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14. 5 Skills to Excel & Transform Your Career in Finance & Tech

behaviour emotional intelligence futureoffinance habits personaility presentation skills saas soft skills talent management values Jan 09, 2022

The Great resignation has shown that values, emotional intelligence and communication can no longer be ignored. Not if you want to successfully manage conflict, different personalities, stress and productivity. 

The pandemic has shown the finance and tech world that we need to be very clear on 5 simples skills in order to be effective, visible and build strong relationships in careers. 

One thing I very much believe is that every personality is different. Stress,  environment and mixes of personality affect as all in different ways ith varied results. 

Having a greater awareness of how people work, their unique motivations and abilities give you the advantage. Understanding other people allows you to have more effective relationships, and also brings out the best out of you. 



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5 Skills That will Excel & Transform your Career In Finance & Tech

How can you increase your emotional intelligence (EQ), leadership presence, and have grounded confidence in difficult or public conversations? 

Insert these steps into your personal development plan and you’ll be known for your abilities to handle all situations. 


1 Self Awareness 

[00:06:06] Imagine if everyone you worked with were more aware of how they interacted with other people or how they react to different situations? Or which personalities brought out the best and worst of them? Self-awareness is powerful. The irony is that most people think they have great self-awareness when only a few do.  

Developing more insight into how you react, and interact increases EQ, ability to manage stress and conflict, as well as helping you learn more about what you need to perform well, and be happy.  We all have blind spots. Working on uncovering them allows you to develop better communication, better influence, stronger confidence, sense of self.

2. Allied Conversations

[00:10:21] Whoever you're communicating with you need the tools and techniques to make sure that the conversation is always focused on what unites you, and move you and your counterpart forward. We talk about this in negotiation, and in coaching skills for leaders. I've been reading through Chris Voss' Book “Never Split the Difference. The ex- FBI negotiator talks about tactical empathy - how to use emotional intelligence and empathy to connect with someone’s ‘why’.

The first step of this is realising that to have a productive conversation with someone, and to have good stakeholder relationships understanding you don't have to agree with them to empathise their ideas. 

Empathy is about understanding where someone is coming from whilst remaining in your own point of view.

This isn’t just about work. This is global. We have so many conversations that start out polarised, and never learn to come together. Agendas out there want people to be passionate and to take a stance, but forget to teach how to come together at the end. 

Yes or no, or right or wrong or left or right. Not understanding and taking the time to think about where the other person is coming from (now in a career point of view) won’t get you results, or good relationships. 

Use that tactical empathy. You can negotiate, you can deal with conflict and conversations. You can deal with difficult conversations. You can powerfully inspire and ignite. 


3. Values 

[00:13:05] Lying beneath the most common issues in the workplace, you will usually find a misconnection in human values. . 

If you've had the sense that something's missing. You're getting irritable. Stressed. Unhappy. Maybe things aren’t working for you in your job. Maybe you keep butting heads with someone you work with. 

You can't quite be a finger on it, but something's just not quite right.

At the heart of what you do, the choices you make and how you feel about the decisions made around you are your core values. They are adaptive, and determine what truly matters to you. 

The great resignation is a result of a huge change in values. People are leaving companies that no longer align with what they believe is right for them, or for the planet. 

Values ranked as the number one reason why my clients made big changes in their life last year. 

Can you name your top three values?

A good exercise to give you a head start is to view the last 5 books/podcasts that interested you.

What you listen to, what you read gives you insight into what is important to you. Understanding values will allow you to is a source of much conflict in your life, and help you empathise with others.

Imagine working on a project where you value accuracy and your stakeholder values time. 

Clashes, delays and stress are likely outcomes. 

However, by asking the right questions around values any high-tempered conversation will be diffused by learning underneath it all you both want the same thing; to do a good job.

4. Express Ideas

[00:17:38 That leads me nicely to the way you express ideas and engage other people.

Being able to communicate with different personalities is a skill that every manager and leader should have. Everyone’s brains work differently, and learning how to communicate with different styles will help you influence and impact in a world craving connection. 

Different ways people connect 

  • Do you speak fast? Do you speak slow? 
  • Do you need a minute to gather your thoughts? 
  • Does someone else need a minute to gather their thoughts before they get involved? 

Learning how to recognise the above in others will enable you to effectively articulate, influence and connect ideas. Important, especially when you're dealing with technical data. 

Telling stories with data confidently is a highly sought after skill in a world where data is a highly valued commodity. Not many can do it, but it is easily done. 

Learning to speak technical expertise with clarity should very much be at the top of your to-do list.

5. Success Habits

[00:18:56] The previous four points only matter if you have effective success habits. 

In fact I’m linking back to being self-aware. Look at the habits you hold currently. 

Know what works for you, and what doesn’t. To perform effectively you need to know what helps you to operate at your best. 

For example, a common habit that often goes overlooked is resting. 

Burnout, overwhelm and exhaustion are common in high achievers who live in a world of “I must be doing things all the time even though I’m running low on energy”

Knowing what depletes your energy and how you prioritise breaks are healthy habits that allow you to optimise your overall performance. 

Review where you could improve, and also - check your thinking. We often inherit ideas of what success looks like, leading to some pretty unhealthy and counterproductive behaviours. 

Creating new habits is entirely possible. Your brain is stretchy. It’s not always easy but Neuroscience tells us that our brains, no matter how old can learn new things all the time. To form a neural pathway takes between 21 to 66 days, with a dollop of determination, habit stacking, repetition and positive brain chemicals.


All five of these skills have been highly sought after by recruiters in 2020, along with being recognised as the most sought after as roles adapt to new technology. Combine them with technical knowledge, and you have a powerful mind that celebrates diversity and unites people you work with. 


You excel. 


Resources for you

1) Which if the 5 skills could your career benefit from? Find out by using the Excel Career Scorecard, developed from researching skills, and employer surveys. In 2 minutes you get a free personalised report that will guide you to your next development steps.

Take the Scorecard 

2) Looking for coaching? You are welcome to book a place at a taster session to experience how coaching can help you focus -

3) Ready to take action?

The last places remain on the 90 Personal Impact Accelerator for leaders. check if you would be eligible. 


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20. Handling yourself in a Global Crisis from CFO John Irvine

Jun 23, 2022

About your guide,  Alexandra 

A committed optimist, pragmatist and champion of emotional intelligence, Alexandra Bond Burnett is an accredited and certified coach working to increase the personal impact and effectiveness of high achievers in data-driven roles.

Speaking on emotional intelligence and presence, Alexandra will guide you towards effective interactions in your career.  

Using her psychology training, a background in finance and accounting, alongside her qualifications and work in professional theatre Alexandra combines body, mind and skill to help leaders achieve their full potential.

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