Everyone wants to be recognised as being indispensable at work.  That leads to promotion, increased pay, more responsibilities and more respect.  But what are the key skills you need to become high effective in your workplace?

Obviously, you need to be skilled in your job role.  Accounting skills, warehouse skills, engineering, sales, production etc You must have the technical skills to compete your tasks quickly and with high quality.  However, that only gets you so far you then need to have the key skills which make you stand out from the crowd, be more effective and become indispensable.  Listed below are the 10 key skills needed by anyone to become highly effective in the workplace.

Hopefully you have them but if not then you can develop them, practice them and master them. Our 9-course essential skills bundle will start you on that journey.  Available today with 50% off.

  1. Time Management skills

To be effective it is imperative that you manage your time effectively, make every moment count, don’t waste time and become productive.  You must complete tasks to a high standard on time every time.  It is essential that you make the most of your limited time to produce, develop, deliver and engage with others.  You must learn the skills associated with planning, prioritising, understanding time traps and managing your limited resource of time.  Successful people get more done in less time to a higher quality and it is no coincidence that they have all mastered time management.

  1. Become an excellent listener

Every successful person I know is an active effective listener.  They listen and understand instructions, understand issues, understand why people need help or their problems.  They spend more time listening and less time talking.  They want to understand other people’s perspectives, problems, ideas, emotions and positions.  They can then reflect and answer questions, solve problems or develop solutions to improve situations.  Ask yourself how good are you at listening?  Do you actively listen or do you make assumptions, talk over people, judge people, have bias?  Effective listeners make an effort to improve their listening skills?  Its s a vital skill both at work and at home.

Effective presentation skills

Wither it is standing up in front of a group or sharing in a meeting or even talking one to one to, you must be excellent at presenting.  Many people are so good at presenting they cover up their lack of technical skills and people still think they are amazing.  Learn to captivate a room or group.  Learn the art of sharing thoughts or ideas though talking, presenting and demonstrating on the stage.  No matter if it is 1 person or 1000 people you need to be able to wow them, seduce them, engage them with your words, presentation materials and style.  Great orators and presenters can change the world.  Learn the tricks, the structures, how to plan for success and how to grow your confidence.  Develop your presentation skills to be more effective

Influencing others

As a great presenter you need to influence others to accept your ideas, solutions, concerns, buy your products, get on board or just listen to you.  To be effective at anything you need the skills to influence others positively.  You need to understand the phycology of influencing, the tricks, tools or techniques to make yourself more influential.  Anyone who wishes to be more effective in any role would do well to understand, practice and master the art of influencing.

Run effective meetings

We all spend a vast amount of our business time in meetings.  Wither it is the daily production meeting or sales meetings or management meetings.  Hours a day for some people are taken up with groups of people in a room or area talking.  The more effective you are at running, managing and facilitating a meeting the better.  Save hours a day by understanding how to make meetings more effective.  Facilitation skills are vital for anyone to make a difference. Learn how to plan, run and follow up meetings.  How to include everyone, use tools to get to decisions or root causes or find solutions effectively.  Become the person everyone wants at a meeting as you know how to make them successful.  Facilitation skills are another key area to focus on in your quest to be highly effective at work.

Network your way to success

It is no coincidence that people with large networks are more successful than others.  They know who to ask, how to ask and what they can gain from colleagues, friends, acquaintances or anyone you have encounter.  The old school tie brigade has done this for centuries to gain an advantage.  However, we can all do it.  We can all work together to help each other. Got a problem talk to others, again ideas, gain support, gain knowledge.  Of course, remember that good networking goes both ways you must be willing to help others in the same way.  Learn how to develop and understand your network, how to maximise your network and how to use it to support your development.  How good are you are networking? How good are you at using your Network?  Become more effective today with support from your network.

Self-Esteem and Assertiveness

Anyone who is effective has learned how to be assertive.  They have learned how to say NO, how to politely decline or to make things happen.  Having the self esteem to understand yourself and others and the confidence to stand up for yourself no matter who you are engaged with is a key skill in any walk of life.  Don’t be a victim be assertive, it saves time, reduces stress, make us more productive and enables us to focus on what is important to us not others.  Every effective person I have ever met has confidence, is assertive and understand themselves.  Work on these skills by first understating why people behave as they do and then how to change behavioural patterns.

Building your Personal Brand

It not a British trait to think about yourself and promote yourself or put yourself forward but we must.  Every time we walk into a room, speak or do anything in fact understand that people are making judgement calls on us, they are weighing us up, they are assessing our character and values.  You must understand how your actions, behaviours, looks, words project who we are.  It is vital that the brand we develop is a positive one.  That it represents of who we are, what we stand for and how we want to be seen.  It’s a great exercise to understand your brand, to examine it both at work and in your private life.  You can then start to change it to become what you want it to be.  It will then enable you to be more effective in everything you do.

Negotiation Skills

Everything we do in business has some element of negotiation.  Understanding the skills needed to be successful in negotiating will help anyone become effective in their role.  From negotiating your pay and conditions to trying to get your kids to go to bed is a negotiation.  The skills associated with this are vital to understand, practice and apply to grow your effectiveness.

Understand business improvement

The last key skill to make you effective at work is to understand how to make processes and business activities more efficient.  To increase productivity, you need to understand how to identify and eliminate waste.  You need to understand the difference between added value and non-value-added steps, activities and processes.  A Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt provides the basics training so you can understand waste, standardisation, structures to improve processes and basic principle of Lean and Six Sigma.  Understanding how to identify problems, find root causes and then eliminate them will send you to the next level of efficiency in your business.


These 10 key skills are vital for anyone looking to make them selves more effective and become indispensable to their business.  They also help us in our private lives, build confidence and reduce stress.  Review the list assess your skills in each area.  If you find that you need some development then we would recommend taking a training course, talking to your coach or reading books and articles on these subjects.

A quick way to gain the skills would be to take advantage of our 9 essential skills bundle with 50 % off until end of February and our Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt Course.

We would welcome your thought on our list of key skills or any ideas of what courses you would add to make you, your colleagues and your staff more effective at work.

About the Author: John Wellwood


As Managing Director of 100% Effective, John is an authority on how effective Lean Six Sigma is. He draws on nearly 30 years’ experience as a consultant and Master Black Belt to give you practical insights into how Lean Six Sigma can help you and your business.

Author of the best selling book “Essential Guide to Lean Six Sigma & Business Improvement” he regularly speaks at conferences and works with companies all over the world.