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The 5 Most Important Leadership Skills In The New Normal

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The 5 Most Important Leadership Skills In The New Normal

A recent study by Google listed several qualities needed for leaders these days. Among those, hard skills came in last, while soft skills scored the highest. Among those were emotional intelligence, communication skills, compassion and more.
According to Harvard Business Review, the most successful leaders are the ones that have mastered soft skills.
Commonly known as “people” or interpersonal skills, soft skills like negotiating, building morale, and maintaining relationships are key to a leader’s success.
Yes, automation gradually takes over, but emotional intelligence has no substitution.
In fact, LinkedIn’s CEO Jeff Weiner has recently said that soft skills are more important than knowing how to code in today’s job environment. A recent study by the public opinion company The Harris Poll even found that when leaders can’t effectively communicate with their employees or help them accomplish their career goals, workers choose to either disengage, or leave.
I have complied 5 of those soft skills for you, along with 5 tips that you can start using immediately to grow your soft skills, your influence and as a result, your success:

Skill 1: Don’t just articulate your thoughts. Learn to carefully listen too.

Tip: Give the speaker your undivided attention, take notes, reserve judgment, and be open to opinions.

Skill 2: Learn to say NO without feeling bad about it. This may seem counterintuitive to you but knowing how to say no to people is a mark of good communication.

Tip: Empathize with people when saying no to let them know you understand the situation, explain your reasoning for saying no, and end the conversation on a positive note by offering another way to help. 

Skill 3: Work towards win-win solutions. Leaders that have good negotiation skills, know how to find solutions that work for everyone.

Tip: Look at the situation through the other person’s eyes, be prepared to offer several options, show that you’ve heard and understood the other side. Your general tone should be that of brainstorming solutions.

Skill 4: Learn how to handle those difficult team members whose attitudes might jeopardize workplace harmony.

Tip: Tackle the problem as soon as possible instead of waiting to deal with it, implement a plan for correcting the behavior or attitude, and follow up daily to ensure the positive change is permanent. Avoid judgement. It is not your place to judge. See how you can help the difficult team member get on track and thrive. What you may perceive as difficult could also be a person in distress that needs help and clear boundaries.

Skill 5: Lead change with confidence

Tip: If you are experiencing a lot of organization change, your soft skills are needed now more than ever. Support your team. Be clear. Be attentive.  Train yourself in leading (and thriving!) through change.
And most importantly- set a personal example by leading with adaptability, compassion, clear boundaries, and attention to your people skills. Be aware, be mindful and be focused on your dynamics with your team members. Look into the future with optimism, clarity of purpose and confidence. Your people will follow, and so will your success.

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