Is it more important to build relationships at work than skills?
In the workplace relationships are important, to the point where nowadays, it’s arguably more important build relationships than skills. So it’s important to learn these skills fast in your school, and get to know those who can you in future or at present to further your career.
Although that may seem absurd, it’s not unheard of in a world constantly promoting workplace functions, where it has been asked on popular forum site Quora by an employer whether or not they should sack an unsociable employee who is great at their job.
Nevertheless, the two go hand in hand these days, and building relationships is now seen as a skill in itself, which is not hard to see why given the rise of social media.
Screen time is at an all-time high, with workers now more likely to Skype meetings than meet in real life than ever before, an unprecedented reaction to social media – it is millennials who are now at an age to be in the mainstream workforce who are most likely to prefer screen time to real time.
Where do skills vs relationships get you?
One word. Nepotism. It’s an ugly word many of us would rather avoid, but the reality is that unfortunately for many of us it’s rife in the real world of working – statistics show that in some industries it’s the way a majority of employees begin their careers in their chosen industries.
This doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad thing, but it does show the extent of which skills are not as highly valued as the ability to have skills – in other words, as the old adage goes: “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”
True or untrue as it might be, it’s worth brushing up on your skills whilst building relationships at the same time – after all, knowing the daughter of the director is your colleague and being friendly with her will also simply further your career in the long run, and really, what’s the harm in that?
And let’s go to the old saying of “get better, not bitter”, whether or not somebody is the son/daughter/best friend/lover of the boss, if they can’t make the bosses company as much money as you can with the skills that you have then they are lacking, and this means the business is lacking, and whether they like it or not, you will be better, meaning your prospects within the company will be better than theirs because you make the business more money than they do.
So all in all it pays dividends to know your market and adapt your skills to suit it, and have fun doing so, building relationships can be just as rewarding as building your skillset, and really, relationship skills come under the category of building relationships.
Do business schools teach you how to build relationships or skills?
Business schools can do it all, and if you’re at an institution that specializes in business like Hult Business School for example, you will not only reap the benefits of learning the administrative side of business but also the people-management aspects, a crucial tool so vital to the success of careers nowadays, yet so often overlooked.
For example, there will be instances in which you will be working with a stakeholder and will need to not only manage expectations but also provide push back and insight as to why you are doing so.
But, most good business institutions know that the two must be intertwined in order for success in the workplace to be had, it’s great to be an expert in your field but if you’re unable to communicate why you are an expert in your field, there’s no reason to be one.
Many of us lack confidence, but there are plenty of websites online which offer courses part time and full time aimed at purely developing confidence in the workplace – a good place to start is with an elevator pitch; a quick summarisation of your career and skills which will enhance your chances of being hired in your chosen profession and show the employer what you have to offer them.