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The Competitive Edge Using Non-Traditional Business Skills to Achieve Career Success - Part 2 In the first part of this article, Dr Linda Taylor looked at the political skills which treasurers need to secure their position and achieve career success. In this second part, she looks at the social skills, and offersadvice on effective networking.

The Competitive Edge

- Using Non-Traditional Business Skills to Achieve Career Success - Part 2

by Dr. Linda J. Taylor

In the first part of this article, Dr Linda Taylor looked at the political skills which treasurers need to secure their position and achieve career success. In this second part, she looks at the social skills, and offers advice on effective networking.

Social Skills

The new competitive environment has changed the way business is conducted. Hierarchical barriers have been diminished through downsizing and the minimisation of management layers. As a result, the internal personal interaction of the organisation has changed. The lower levels of the organisation now have access to, and are required to interact more with, the corporate elite of the organisations. The use of social skills has risen in importance and is now a necessity for successfully conducting business and achieving career success.

Awareness of the importance of social skills has increased in recent years and has been presented under headings such as social intelligence, emotional intelligence, ego resiliency, practical intelligence, and self-monitoring. Although all are skills, or tools, which make up the entire toolbox of social skills, each skill represents a different aspect under this general heading.

Five Types of Social Skills

Social skills are usually broken down into five different skills[2]:

Social Intelligence: The ability to understand and manage people, and to be able to empathise, in order to improve the interactions with others.

Individuals with these skills are very good at predicting others’ behaviours and are very adept at changing their own behaviour in order to advance their own situation with others.

Emotional Intelligence: An individual’s ability to monitor or regulate his or her own feelings, emotions, and expressions to achieve organisational goals or expectations.

Usually split into two categories, interpersonal and intrapersonal categories, these individuals are very aware of their own emotions, such as anger or frustration and control them to optimise the current situation.

Ego Resiliency: The ability to adapt to environmental changes through self-regulation and impulse control in the belief that the individual can control the outcome of their social interaction.

These are the individuals that ask themselves, ”What role do I need to play in this situation for best results?” For example, “Do I need to be a leader in this team, or should I be a regular soldier?”

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