Contrary to the name, soft skills are not for the faint-hearted – they require courage, self-awareness, persistence and practice.
Despite being a crucial aspect of effective leadership, they are not really taught in our schools!
So what are these so-called soft skills?!
Soft Skills in Leadership
Soft skills are the combination of your social, emotional and communication skills, married with your personality and character traits.
Soft skills, therefore, are part of who you are and influence how you interact with others.
While some people do seem to be naturally more gifted in this way, the Harvard Business Review indicates that these skills can indeed be learned – though it is not an easy process.
Why Soft Skills Matter
The ability to understand and manage emotions (their own, and others’), is what sets good leaders apart from the ordinary ones.
Soft skills lead to better communication; when you connect with others in meaningful and compassionate ways as a leader, it boosts morale and builds cohesion. Successful leaders are the type of person others admire and enjoy working with; they inspire confidence and trust.
To give you a better idea, here’s a list of some of the soft skills that allow us to become better humans (and better leaders).
10 Examples of Soft Skills
Empathy: Arguably the most important of all the soft skills. Empathy is the ability to sense other people’s emotions whilst also imagining what the other person might be thinking or feeling. It is trying to understand a situation from the other’s point of view.
Authenticity and Self Awareness: Being aware of your own strengths and flaws. An authentic leader is being true to who you are.
Communication: This is much more than just speaking! It also involves active listening, responding thoughtfully and intelligently, and considering non-verbals as well.
Compassion: Understanding that people make mistakes and reacting with patience, caring and acceptance.
Motivating and Inspiring: Building relationships with meaningful connections.
Mentoring and Coaching: Caring leadership invests in others.
Negotiation and Conflict Resolution: There’s nothing soft about it! Negotiation and conflict resolution are crucial to developing relationships, exchanging perspectives, and respectfully resolving conflicts.
Strategic Thinking: Being able to look at a problem rationally, weighing up the pros and cons and making decisions.
Time Management: Keeping yourself and others on track, becoming more efficient and meeting deadlines.
Creative Problem Solving: Identifying new solutions, using innovation, and increasing efficiency.
Looking to develop as an authentic leader by polishing up your soft skills?
At Peter Doyle Coaching, that’s our specialty! Our services include providing soft skills training through one-on-one coaching, group programs, or for your organisation – get in touch to find out more!
Or perhaps you would first just love to gauge how you are currently tracking along your own path to becoming an Extraordinary, Inspirational, Next Generational Leader: then please click here to utilise our free self-rating questionnaire!