9 Essential Business Skills Professionals Should Develop

Today’s business environment is highly competitive, and employers are constantly looking for the right people to remain productive and profitable. If you want to score a good job and climb up the ladder, having the right business skills is paramount. Listed below are a few that you must add to your persona. Some of these may require upskilling via education, while others will come with experience.

1. Decision-making

Is it possible to navigate the complex challenges of today’s business environment without strong decision-making skills? We doubt. If you’re working in managerial or leadership roles, you need to know how to make intelligent business-related decisions on time.

Determining how to implement a new initiative across a company and how to allocate resources are all decisions that require consideration and concentration. With the help of several resources and tools for capturing data, you can make data-driven, informed decisions through valuable insights. Often, this leads to better business outcomes in both the short and long run.

If you’re looking for a quick way to enhance your decision-making skills, turn to the internet and opt for a distance learning program. By enrolling in an online MBA no GMAT required program, you can simultaneously apply your learning in a practical setting. Plus, you can learn straight out of the comfort of your work desk- or home.

2. Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is an excellent indicator of workplace performance. Studies suggest that 90% of top performers boast good levels of emotional intelligence.

Typically, emotional intelligence can be classified into four categories: relationship management, social awareness, self-management, and self-awareness. In simple words, having this skill means understanding your emotions, how they influence certain situations, along with your ability to recognize the emotions of others. Being aware of your emotions and those of the people around you will allow you to control your interactions, helping you and your subordinates achieve business goals without conflict.

3. Communication

There’s no business setting where professionals don’t rely on communication to achieve organizational goals and objectives. But, conversely, little or no interaction can be disastrous. Besides developing your communication skills, you should understand and adapt to the communication styles of people you interact with regularly. Apart from food oral and verbal skills, other essential communication skills comprise empathy, active listening, and reading body language. Try to hone these with practice in order to avoid miscommunication at the workplace.

4. Leadership

Whether you’re a manager or an employee, the workplace can’t succeed without effective leadership. Some people find it difficult to differentiate between management and leadership, but these terms aren’t interchangeable. While management aims to implement processes, leadership focuses on vision and people that guide change.

Besides improving your managerial skills, honing your leadership skills can benefit you – irrespective of the profession you’re in. From developing your leadership style to learning how you can stay calm during stressful times, these skills are invaluable. They help you understand how you can set your team up for success and bring your vision to life.

5. Business Management

There’s a strong link between organizational performance and managerial skills. In fact, managers account for 70% of the variance in employee engagement. This statistic hints at why companies need managers and bosses who can drive the morale and productivity of a team.

If you’re an aspiring or a seasoned manager, you should hone your organizing and team management skills. Also, be aware of common managerial missteps people make and try avoiding them along the way.

6. Negotiation

Whether you’re operating at a senior position or kickstarting your professional journey, being a good negotiator always helps. Recently, a report identified negotiation as one of the top 10 skills required to excel in the future work environment.

By working on your deal-making skills, two things will happen. First, you can secure value for yourself, e.g., when advocating for a higher raise or starting salary. Second, you can ensure value for your firm at the bargaining table.

Sure, everyone would like a successful negotiation strategy. But there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, you need to evaluate the person with whom you’re negotiating and improvise accordingly.

While you may consider yourself as a specific type of negotiator, not everyone will have the same negotiation style as yours. Therefore, succeeding on the table entails agility. Simply put, flex yourself to use a different set of skills to deal with different types of people in various kinds of situations.

7. Financial accounting

Understanding business financials can land you a better career, even if your current role isn’t remotely related to numbers. There’s no doubt that accounting is one of the most intimidating subjects, but once you get a good grip on the basics, the road doesn’t seem as difficult.

If you want to understand the potential and performance of your organization, study concepts like profitability and cash flow. And if you can read and analyze a balance sheet, communicating financial results wouldn’t be challenging anymore.

Don’t forget to keep track of your company’s annual reports when you’re learning to account. Once you get the gist of how accounting works, you’ll start forecasting what your business may look like in a couple of years from now. With better financial knowledge, you’ll also be able to track other organizations’ financial performance and maintain a competitive advantage.

8. Data Analysis

Many firms are now using analytics to grow their business. For example, big organizations like Blue Apron, Uber, and Microsoft use data to improve their operations and services. In fact, LinkedIn sees analytical reasoning as one of the most sought-after hard skills in today’s job market.

Testing hypotheses, recognizing trends, and summarizing datasets can provide you with an accurate framework for approaching challenging business problems. The more precise your data and recommendations are, the more likely you are to provide better solutions to mitigate risk and increase profitability.

9. Understanding of economics

Any company would welcome a resource with baseline knowledge of economics. Besides a comprehensive understanding of market demand/supply and pricing strategies, studying economics can offer you a toolkit for making decisions at the macro level. The business environment is ever-changing, with several external and internal factors at work. A sound understanding of economics will help you consider these when developing and deploying strategies at the organizational level.


In order to climb the professional ladder, you need to hone a few essential skills. This article has mentioned a few, including decision-making, financial literacy, an understanding of economics, emotional intelligence, good communication and negotiation skills, etc. By mastering the skills mentioned above, you’ll be an indispensable resource to our organization.