If you run or work for a small business, the likelihood is that you have to be a Jack or Jill of all trades. Employees often have to handle different roles and have a variety of different jobs thrust upon them.

As a sales director, for instance, you may need to have your marketing hat on for a good deal of the time as well as handle the role of HR director by employing freelance staff to fulfil key provisions, all while making sure you meet your sales targets.

If you are working for a small business, here are some great soft skills you might want to develop to improve your performance and productivity:

Be a Team Player

It’s something candidates generally tell an interview panel before they get the job. They’re a good team player, though they can also work on their own initiative. It’s a workplace cliché and, unfortunately, often a big lie.

Working in a team takes skill and a good deal of altruism on the part of the individual. It’s okay if you like the people you work with, but what happens when there are frictions? Being a team player is about working with others for the benefit of the greater good. Learn to do it better, even if you think you are quite good at it already.

Learn to Communicate

Another skill that we tend to overestimate, is our ability to communicate. It’s also something we spend far too little time trying to improve.

Great communication is not something that we are born with, it’s a skill we learn and need to develop over time. While there’s plenty of advice and guidance online, you may want to work with a professional coach to improve certain areas of your communication to deliver better results. It can be well worth the effort.

Show Some Patience

When it comes to the workplace, patience is a virtue. You may not think that it’s a ‘real’ skill but it is. There are going to be times when you are waiting for others in the business to catch up. There’s no point getting on your high horse or becoming angry. If you can show a degree of patience, then you are always likely to get better results.

If you’re someone who lacks patience, then it’s something you need to work on. Try these tips from Inc.com.

small business woman listening attentively

Be a Good Listener

This goes back to the better communication point above. It’s another skill a surprising number of us are pretty poor at. Teach yourself to listen more effectively and you’ll be a better communicator and you’ll understand the workplace more. Don’t just introduce it into the workplace, however, bring it home and use it in your social life.

Prepare to Adapt

Of course, working for a small business means that you need to be adaptable. You may have a specific job title but you have to be prepared to take on other challenges. That means you need methods of getting yourself up to speed on certain areas so you can hit the ground running. Fortunately, there’s a wealth of resources to be found on the internet that you can use to educate yourself. Be prepared to adapt and embrace it as another great learning and career development opportunity.

Pay Attention to Your Own Health and Wellbeing

Finally, one thing that small business employees and bosses sometimes put on the back burner is their own health and wellbeing. If this is the case, it’s time to change. When you get overstressed, don’t eat properly and work long hours, at some point, it’s going to catch up with you.  Start paying attention to your own health and make positive decisions to improve your work-life balance. Here are some key tips from Forbes to get you started.

Engaging an accountant is a sure-fire way to reduce work-related stress if you own or manage a small business; the added peace of mind offered when you have an expert at work on your accounts allows you to focus on other important tasks, for example your marketing strategy and staff recruitment and training. For all of your small business accountancy needs in Essex and London, get in touch with Neil Smith Accountancy who offer friendly, professional and proactive advice.