If you’re in a leadership position, then you hold a considerable amount of responsibility and need to know how to handle all sorts of situations. This recent COVID-19 pandemic is the latest example of a crisis situation requiring good leadership to pull through. You might have seen those encouraging clips on your Charter cable TV, where people talk about how their companies helped their employees through the pandemic. If you want to be in the same boat, then you need to work on your soft skills.
What are soft skills? These basically refer to the traits you need to embody apart from your mainstream job. Honing your job skills is one thing, but you should definitely work on these soft skills as well. They’re the ones which let you guide your team through the toughest of times and conditions. Furthermore, these will let you climb the ladder to higher positions and be a well-respected part of your industry. Here are a few of the key soft skills you should work on.
This is absolutely necessary, both with your team and with your clients. Do not try to hide things from them and be as transparent as is appropriate. Talk with them about your plans, actions, and the reasoning behind them.
Keep your stakeholders on board with any decisions and developments, so that you develop a long-lasting and healthy relationship that will help you prosper. This works at all levels and establishes you as a valuable part of the organization.
This trait is absolutely necessary, especially in these uncertain times. You need to understand what other people are going through, particularly your employees. They may be facing personal, medical, or financial crises, so you should make it a point to know how you can help.
Give your employees leeway and permissions according to these situations, so that you have a workforce that feels supported and supports you in return. This basic empathy is key to your employees’ wellbeing, so you need to work on it and learn to understand and accommodate their problems.
This is a key skill you need in every industry. You should know how to communicate with people at all levels in a clear and concise manner. You need to be able to get your point across and listen to others, so communication skills are integral.
Whether it’s verbal, written, or online communication, you should work on your skills and understand to communicate what’s needed. Conversely, you need to follow instructions and understand what the other person is saying as well in order to be a good leader.
You cannot be rigid in a workplace setting. You should understand what everyone is going through, especially in this pandemic era. So, you need to be flexible and give your subordinates permission and leeway in a flexible manner.
For example, if one of the working mothers on your team has to pick up her children from daycare, then you should give her the flexibility to do so without it impacting her performance reports. Furthermore, implement remote work policies so that people can work more efficiently and not have to take leaves when they have some domestic or medical concerns.
As a leader, you need to work on developing the next generation of leaders. So, make sure you have a number of upcoming go-getters under your wing. Train them to take up more responsibilities and trust them to handle certain major tasks.
Be a mentor, so that more people look up to you and respect you. This will also help you develop the next generation of leaders to take up your mantle while you move ahead. However, make sure you do not exploit your mentors in any way and have a respectful yet professional relationship. As you’ll be in a position of power, you need to empower your mentees accordingly.
To be a successful leader, you need to have the drive to succeed. Your ambition and vision should be a force behind your efforts. If you have the drive to get ahead and be a better leader, then you’ll make more of an effort to do so. So, use this desire to become a better leader and also encourage this ambition in your team members.
You need to be willing to learn at every stage in your life. Develop a sense of curiosity about the world, not just your industry. Every major entrepreneur out there succeeded due to this drive to learn and reinvent.
So, make sure you gather knowledge from all possible sources and utilize it to improve your leadership skills.
In conclusion, your soft skills are even more important than your job skills when you want to progress as a leader. So, develop both kinds of skills, and have a prosperous career!