Have you harnessed the full spectrum of your leadership skills? Most people haven’t. In order to tap into your leadership superpowers, you have to focus on both the hard skills and the so-called soft skills.
Hard skills include things like:
- Industry and technical knowledge,
- Budget creation and management
- Accurate financial forecasting
- Project management
Soft skills, what we call essential skills, include:
- Having and articulating a clear vision
- Communication skills
- Conflict management skills
- Decision making skills
They’re called soft skills because it’s been hard to measure their impact on the bottom line. Recently, studies have shown that you can use employee engagement surveys to accurately measure the impact of essential skills. Employee disengagement is terribly expensive. It costs US companies about $500 billion annually.
When the leadership team is adept at soft skills, engagement rises significantly. The costs of disengagement and turnover lower dramatically.
Here are three things you can do to tap into your leadership superpowers and become adept at these so-called soft skills:
- Develop your emotional intelligence (EQ). According to research by organizational psychologist Tasha Eurich, 95 percent of people think they’re self-aware, but only 10 to 15 percent actually are, and that can pose problems for your employees. Working with colleagues who aren’t self-aware can cut a team’s success in half and lead to increased stress and decreased motivation. An HBR study showed that with high performing individuals, 90% of their success was attributed to their high EQ. A recent study showed that 25-40% of a leader’s time is spent managing dysfunctional communications. In order to develop excellent communication skills, you need to have emotional intelligence. It’s also essential to conflict management.
- Identify and nurture your feminine leadership traits. We all have both masculine and feminine qualities. Historically, masculine traits have been more highly regarded in leadership. However, as soft skills have become more important, that’s changing. Especially with the younger generations, leadership success means developing feminine leadership traits. Some of these traits include:
- Acceptance of others
Multi-tracking is not the same as multi-tasking. Instead, it’s the ability to synthesize vast amounts of information, keep track of it all, and cut through the noise to focus yourself and your team on what’s essential to success.
3. Build vulnerability-based trust. Based on Patrick Lencioni’s work, vulnerability-based trust is the very foundation of cohesive teams. Leadership must model this if they want the team to do it. The business landscape is changing dramatically. Companies that don’t bother to build vulnerability-based trust will be at a strong competitive disadvantage in the coming years. The younger generations, both Millennials and Gen Z, won’t put up with being treated like cogs in a machine. The good news is this: as you develop your EQ and nurture your feminine leadership traits, you’ll already be well on your way to building vulnerability-based trust.
Johanna Lyman is the Founder and CEO of NextGen Orgs. She is a Leadership Consultant and Executive Coach with over fifteen years of experience in implementing organization wide change strategies for both Fortune 500 companies and Small Businesses.
At NextGen Orgs, they use a combination of unique delivery methods and processes that crack the code on establishing lasting organizational behavior changes in a relatively short period of time. Their proprietary and evolutionary system can eliminate months of frustration often associated with developing strong leadership and building a cohesive, collaborative team.
Johanna is a professional speaker, available to speak on a variety of topics related to culture, communication, innovation, and leadership skills. She is the Board President for the Bay Area Chapter of Conscious Capitalism and is deeply versed in how to help businesses be a force for good in the world. Learn more (URL: https://www.nextgenorgs.com/about/). Contact Johanna at email@example.com