Soft Skills Explained
Not everybody understands just what soft skills are, and even fewer people understand why they are so important. However, the reality is that these skills are at the very core of being a good leader. For some people, soft skills are about being in touch with a feminine side, or thinking more like women, which is generally accepted to be a more emotional and empathic way. However, it is about a lot more than that and should not be seen as some kind of gender-differentiation. Soft skills are about intuitiveness and loyalty as well. So what are some of the most essential soft skills all leaders and managers should possess?
The first, and perhaps most important, is motivation.
“Leaders need to inspire their workers to go the extra mile for their organization; just paying a fair salary to employees is typically not enough inspiration (although it is important too).” Top 10 Leadership Soft Skills
Motivating employees can be very difficult, particularly during tough times. However, consider rewarding and recognizing exceptional behavior, challenging team members by giving them new responsibilities and more. Motivation brings together a huge range of other skills, including communication, empathy, an understanding of strategic goals, and understanding the individual personalities of each of the members of your team.
Empathy and Patience
Two other skills that should be addressed during any kind of soft skills training are empathy and patience.
“Always treat your co-workers and staff with courtesy and respect and take an interest in them as individuals. Remember; how you interact with people impacts how you are perceived as a leader.” 6 Top Leadership Skills
The reality is that leaders too often expect people in their teams to think and feel the way they do, to grasp things at the same speed as they do and to act in the same way they do. This simply isn’t how things work. Everybody is different and some people need more time than others to grasp certain things. Patience is required, but also empathy, meaning an understanding in other people’s motivation.
Humility is one of the harder soft skills to grasp. We still work in cultures where there is strong hierarchy within organizations, and this is something that we know needs to be broken through. No longer is a top down approach acceptable, and all companies are trying their best to make sure they also include bottom up, or even have a horizontal style. One step to take towards achieving that is for leaders and managers to show humility.
“In today’s environment, leading with power and authority, albeit effective at times, are going by the wayside. Leaving your ego at the door and allowing others to lead with you is paramount to the future growth of your team and organization.” 3 Soft Skills Needed By Every Great Leader
It is about no longer pulling rank, no longer acting as if you are more valuable because your position is higher. Being humble about your own position is hugely important. In doing so, trust is often increased as well, because employees and team members feel more engaged and know that they are seen as an integral part of the organization as a whole.
Soft skills are highly complex and complicated. Luckily, more and more soft skills training is available and it is generally recommended for businesses to invest in these for their leaders and managers. It isn’t about everybody suddenly being all warm and fuzzy and showing the love. Rather, it is about demonstrating mutual respect and appreciation, which is integral to the proper functioning of an organization. By training on these skills, productivity and efficiency generally increase as well, mainly because it promotes employee engagement across the board.
To become a highly effective leader you must understand not only your own strengths, but you also need to have a wide-ranging perception on each of the behaviors needed to become a highly effective leader. The 8 Dimensions of Leadership book offers both.
To get the most from the book, we highly recommend that you also complete an online assessment called The 8 Dimensions of Leadership Map. By using the third-generation DiSC online personality assessment – one of the foremost scientifically authenticated instruments available in the market – The 8 Dimensions of Leadership educates you to determine your main leadership dimension and two dimensions that you will need to develop. Whether you’re a Pioneering, Energizing, Affirming, Inclusive, Humble, Deliberate, Resolute, or Commanding leadership style, the authors enable you to appreciate the psychological drivers, motivations, and “blind spots” characteristic of your individual style.
However not one style will help you get completely there. A Humble leader, for example, might have a tough time making difficult decisions. A Commanding leader, for example, might run roughshod through possible allies. The authors delineate the teachings virtually all leaders can easily learn from each individual style, making it possible to create a multidimensional strategy to growing to be the leader you dream to be.