How to Develop Transferable Skills

25 January 2019

Transferable skills are personal qualities that can be developed and are able to be used in your career. It’s important that these skills are practised over time, and there are always ways to get better! What skills would you like to improve? Organisation, leadership, and communication are three of the many transferable skills that you can develop, and fortunately there are lots of ways you can exercise and improve these talents. Physically practising is usually the most beneficial and there are plenty of ways to do this in and out of the workplace.

How to Improve Leadership Skills

It may not feel like it, but you are constantly leading yourself as well as others. There are many personality traits that make a good leader, for example: assertiveness, confidence, and intelligence. Becoming a better leader is achievable when you know what to work on.

Here are a few tips on developing leadership skills:

Handling Conflicts

It’s inevitable that there will be conflict within your team at some point. Whether that’s between two employees or with you and another person, there are ways to deal with it that will be more effective than others. Be fair and listen to both sides but be honest and communicate what you believe to be the resolution. It may be necessary to be direct and straightforward, so be confident in communicating your solution.

Discipline

You’ve probably heard of the saying firm but fair and it’s perhaps one of the most important traits of being a good leader. Respecting those you’re leading will in turn gain their respect in return. Portraying the right amount of discipline will get things done effectively while still maintaining a strong relationship with the team.

Learning

Constantly learning and adapting to new situations is key to leadership development. It’s important to stay on top of any changes, so your team trusts your decision-making abilities. It’s okay to ask for guidance from other leaders – but also important to take responsibility when things don’t go the way you desired. Being transparent and honest is crucial to becoming a good leader.

If you’d like to practise your leadership skills, becoming a volunteer at the Army Cadet Force is a great way to do this. Guiding a team of cadets can be extremely rewarding and there are ample opportunities to gain further qualifications that can help progress your career.

How to Improve Communication Skills

Social skills are a necessity for everyday life, especially in your career. Coming across well and having excellent communication skills in an interview can be a deal breaker when it comes to getting that well-deserved promotion.

See below for some key ways on how to improve social skills:

Body language and eye contact

Body language is a big one. Appearing rude or obnoxious makes it harder for people to warm to you. Crossed-arms and not facing someone you’re interacting with is a big visual clue that you aren’t invested in the conversation. Maintaining eye contact is very important in social situations, as it shows you’re genuinely interested in what other people have to say. Keeping up eye contact when you’re talking makes you appear confident and assertive, which will help when presenting or teaching others.

Empathise and encourage

Always try and see a situation from another person’s perspective. Showing empathy will ensure that people will feel comfortable coming to you for advice and is one of the best traits of a good manager. Similarly, showing encouragement to those around you will illustrate your support and will make others feel valued and wanted.

Treat everybody equally

Avoid appearing patronising. Try to avoid talking about others and having favourites, as it will make people feel inadequate. Communicate clearly and encourage people to ask questions to make sure everything is understood, and no negativity has been falsely taken. Remain positive and learn to give criticism constructively. When people see you treating them as an equal, you will gain respect and they will naturally gravitate towards you.

Remain positive and upbeat - nobody wants to be around somebody who’s miserable and negative. Learn from your mistakes and try to see the good in a bad situation. Ask questions, make eye contact, show genuine interest and make an effort with others. Most importantly, be yourself. Developing these traits will help you make friends, improve your communication skills and assist you in your career.

How to be More Organised

At times it can feel like there’s not any time to do anything. You’re working, looking after the kids, and sleeping. Daily chores aren’t a priority anymore and it may feel like you’ve spiralled out of control.

It’s time to prevent all of this – making these little changes can mean you stay organised at home and at work:

Write lists

Whether it’s a to-do list at work or a shopping list for the weekly food shop, lists ensure that you remember everything. It means you don’t buy anything you don’t need, and it’s also a great feeling of accomplishment ticking off things when you’ve completed them.

Clean as you go

Many restaurants have this as a rule, so why not have it at home too? If you clean as you go you’re avoiding wasting your weekend tidying up. Simply clean up after every meal and put your clothes away every evening. There’s nothing worse than coming back to a dirty house after work. Tidy house, tidy mind! The same goes for your office, workspace, and your email inbox.

Delegate when possible

If you’re feeling stacked at work, delegate some tasks to other people where possible. There is always someone that will be able to help somehow. At home, delegate household chores to your partner or children. In both scenarios, things will get done a lot quicker. Delegating will also help others progress – whether that’s with a task at work or preparing your children for when they move out.

Whether you want to improve your leadership skills or become more organised and socially able, volunteering at the Army Cadet Force provides an opportunity for these skills to be practised and improved. Learn more about being an adult volunteer and get in touch to find out how you can build your transferable skills.