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Leadership Soft Skills

Soft skills in leadership are very crucial. Businesses are coming to realise that the best leaders have a mix of the much lauded traditional business skills of objectivity and toughness with soft skills such as communication, critical thinking and empathy.

Great leaders will be able to balance the skills required to “close the deal” with looking after and caring for the people that make it all happen. Here are a few pointers to take note of:

  • Awareness of Strengths – Leaders need to be aware of their own strengths, so they can leverage these to engage their team members. Self awareness is a wonderful thing. When leaders are self aware and confident, they can also leverage their weaknesses for the development and recognition of team members who possess the skills the leaders lacks.
  • Relationships – The workplace is one big network where relationship building is crucial to both the success of the business and the long term career of the leader. Nurturing relationships will often require leaders to set aside the business need for objectivity and replace it with empathy.
  • The March of Technology – Technology and automation is on the march. As we rely more on technology those soft skills including communication, critical thinking, problem solving and relationship building are the skills needed most by businesses.
  • Dynamism and Flexibility – Companies need to be more dynamic, flexible and interconnected than ever before. It is very difficult to achieve this with leaders who lack well-developed soft skills. Leaders need to lead rapid change as companies push to keep up with technology and markets. Soft skills makes this much more achievable.
  • Talent Retention – Leaders with good soft skill will know their team members better and get to know the development they need. Leaders with good set skills will encourage their team members to undertake development.
  • Learn – There is a growth preference in today’s workplace to learn at the point of need. This is a risky practice for soft skills. Learning at the point of need may be fine for a lot of technical issues e.g. find the instructions online. Soft skills, on the other hand, need time and practice to develop, evolve and perfect.

10 replies »

    • I agree that these skills are build overtime. While emotional skills may come naturally to some people, there are things that anyone can do to help improve their ability to understand and reason with emotions. This can be particularly helpful in the workplace, where relationships and business decisions often rely on the interpersonal understanding, teamwork, and communication.

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  1. ‘Understanding one’s motives’. Someone somewhere in the organisation or on a project may give you a hard time. A soft skilled expert with avoid a head on clash. Rather he or she will try and understand that person’s motives, their backstory. Once you know that then it’s about bringing them on your side, working together so that both your motives can be fulfilled without the relationship being strained.

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    • Emotional intelligence matters in a work place. According to one survey of hiring managers, almost 75 percent of respondents suggested that they valued an employee’s EQ more than their IQ.
      Emotional intelligence is widely recognized as a valuable skill that helps improve communication, management, problem-solving, and relationships within the workplace. It is also a skill that researchers believe can be improved with training and practice.

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    • Thanks Christina. The most successful leaders have not only mastered technical skills, they’ve also mastered soft skills. Commonly known as “people” or interpersonal skills, soft skills like negotiating, building morale, and maintaining relationships are key to a leader’s success.

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    • I understand Gary. We want our kids to thrive as adults. And to do that, they need to know more than how to run the dishwasher or prepare mac and cheese.This is where soft skills come in and it’s the number one thing that everyone from teachers and coaches to professors and employers are saying our kids are lack.

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    • Yes indeed Kim. Whether one is an office manager or a project leader, all good leaders require a number of soft skills to help them positively interact with employees or team members. Effective leaders have the ability to communicate well, motivate their team, handle and delegate responsibilities, listen to feedback, and have the flexibility to solve problems in an ever-changing workplace.

      Liked by 1 person

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