Six Simple Skills Anyone Can Learn to Improve Earning Potential
1. Negotiation Skills
2. Courage to Speak Up
3. Time Management
4. Work Ethic
5. Positive Networking
Negotiation books recommended: Pre-Suasion by Robert Cialdini and Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher and William Ury.
Original article: Six Simple Skills Everyone Can Learn to Improve Their Earnings Potential at Work | The Simple Dollar
Trent Hamm is a personal finance writer at TheSimpleDollar.com. After pulling himself out of his own financial crisis, he founded the site in late 2006 to help others through financially difficult situations; today the site has become a finance, insurance, and retirement resource. Contact Trent at trent AT the simple dollar DOT com; please send site inquiries to inquiries AT the simple dollar DOT com.
By positive networking, I simply mean establishing relationships with other workers that are purely positive in nature, meaning that they don’t revolve around building negative feelings or negative relationships with others.
The truth is that, no matter what you do, you’re never going to be universally liked and you’re never going to universally like everyone. That’s just the reality of life. The question isn’t how you feel or how others feel about you, but about how you present those feelings.
The reality is that very few people want relationships with people who consistently express negativity. In some workplaces, you might find a person or two with a big chip on their shoulder. You may even find that those people have a close circle around them, a few sycophants who agree and support the negative person. In reality, though? You don’t want them around. Others don’t want them around. Often, unless they have some sort of special claim to power, their days are numbered.
Instead, the person that most people want to work with is the person that is friendly and positive to everyone. That doesn’t mean excessive cheeriness; it means acknowledging others, listening to others, offering useful ideas and feedback when asked, participating in conversations, and never offering up negative criticism unless it’s privately given.
I’ll give you an example. I once worked with a person who would never, ever say a negative word about you around anyone else. You would never hear him speak negatively about another person, whether that person was present or not. The only time he ever uttered anything that was critical would be in a one-on-one situation or by email, and it was usually delivered side by side with positive things and in a way that was obviously intended to make you better off.
That guy was a very ordinary looking guy. He didn’t always speak well. He was a bit overweight and had some seriously nerdy interests. But everyone loved him. Everyone valued his advice. He basically had a job for life and was often rewarded with raises and no one minded in the least.
It was because he was incredibly good at positive networking. He made an effort to build a positive back-and-forth relationship with everyone in the office and he simply avoided criticism. If someone came to him and was critical about someone else, he usually would just say nothing at all or he’d gently point out something positive about the person or he’d redirect the complaint to an actual supervisor. If you wanted to just have a conversation about anything, he was almost always open for it. If you asked for feedback on something, he’d dig deep to find some positive things to say to pair with the criticism if he felt the need to criticize.
I have occasionally worked with people who behaved like this at work and every single time it was a genuine pleasure to work with them. Every single time, those people were rewarded with sustained employment, raises, and promotions.
Be that person. Don’t engage in negativity in the workplace, ever. If you have to criticize someone, do it privately and couch it in the things they do well. Make an effort to establish a positive relationship with everyone. If someone else is negative in a conversation, don’t participate in the negativity.