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7 Under-Rated Skills to Stand Out at the Workplace


Your resume had the right key words.


Your interviewers really liked you during the interview.


You aced the psychometric tests with flying colours.


You were a good match for the job.


Looks like you are on board for a flying start to your career. Or new job.


Unfortunately so many of those people who aced the first few boxes on the checklist disappointed heavily when it came down to the real work.


It’s like they got the passport and boarding pass- but boarded the wrong flight.


So what can give you the edge when you start working. Or a new job?


Here’s 7 Under-Rated Skills employers look out for in their new hires.


But they never talk about.


Some of them just assume you have it.


It’s like common sense. Which actually, may not be at all common.


1) Being Teachable


Being teachable means being open to learning. Even though you know you’re the expert at it. Like being taught how to create a Facebook scheduled post by someone who is not even in marketing. Even though you are the one having the digital marketing certificate. You never know what you can learn when you are open to learning something you already know- from another angle.


2) Cite Your Sources


Organisations today love people with new ideas. Every new idea is welcome with either open arms. Or a lot of resistance. But know that not every idea is a good idea. And in a quick-paced environment when people really do not have time for brainstorming, every time you share a new idea always back your idea up with some kind of data. Cite a source. A data point. Stand-out Statistic. Or a compelling anecdote. That gives street cred to your idea. And people will know that you’re not made of fluff.


3) Being Polite


In a world where people are too busy working in their own cubicles or silos, giving the customary “Good morning” or “How are you today?” can be a breath of fresh air. Humans thrive connection and you never know how your appreciation of others could elevate their day.A smile costs less than electricity but it gives more light! And even if you don’t get a welcome appreciation in return, just remember smile to change the world but don’t let the world change your smile.


4) Simplifying Things


Simplicity is the glory of expression. When you were trying to figure out the academic readings in university, nobody reminded you of that. Because in the working world- the smart person is not the one who uses the best jargon or in-trend organisational lingo. It is the one who is able to explain the most sophisticated of things simply. So ask yourself, “How can I explain this idea so that even a 12-year-old can understand it?”


5) Keeping Calm


And carry on. Keeping calm doesn’t mean that the storm won’t come. It means that even though you are in the middle of the storm, you know exactly what you are doing. No reason to panic. Or get triggered. All will be well. This takes a lot of practice. Filtering what people say. Discerning what emotions you show. Learning from experience. Making bad judgment calls so that the next time you make better ones. And showing people that no matter what happens, you are on top of the situation. (Even if you’re not!_


6) Asking for Feedback


Doesn’t it shudder you every time someone says to you “I’ve got some feedback for you” Or “I need to talk to you” Well the new rules of work suggests the importance of making mistakes early. And learn from it. This is called the iterative process. Send out your idea to the world. And let the world tell you what it thinks of it. And adjust accordingly. So when you ask for feedback, remember to


A) Foucs on the intent of the person giving the feedback

B) Ask the person for advice on what you can do differently

C) Have the wisdom to know the things you can change. And the ones you shouldn’t. This takes a bit of practice I reckon.


7) Speaking Up


Knowing when to speak up at the right place at the right time separates the good from the great. Too many of us don’t speak up enough. Especially on Zoom calls. Speaking up makes you visible. And visibility promotes your value. But how do we know when or how to speak up? Here’s a quick formula


1) Don’t be the first to speak up. Gather what others have said and add on to them. This shows you are a team player. And gives you time to substantiate your thoughts.

2) Ensure you are saying is palatable. That it would land well with your audience. For example compare saying “I think the management must really consider giving the younger workers more flexible working options. Every other company is doing it!” versus “One thing to consider is how might we integrate our personal responsibilities and work commitment in a blended learning environment. How does that land with you?”

3) Add a “What do you think?” or “How does that land with you?” at the back of your sentences. So that it keeps your conversation going and open. And you would definitely land better.


These are the under-rated skills that nobody talks about at the workplace. And sometimes it is these skills that makes you 1 per cent better than the average salaryman, freelancer, manager , executive or entrepreneur.


And the best thing about it is that it costs absolutely nothing to use them today.


Which of these skills resonated the best with you?

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