8 soft skills that nourish your leadership abilities


For long, it has been quite mundane for businesses to overlook soft skills and emphasise on hard skills. As per LinkedIn list of most trending hard and soft skills of 2020, computer skills dominated the hard skills. And this trend will only gain pace due to the ongoing pandemic since March and the work-at-home practice. Talking about the soft skills, they are the unsung heroes. As per LinkedIn, there are top five soft skills — creativity, persuasion, collaboration, adaptability, and emotional intelligence. Apart from this, there are three others — time management, storytelling, and cultural awareness. Figuring out each skill and how to augment them will give you an upper hand over your competition.

1. Creativity

To look to other industries and in other countries is one good method to breathe fresh ideas into any business. You have to figure out the concepts used by them that possess the potential to work wonders for your industry as well. Deliberate in small groups to evade discords, form a list, and then come up with your ideas before everyone. Don’t hesitate to include crazy ideas, silly ideas, and others.

2. Persuasion

As per the author of ‘Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion’, Robert Cialdini, the six common values of persuasion are authority, consistency, liking, reciprocity, scarcity, and consensus. We are not supposed to abuse these skills. People don’t prefer to be sold; however, they love to buy. This is why during making use of these principles, there is a need to consider the wisdom of Aristotle according to whom, “Character may almost be called the most effective means of persuasion.”

3. Collaboration

To take teamwork to the next level, collaboration plays an important role. People with different skill sets are brought together by means of collaboration. Also, to finish a project, it brings together different perspectives. Companies capable of tapping into this soft skill fathom that communication is supreme. It is to be ensured that all avenues of communication are kept open.

4. Adaptability

Transformation is taking place at whirlwind speed. It’s almost impossible for us to envision what lies a few years ahead of us. Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and so much more will transform how we do business. This is why it is vital for companies to stay on top of new technologies rather than wait until they’ve become commonplace.

5. Emotional Intelligence

Talking about Emotional intelligence (EQ), it is defined as “the capacity to be aware of, control and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.” It has been witnessed that those with high EQ are better able to handle high-pressure situations, conflict resolution, constructive criticism, and more. For teams, this ability is highly sought-after, more so, ones made up of contrasting backgrounds. As per a survey conducted by CareerBuilder, 75% of hiring managers gave preference to EQ over IQ. Employees are taught hard skills and intelligence more easily. On the other hand, EQ takes more time and understanding to grasp.

6. Self-Motivation 

Many entrepreneurs are meant to deal with overwhelm. This is the requirement of the world we live in these days. This makes self-motivation a necessity. There is an urgent requirement of learning how to manage our energy. Energy not only comes from taking a balanced diet, but also from our personal drive to achieve, flexibility, and commitment. A personal drive to achieve is directly connected with our mindset. According to many researches, people with a growth mindset are far more probable to succeed in the endeavours they engage in because they believe they can improve.

Talking about resilience, it is born out of dare to overcome obstacles. This does not imply that we should be offhand with our choices, instead learn to manage risk, in order to realise the opportunities that suit our talents best and when we should outsource others or simply leave them alone. Commitment is the guaranteed method to give us circumstantial evidence that we matter and are heading in the right direction. It’s the spirit of goal-setting.

7. Time Management 

High performance is straight connected with people’s use of time. Already, most entrepreneurs are working hard, but what places apart those who are succeeding from those who are struggling or failing is their aptitude to implement the 3Ps: plan, prioritization, and performance.

Plan: It is said that every minute you spend in planning saves 10 minutes in execution; this allows you a 1,000 percent Return on Energy.

Prioritization: Prioritization simply means where best to use your existing resources. According to Stephen Covey, there are four quadrants, which breaks tasks down into their urgency and importance. The key is emphasising on those that are significant, but not urgent.

Performance: This is where the rubber meets the road. According to Gary Vaynerchuk, execution is the game. Without it, even the best plan will fail.

8. Storytelling

One of the fascinating things about storytellers is they have the aptitude to move people to act. They know how to reach inside us and touch our souls. A number of people work in global settings at the time of seeing everything from their own cultural outlooks. They assume that all differences, hullabaloo, and misunderstanding are rooted in personality. This is not out of laziness. Many well-intentioned people don’t educate themselves about cultural differences because they have a notion that if they focus on discrete differences, that will be enough.

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