Listening first then communicating! People love to be heard and I mean really heard. Don't look at your watch or avoid eye contact when engaged in a conversation. Let the other person know you genuinely care and want to hear what they have to say. Listen without thinking of a response and after they are done speaking give yourself a slight pause to collect the answer. Communicate it clearly, honestly and compassionately.
Angela recommends the following next steps:
After working for large corporation over 2 decades, I would say Grit. Grit is synonymous to individual's perseverance. I face adversities at the work place (job is hard) on daily basis. I can choose to complaint, to give up, or to overcome my challenges.
My motto is that "I will out last everyone of you". I may not succeed today, tomorrow, next week, or even next month. However, I kept tackling the challenges with different approaches, asking different people to help, I always succeed at the end. Which is the beginning of next challenge.
So the question is: how do you develop Grit?
Jackson recommends the following next steps:
Expanding on Angela's great answer, I would say customer service, in general. There is a saying "treat others the way you want to be treated." I like to say "treat others the way you expect your grandmother to be treated." Customer service is transferable into nearly every line of work. Any repairman making a call at my Dad's house had best be ready for a million questions! Even as a police officer, I had people who thanked me for arresting them, and apologized for being jerks to me when they were the ones in the wrong. I never treated a prisoner in a demeaning manner. People remember that. At the workforce center, the same thing. People don't need to be disrespected when they are unemployed and looking for help. Remember that you don't know what that person's life is all about. Sometimes people are having a bad day. It's not personal.
I think that it's extremely important to have patience, as well as be open minded about everyone else you are working with. You will encounter people from all walks of life, and many will be completely unfamiliar in terms of culture, personality, knowledge, drive, and interests. This is true regardless of whether you work in customer service or if you may only speak to other coworkers via email. It is important to remember that something that is important to you personally may not be to others, and motivations for others' actions may not make sense to you on a personal level.
In terms of patience, you need to be able to be patient with yourself others. Be prepared to accept failure, be open to criticism, and be aware that everyone you interact with will have different strengths, weaknesses, and limitations. You also may not know what another person is going through--they may have suffered a great loss or may be dealing with a harsh physical or mental illness that won't really show in a professional environment.
Finally, I do recommend that you be open to networking. Networking is by far the most valuable way to advance your career. Make sure you maintain connections at the very least within your job. Make your strengths known by helping as much as possible in your job. This will pay off greatly over time.
I highly recommend working at least one customer service job in your life, even if it doesn't deal with your field. It will help an incredible amount when dealing with coworkers down the line.
This is a great question. Each field may need some specific skills, however some universal skills you should have include time management. You want to take time to plan and organize your day. Even though a day may not go as planned, it will help you tremendously if you have great time management skills. Communication is key but you want to listen and seek to understand. I recommend you read the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.