12 February 2007

How To Gain Lasting Recognition

I recently came across a story which goes to prove and confirm what i have said in previous articles. That is, in order to be successful in your workplace or indeed business you need to work on developing your soft skills, i.e. your interpersonal skills, which includes your communication and the ability to deal with people effectively and efficiently.

Your communication with people has lasting impact and is far more important, as ultimately it can determine whether you get hired for that dream job, or perhaps get that long awaited client.

You do not need to be No.1 to be recognised in your field once you have improved communication skills and a understanding of systems or networks. Having these skills will catapult you over and above your competition and put you in the driving seat.

If i was to ask you who invented the light bulb, most would rightly say Thomas Edison. But, what if i told you he was not the 1st! That's right, Thomas Edison was not the first person to come up with a working model of the electric light, he infact was the 23rd person! So how did he manage to be accredited with inventing the electric light system and become world famous.

Thomas Edison was born in 1847, between the ages of 12 and 15 he worked on the railroads selling candies and copies of his newspaper which he printed. From 15 to 22 he went on to work for the telegraph company where he worked on the electric light system which was to later act as the catalyst behind the setup of General Electric (GEC was once the worlds biggest company). In 1869, he receives his first patent before inventing the electric light in 1879.

At ages 12 to 15, Thomas Edison was working on his communication skills, he was a great salesman, he developed his salesmanship as a result during this crucial period. Later, between the ages of 15 and 22 he went to work on developing his electric system to power the light invention he had designed and made, this time he was working and acquiring his knowledge of systems and networks, just like you see today, there are lots of vast networks out there, for example, tv networks, radio networks, satellite networks, marketing networks and so on. So you see he was able leap over those that came before him (22 of them!) because of his developed soft skills and not necessarily his technical know-how.

In Robert Kiyosaki's book series, he describes the 5 essential elements of business, these being cashflow, communication, system, legal and product. Every successful business must have these parts if it is going to be successful. The communication and system part are almost inextricably linked and key for any business success. This is essentially why today Thomas Edison is known as the man who invented the electric light.

Therefore if you wish to be recognised in your field and move ahead of your competition, you must devote time and energy to working on your communication skills as well as your network.

These 2 elements are so important in the workplace, that in an interview situation you will give yourself an unfair advantage. Every business today needs people whether they be technical, administrative or indeed a sales person who can communicate, having a network just makes you even more powerful (I have first hand knowledge of this as i once lost a potentially good job just because i did not have a network of contacts!).

Femi Yusoof


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