After posting record-breaking growth streaks in the job market, Americans are now concerned about the rising unemployment rate since the coronavirus crisis started. The current real unemployment rate in the U.S. as of the 2nd half of April is at 20.6%, according to some calculations, with around 26.5 million Americans filing for unemployment. This is the highest that it has ever been since the Great Depression in the 1930s. It is predicted that it may take around three years for the unemployment rate to decline.
Those who are lucky enough to still have a job are always worried about keeping it. Those who don’t have work are trying to bounce back as quickly as possible. Although you can’t control the effects on your employment prospects, fine-tuning this skill may get you ahead in your career: your ability to communicate and make profound human connections.
According to a study by the Carnegie Foundation, only 15% of professional success is attributed to technical knowledge. The rest is related to “soft skills”: having a good personality and being able to communicate, lead, and negotiate. It’s all about your “collectability”.
Most of us focus on technical knowledge to get ahead, but it’s the art of “connectability” that differentiates you from the rest of the pack. This skill is based on your authority when presenting yourself, the warmth you convey, and the energy that you radiate and bring out in other people.
You’ll know authority when you see or hear it because of its competence and commanding presence. It still sounds confident regardless if it’s delivered loudly or softly. Most successful people embody authority through key elements like presence, voice, body language, alignment, dress, and detachment.
You should consider the quality of your voice. Practice speaking purposefully, even with comments and questions. Always be mindful of your posture and the way you dress. And lastly, try to make eye contact when you’re speaking with someone.
Humility, empathy, attentiveness, and vulnerability are key in communicating warmth to other people. Effective communication is a two-way street and is not just about getting your message across. You also have to listen to them. Build trust and relatability to strengthen your position on the team.
Do your colleagues trust you? Acknowledge their thoughts and ideas and welcome their feedback. Also, listen to them speak and keep your body language in check. You don’t want to pretend to listen with that bored look on your face.
The more energy you have, the more power to influence, educate, engage, and illuminate. If authority earns respect and warmth earns trust and affection, energy gives you the power to compel people to follow. However, you must believe in what you’re saying so the audience will eventually follow suit.
You don’t have to maintain high energy levels all the time. There are times that you should control yourself from overpowering people through not talking too fast or too much. Hear them out, listen attentively, and check if you’re energizing or deflating them.