These days, it is quite easy to train yourself in hard skills. Accessible, post-secondary education and Googling have made it possible for nearly everyone to gain quantifiable skills related to every field of work. So how does one stand out from the highly-educated crowd and prove they are worthy of their role as a leader?
The answer is soft skills. These less-tangible traits don’t typically come by way of a diploma but rather from experience. And as a leader, these soft skills will build trust and inspire confidence within your team to do their best.
We need great leaders now more than ever. These are the top 5 Leadership Soft Skills that will empower, inspire, motivate, and engage your team.
Empathy allows us to feel and understand what someone else might be going through. As a leader, this trait is not only meant to help you understand what your team is going through but allows your team to understand and trust you. People look up to leaders who they can trust, and there is no better way to build trust than to be open and honest. Listening and sharing with your team, finding common ground, and developing a real human connection will engage your employees – and engaged employees have more to contribute to your business.
When most of us hear the word vulnerability, we tend to associate it with weakness, but the truth is that it is a skill we should be using more in leadership roles. Now, this is not to say that showing vulnerability isn’t difficult, but allowing yourself to be more vulnerable is one of the best ways to build strong relationships with your team.
With so many of us struggling in these current times, people need to feel inspired now more than ever. Opening up and sharing your struggles or the business’s struggles lets your team know that you, too, are human and that they are not alone.
Patience is something we are all struggling with more with these days. We are all ready to move forward and put 2020 behind us, but being patient is what we all need to show more.
With the shift to remote working, there are going to be gaps in communication, and the best way to deal with those gaps is to be more patient. Understanding that there are going to be inevitable cracks and having the ability to be patient with your team and yourself opens up an opportunity – the opportunity to teach, learn, and grow.
Dale Carnegie once said, “The success of every job demands cooperation and effort from others. People contribute to our success as much as we contribute to theirs.” As a leader, instead of taking credit when success occurs, we need to give honest and sincere praise to our team for jobs well done.
In essence, give credit where credit is due. Even though you are leading a team, you are still a part of that team, and no one on that team is doing it alone – so give recognition to those working to make the dream work!
Generosity is often the most underrated and most misunderstood leadership skill. It is often confused with just giving – tokens associated with a monetary value. In reality, though, generosity speaks to things we don’t even realize.
Sharing what you know and what you’ve learned to get to where you are – that is generosity. When someone asks for a moment of your time to speak, vent, clarify, ask questions, and you give them your undivided attention and time – that is generosity. Listening to your team’s ideas and communicating your thoughts – that is generosity.
Being generous with who you are goes a long way in building confidence and trust with your team. When people know that they can turn to you and you will not put them off, they feel valued – and that is how everyone on a team should feel.
“When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion.” –Dale Carnegie