"You're just not a people-person."
If you've ever heard such feedback in your workplace, and been confused about what it means or how to fix it, you're not alone. It's confusing because being a people-person isn't something that is quantified and it's intangible.
These intangibles are known as soft skills. Soft skills are what makes the difference between a satisfactory candidate and an outstanding candidate. They are the set of personal attributes that enable people to have insights that allow them to 'read' and characterise how a person interacts in their various relationships with others, be it when facing clients or interacting with fellow team members. The difference made by soft skills is more than you think -there is a strong correlation between the presence of soft skills and business success.
For example, a salesperson can have unrivalled and comprehensive product knowledge, but they will find it difficult to close a deal and retain clients if they lack soft skills like emotional intelligence, trustworthiness and approachability.
Here are 5 soft skills we find to be important in a change enabler:
2. Critical Thinking
So why are these soft skills important for you, as a leader navigating change? These skills are what nurtures an invigorating environment for change and growth to take place. With teamwork, empathy and negotiation, effective and authentic communication can take place within the organisation. After actively listen to the team with empathy, leaders can also express their own ideas, and handle the voices of dissent with the necessary negotiation skills. Critical thinking and adaptability are effective for being able to problem-solve and being flexible enough to adjust to any situation that comes up.
Now that you know the soft skills you need for navigating change, the next step is to develop it within yourself and your team. Soft skills start with the leader, developing your own soft skills and modelling them to others. Unlike hard, technically skills, soft skills are harder to learn and develop due to the poorly defined and subjective nature of it.
Nevertheless, it's not impossible - catch our next post on how to monitor and measure soft skills in yourself, and your team.