Hey Leaders! Let’s Stop Calling Them Soft Skills


You feel confident in your résumé. You have the right letters behind your name and have the years of experience and impressive titles. You can recite the best practices and important acronyms by heart. You know your stuff! Basically, you’ve mastered all the necessary hard skills for your industry. But that’s not enough. To be successful, you must cultivate the top soft skills—if we even have to call them that—for leaders.

 

Why We Should NOT Call Them “Soft” Skills

Some people think it’s only the “hard” skills that are teachable and measurable. However, those skills commonly known as “soft” are just as essential and quantifiable, and—like any valuable skill—they must be practiced. Calling them “soft” is a misnomer and can lead to wrongly dismissing them as touchy-feely or unnecessary. On the contrary, these are arguably the most important skills you can cultivate as a leader. Across all industries and positions, emotional intelligence can elevate a good worker into an excellent employee.

Essential Skills For Employees

You likely do some of the hirings at your company. Don’t you gravitate towards the more well-rounded candidates? You want smart and capable employees who are also emotionally intelligent. Among college grads, good grades often aren’t enough anymore. Because of this reality, The University of Connecticut encourages students to develop qualities to help differentiate themselves during the job search.

With the ever-increasing dependence on technology, it’s essential for individuals to acquire these interpersonal skills actively. A recent report from LinkedIn agreed, stating, “it remains imperative for professionals to maintain their arsenal of soft skills in this rapidly changing jobs landscape because those that have them, have a leg up.”

 

Even More Essential Skills For Leaders

If you expect your employees to be well-versed in their skills repertoire, you need the same as a leader. But which skills exactly? And how does one get them? Communication, emotional intelligence, and time management are valuable tools for any employee—especially those in leadership positions. Forbes recently underscored the importance of leaders’ “soft” skills. A lack of these types of skills can lead to poor communication, a lack of workplace culture, and—eventually—high employee turnover.

 

Leadership: The Greatest Skill Of All?

Perhaps the most-cited “soft” skill of all is the seemingly vague “leadership.” Some may assume merely being in a leading position makes one a leader, but we know it entails more than that. We often speak about Transformational Leadership, which centers on motivating others. Proper motivation requires all kinds of skills. But the first step towards any leadership development is courage. Leaders need the courage to face reality and to do what is necessary. With this in mind, sometimes the reality is a lack of these so-called softer skills. In that case, the high-priority action item is to gain them.

To that end, Nexecute offers a 360-Survey called Practicing Transformational Leadership that gives leaders the opportunity to self-rate and get feedback about their emotional intelligence. Based on those results, we follow up with a tailored coaching program to increase proficiency and gain that transformational leadership difference.

 

Strengthen All Your Skills with Nexecute

Are you ready to partner with Nexecute to reach your potential? Review our Online Readiness Assessment. It’s designed to help you determine if you should schedule that important talk we like to call the Elephant Conversation™. Take the next step and give us a call at 888.378.8808 or contact us online. We’re here to help you get the top skills to become the best—and the most profitable—leader you can.