaders to learn those methods of tapping into employee ambition without setting a tone that tells employees they must move all the way up the #organizational ladder to be successful. Associates, who may want to climb only some rungs of the corporate ladder, should still be encouraged to make things better each step of the way. When career advancement is of interest, there will always be opportunities for an #ambitious #professional who can get things done.

4. Communication

Too often, #leaders wait until they have all of the answers before they communicate ideas around change. As the speed of change quickens, and outside sources of information become more pervasive, waiting to communicate only leads to problems. If the leader has built trust with employees through good rapport and has demonstrated curiosity and ambition, #employees will be more accepting as information changes over time. Withholding #communication only leads to eroding trust and reducing curiosity and ambition. Communication is the thread that holds the other essential skills together.

“Applying effective ambition allows one to take new ideas, create an action plan for implementing those ideas, and then have the strength to carry the plan forward.”

5. Conflict Resolution

It is not our purpose to discuss all of the steps necessary for effective conflict resolution. What should be understood, though, is that angry conflict in a business setting usually has a negative and unproductive result. Loud responses and threats aggravate a situation with lasting effects that can undermine a #team. At the other end of the spectrum, passive-aggressive responses to conflict can also undermine team #effectiveness. This is especially true when dealing with a global team where expectations around interaction may vary greatly. The best advice is to learn as much as possible about the dynamics of people skills and how to structure #effective #relationships. Conflict resolution is about helping team members achieve mutually satisfactory solutions regardless of the intensity of disagreements.

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