I asked the big question on Linkedin: what’s the most underappreciated workplace skill in 2022? Passive aggressive email drafting? Pretty powerpoint slides? Perfectly labelled excel spreadsheets?
Here’s some of the answers I got back (crowd sourced):
The people who contribute huge value by making everyone around them a little bit better, though often in ways that are hard to pin down, let alone measure on typical business metrics.
These people often end up overlooked in favour of the louder voices and self-promoters.
Companies usually only recognise their value when they leave.
One way to think about it is the “culture carriers” at a firm. Often if someone senior leaves people say ‘oh that will impact the business’ but often it is the person who remembers peoples birthdays, celebrates team success, shows empathy etc who when they leave the firm misses – without realising it.
It’s harder to measure than IQ, where you can list your academic abilities and successes. But it’s the ability to be self-aware, empathetic, and being able to form strong relationships. Skills needed to be a good leader and team player.
An ability and willingness to learn! With that you can develop all of these skills and more.
Accuracy and attention to detail. These are particularly relevant in the early stages of your career, a new job or even a new project.
It is a ‘no cost’ skill and a very easy way to build credibility while you listen and develop knowledge and understanding.
Top tips are: spell check; proof read and reality check your numbers with a calculator (not a spreadsheet or stochastic model). Remember, the percentage column should usually total to 100%.
Having an active interest in and awareness of other parts of the business outside of your own. Not because someone tells you to but to think, what experience or knowledge do I have that could help others. It’s an attitude thing, not about what goes into a performance management system on cross selling or collaboration.
Helping to develop/mentor junior team members – so important and often underappreciated.
The ability to ask questions (the right ones, the right time and in the right way – wow).
Resilience (if you can call that a skill) – being able to cope with setbacks and difficulties.
Getting things done in an unassuming fashion.
You want to be that person that is reliable, in that if you say you will get something done by a certain timeframe you get it done in that timeframe. You also want to be reliable in consistently producing high quality work. Furthermore, and this is maybe more relevant in a consulting firm, but you want to be someone that is reliable in answering client queries in a timely manner.
Being that person that is reliable will get noticed by people you work with, which is likely to help your progression.
Anything to add to that?