The word “soft” can sometimes be associated with being weak or fragile. However, when paired with the word “skills”, it couldn’t be more the opposite. Soft skills are also known as power skills, core skills, or common skills, and in simple terms, they describe how you work with others.
Unlike hard skills, which are technical abilities gained through completing training or courses, its soft counterpart is picked up through work ethic, work style and communication style. It’s incredibly important for leaders, in particular, to have finely honed soft skills, as their roles require constant communication with different people in different capacities. Here, we explore the 5 soft skills that every leader needs to develop in order for them to flourish in the workplace.
Of course, communication is one of the most important soft skills there is. It’s the key to success within the workforce and is more essential than ever in a world where remote work and technology are becoming more relied upon.
Leaders who can deliver effective verbal and written communication are more likely to increase employee retention, efficiency and advance in their problem-solving. Plus, practising good communication skills is critical to understanding information more precisely and quickly – both for you, the leader – and others.
Those who don’t practice good communication are more likely to experience frustration and frequent misjudgements.
Amongst other learning and development trends at the moment, teamwork is one of the most traditional skills of all that continues to be a non-negotiable. Being able to work with others is an essential aspect of generating positive results with your whole workforce.
The better you’re able to work alongside others, the more chance your team has at becoming successful and achieving its goals. In the workplace, it’s common that your employees have to work with or collaborate with others in order to complete projects and tasks. Having 10/10 teamwork skills as a leader will make it a much easier, more enjoyable and streamlined experience for everyone.
A positive and productive work environment requires empathy and emotional intelligence from its leader. It also goes hand in hand with good communication, as strong empathy skills provide you with the ability to know if you’re actually reaching and connecting with people.
Not only this, but you’re able to understand how your decisions and actions will impact your staff, as well as allow you to group people together that you think will work most effectively as a team.
Empathy also shows your workforce that you have humanity. This encourages loyalty and can create inspirational leader status. Plus, being empathetic is incredibly valuable in terms of negotiation. It helps you to understand both sides of an argument and gives you the ability to create deals where everybody wins.
Every leader needs to be self-aware. If they’re not, how will anybody respect them if they’re not sure about the decisions they’re making? Leaders need to understand and be confident in their business goals and desires before they begin to make compromises with people. This includes employees, suppliers, clients, and other executives.
Having a strong sense of self-awareness also helps leaders manage their sensitivity better. For example, it allows them to independently pursue their own career goals while also understanding and promoting the wants and needs of their staff.
In today’s world, things are advancing pretty quickly. Whether it’s in technology or dealing with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, being adaptable to change is *so* important in the modern work environment. For leaders especially, adaptability, self-awareness, teamwork, empathy and communication all go hand in hand in achieving an invaluable all-rounded soft skillset.
Being fully adaptable enables you to keep up with moving deadlines and priorities, plus projects, technology and clients, and be accustomed to dealing with changing situations.
Looking to thrive in your position as leader and be the best boss you can be in terms of client satisfaction and business results? Learning, embracing, and developing these five soft skills as a collective will ensure that you only keep on rising. Soft skill lovers, assemble