When you’re focused on making progress in a specific career, you’re mostly concerned about the hard skills needed for the job you have in mind. You’ve been trained to adopt such an attitude ever since you attended college. Curriculums put an emphasis on hard skills, and that’s what the teachers grade you on. They don’t teach you how to be more emotionally intelligent, how to motivate other people, or how to be a better person.
In leadership training, soft skills are essential. The leader is not a person who’s simply mastered the technical skills that the particular industry imposes. Take Richard Branson as an example. One of his bestsellers is named Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won’t Teach You at Business School. According to him, some of the main things a leader needs include: innovative attitude, leading by listening, and showing up for the workers. These are all soft skills that are important for any leader in any industry.
Why Are Soft Skills Important, Anyway?
If you have impressive IT skills, can’t you start your own IT company and become an impressive leader? Not necessarily.
Is Mark Zuckerberg nothing but a successful computer scientist? He is much more than that! He is also an effective communicator with above-average critical thinking and problem solving skills. Most of all, he is a visionary. That’s something you don’t learn at college. In fact, Zuckerberg dropped out of college, so he must have obtained his leadership skills elsewhere.
Without soft skills, you’re just a technician in your profession. You don’t have what it takes to inspire other people to work towards the achievement of your goals. In fact, you’re not progressive enough to set good goals for your team. You’re nothing but a worker. To become more, you have to work on your soft skills.
The good news is that you already have some important soft skills. Everyone does! Here’s more good news: you can work on the ones you don’t have, so you’ll develop them on your way to becoming a good leader.
Everyone knows how important communication skills are for a leader. But most people identify communication skills the wrong way. We all assume it’s about sharing an idea. In simpler words, we think it’s about speaking.
Yes; speaking is an important aspect of your communication skills, but it’s not the only one. Listening is where it all starts. Communication has to be a two-way street. That’s something that every successful leader understands.
So start listening!
- First and foremost, listen to the people you communicate with. When you discuss something, get all details right. That helps you respond without missing the point of the discussion.
- When you expand the skill of listening beyond the conversations you have, you’re getting into the subtle aspects of leadership. You have to know how to listen to the market trends, social media buzz, and the hints that indicate a change in trends.
Almost all great leaders publish their own books not because the books identify them as great leaders, but because they have something important to share. Even if you don’t plan to write a book someday, writing skills are still important.
You’ll be writing emails to potential business partners, team members, and influencers. If your content lacks basic literacy, formality, and readability, you’ll be labeled as the self-acclaimed leader who can’t even write a simple sentence. You don’t want that to happen.
- Practice your writing skills! Even if you don’t like writing, you have to start from somewhere. Argumentative essays give you a great foundation for developing convincing writing skills. Choose your own topics and try to write essays that would change people’s minds about important things. Furthermore, you can make some money on it writing for College-Paper or BestDissertation which provide academic writing help.
- When you feel confident enough in your writing skills, start your own blog. Remember how we said that listening was important? Well the blog will combine these two important skills: listening and writing. You’ll listen to your audience when they comment, and you’ll respond through comments and new blog posts. That’s a great way to share your knowledge with the world and establish yourself as an expert in your industry. That will surely help you expand your leadership potential.
You’re impressed by those great speakers on TED talks and you wonder how they do it? They step on stage and lighten up the room. Everyone laughs to their jokes and responds to their calls to action. If you think you’re not good enough to give such great presentations, you’re wrong.
No one was born as a great speaker. This is a skill that people develop through practice.
- Speak up! Act like you’re giving a presentation and watch yourself in the mirror. Yes; you’ll look silly, but who cares? You’ll be alone in the room and you’re allowed to have fun while doing this. Pay attention to the flow of your speech and your body language. As you practice, you’ll witness yourself getting better and you’ll gain more self-confidence.
- Design cool presentations. The appearance of your slides is part of the whole process. Develop good content (you might look examples on some assignment writing services, for sure) and slides, and you’ll be confident that you have something good to share with the audience.
Why are presentation skills important for a leader? Well whenever you’re about to introduce a new project, you’ll present it in front of the team. You’ll also give motivational speeches, so you’ll encourage everyone to do their best for the sake of driving the whole company forward.
If you want to become a great leader, you better be prepared to face failure. Failure, in fact, is the foundation for success. Remember how Virgin Cola failed? Did that force Richard Branson to give up? Absolutely not! This great leader has had many setbacks, but remained resilient on his journey to success. One of his greatest virtues is the ability to recognize failure and learn from it. If a project can be saved, he’ll keep improving it. If it’s absolutely hopeless, he’ll give up on it and focus his energy on ideas that work.
Resilience is your ability to recover from failure. If you’re resilient enough, you’ll be a good leader even when things don’t go as planned. You’ll be able to bounce back on top and act like nothing happened.
5. Inspiring Other People
Great leaders motivate their employees to go the extra mile for their organization. If you pay a fair salary, you’ll probably expect all workers to do their best. It’s like to buy essay on best essay service – you look for the best result. But that won’t happen if you solely focus on money and fail to provide other types of encouragement.
There are plenty of ways to inspire your workers:
- You may give recognitions, such as Employee of the month program that could last for few months or a year. If you feel that generous, you can make it a forever thing. You’ll feature this worker on social media, you’ll explain why they deserved the title, and you’ll treat them with a weekend for two at a local hotel with spa services included. You’ll also give them Monday off! This is a great way to make people glad they work for you.
- Additional training is especially important for inspiring people to grow within the organization. Ask if anyone would like to learn new skills or gain new knowledge that’s relevant to the industry. If someone volunteers, pay for that training. When a new employment opportunity opens up in your company, give it to someone who’s currently on a lower position, but worked hard enough to make progress.
- Show up to work! You’ll inspire other people to work and do their best only if they see you doing it. Don’t go to your office when you feel like it just because you’ve given instructions and you expect people to work on their tasks. You have a responsibility to show up in your office during working hours and everyone will expect you to do so.
You dream about becoming a great leader? Well stop dreaming and start doing something about it. You have several soft skills to start working on. Even if you’re great at some of them, you still have space for improvement.