How to Be Competitive in Today's Workplace

How to Be Competitive in
Today's Workplace
Today's work place is very competitive.
You will need to have a variety of skills
that will give you the competitive edge
you need to succeed.
1. Listen Well: Good listening
skills make you more
productive, help you get
along better with others, and
allow you to work better in a
team-based environment.
Why You Need Good
Listening Skills
• Good listening skills make workers more
– The ability to listen carefully will allow you to:
• better understand assignments and what is
expected of you;
• build rapport with co-workers, bosses, and clients;
• show support;
• work better in a team-based environment;
• resolve problems with customers, co-workers, and
• answer questions; and
• find underlying meanings in what others say.
How to Listen Well
• The following tips will help you listen well. Doing these
things will also demonstrate to the speaker that you are
paying attention. While you may in fact be able to listen
while looking down at the floor, doing so may imply that
you are not.
maintain eye contact;
don't interrupt the speaker;
sit still;
nod your head;
lean toward the speaker;
repeat instructions and ask appropriate questions when the
speaker has finished.
– A good listener knows that being attentive to what the speaker
doesn't say is as important as being attentive to what he does
say. Look for non-verbal cues such as facial expressions and
posture to get the full gist of what the speaker is telling you.
Barriers to Listening
• Beware of the following things that may
get in the way of listening.
• bias or prejudice;
• language differences or accents;
• noise;
• worry, fear, or anger; and
• lack of attention span.
 2. Know How to Use a Computer: No
matter what your job is, it's likely you will
need to use a computer. It's important to
make sure your computer skills are up-todate.
• In most places of business, a computer is
standard. In the bank they use computers to look
up your account information. They use computers
in the auto repair shop to assess your car. You
can't find books in the library by looking in a card
catalog — you must use a computerized
database. Doctors' offices utilize computers to
store patient information. The point is this — no
matter where you find employment, there is a
good chance a computer will be a basic tool you
will have to use. It is in your best interests to start
off computer literate.
 3. Write Effectively: Whether your job
requires you to write short memos or
lengthy reports, you must be able to
communicate well in writing.
Organize Your Writing
• Whether you are writing a memo to your coworker or a report for your boss, you should
decide what information you want to convey.
• Here is how to do this:
– List each item you need to discuss in your memo or
– Put them in order -- from most to least important
– Write a brief summary of your entire memo -- this will
be your first paragraph.
– Expand on each item listed in step 1.
– If any action needs to be taken by the recipient, state
that in your closing paragraph.
 4. Deal With Crises at Work: Being able
to solve problems quickly and seamlessly
can set you apart from others.
• The saying, "Nothing ever goes as
planned," is as true at work as it is
anywhere. Things don't always happen the
way we intend them to. Being prepared for
these difficulties is important both to the
well-being of your employer and to your
job success. The employee who solves a
problem that threatens productivity, and
ultimately the bottom line, will certainly be
looked upon favorably
 5. Manage Your Time: Learning how to
manage your time effectively will allow you
to complete projects in a timely fashion.
Improve Your Time Management
• Do you often feel like you have more things to do than you have
time to do them? Here are tips to help you improve your time
management skills both at work and at home.
– Keep Prioritized "to do" Lists: List tasks you must complete in order
of priority (most important to least important). Cross off items as you
complete them.
– Schedule Breaks: Schedule breaks at regular times. You'll be less
likely to goof off when you should be working.
– Learn to Delegate: Don't try to do it all yourself. Assign jobs to others.
– Get Organized: It's much easier to accomplish tasks if your work area
is organized.
– Learn to Say "No": This tip of course works better in your personal life
than on your job. However, if you think your other work will suffer, try to
explain it to your boss.
– Get Enough Sleep: Although it's tempting to work long hours, in the
end you're actually less efficient when you're tired.
The End