The ability to interact with clients, customers, employees, and business partners is a necessary skill in the workplace. When you’re looking to improve your business acumen skills, you’ve already taken an important step in expressing the desire to improve. Keep in mind that perfecting your business acumen skills is a task that requires an assessment of your own strengths and weaknesses. Without further ado, let’s uncover what skills a good business person needs and how to improve them.
1. Learn to Listen
When you envision yourself speaking with another person in terms of your business, you may picture only what it is that you have to say. In order to have strong relationships with people, however, you must know how to listen.
The next time you are speaking to someone, pay attention to how eager you are to talk as opposed to how eager you are to listen. Get into the practice of fully paying attention to what the other person is saying. A good starting point is to wait until the individual is completely done before you begin to speak.
2. Take Notes
The ability to remember every detail that someone says in a conversation is one that few people possess. Instead of trying to recall as much information as possible, take notes to improve your business acumen skills.
During conversations about business happenings, write down details that the other parties emphasize. On top of that, don’t forget to mention answers to questions that you might have. This strategy shows the other participant that you are invested in the conversation.
3. Put the Phone Away
Depending upon your current approach to business conversations, it may seem quite obvious to you that putting your cell phone away is only appropriate. However, the appearance of cell phones in formal settings has become increasingly popular. As a result, you may not even know that this behavior is incorrect.
While it might be okay to simply turn your phone upside down while in a casual meeting, you need to put it away entirely during formal interactions. Some people may be so appalled by the sight of your cell phone that you lose the deal.
4. Moderate Your Pace
Imagine that you were trying to listen to someone who was speaking extremely quickly. In addition to finding yourself distracted, you may also lose track of what the individual is saying. On the other hand, when people speak too slowly, listeners can find themselves growing bored.
Therefore, try to work on employing a reasonable pace when you talk. Speaking too quickly could also imply that you are eager to leave the meeting. On the other hand, a slow talk might suggest that you don’t really know the subject too well.
5. Talk Naturally
When you are having an important meeting, you may find yourself constantly staring at your notes. If the other individual thinks that you don’t know what you’re talking about, they are likely to question your abilities to move forward in a business relationship.
In the early stages of such transactions, you may feel as though you need notes to guide you. However, instead of constantly looking down, practice what you want to say before the interaction begins. This way, you will look well-prepared and ready to take on your shoulders the responsibilities of the new project.
6. Ask Questions
While constantly asking questions can become disruptive, having no inquiries at all can show that you aren’t interest in the subject matter. Instead of feeling timid about asking questions, go into the conversation prepared with some well-grounded inquiries. Afterward, as you are speaking with the other individuals, you can take notes about areas where you would like further clarification later.
7. Make Eye Contact
You might feel as though making eye contact is awkward, especially when you don’t know the other people in the conversation well. However, failing to have eye contact can come across as even more awkward.
People might think that you lack the confidence to speak about the subject or that you are intimidated by them. Practice by working on eye contact with people with whom you are comfortable. Then, you can apply these skills to a wider audience.
8. Incorporate Visuals
Perhaps you are trying to convince a group of people why a new layout would work better for the office. Maybe you want to show how well the budget has done that a certain change was implemented.
If you think about how you liked to learn when you were in an academic setting, you may have a strong reminder of how powerful visuals are. Instead of simply telling people what you want them to hear, provide visual examples of what you mean.
9. Be Amicable and Professional
Asking a potential new business partner to hang out on the weekend is not a professional move. However, you also don’t have to be so cold that you fail to acknowledge the other person’s humanity.
Asking people how their days are going or wishing them a happy weekend are simply ways to show that you are interested in the humanity of the conversation. On top of that, you are safe from stepping outside the boundaries of professionalism.
10. Follow Pleasantries
You might think that getting up out of your chair and shaking hands are not necessary when a person walks into the room. Even if trends change in the future, by taking these actions, you will be employing typical acts of proper professionalism.
These rituals have been around for a long time. Through them, you are showing that you have knowledge of how to act in a professional setting. Moreover, it is unlikely that such an approach would hurt you.
11. Provide Follow-up Information
One of the important business acumen skills is to have a mode of contact once the conversation is over. You’ve probably left a conversation and then remembered an important piece of information that you would like to convey.
For example, you might provide a business card at the end of the meeting. While you may feel tempted to just jot down your contact information on a piece of paper, doing so isn’t the most professional approach.
Business acumen skills are necessary to have whenever you work on a new project. Taking the time to improve yours can make a significant difference in how you interact and how people respond to you.