As a leader, it’s always good to have a variety of people skills. A huge part of a leader’s job is directing others with a specific objective in mind. Leaders also have to be mindful of the impact they are leaving after every interaction. Everyone is looking towards their leader to give them clear and concise guidance to fulfill an overall goal. Leadership isn’t just telling people what to do. Leaders get to know their team and make the necessary accommodations to ensure the satisfaction of their colleagues/employees. Top soft skills leaders should have as well as ways to practice these skills are as follows:
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” – George Bernard Shaw
It’s paramount that leaders don’t assume that their ideas or directions are always understood. Simply speaking to someone doesn’t ensure excellent communication. Effective communication occurs when a leader speaks “with” their team. This also is the distinction between management and leadership. Managers tell their employees what to do. However, leaders guide their team by practicing great communication as follows:
- Leaders listen actively instead of focusing on reply.
- Leaders also articulate their thoughts to convey their ideas comprehensively.
- Leaders are mindful of their body language, and facial expressions as these non-verbal prompts also serve as a means of communicating.
- Leaders ask questions and wait for feedback from their team.
- Leaders give praise specifically to work they are happy with to boost employee morale.
Leaders have to be the pillar of light within their group. They are the visionaries and see the bigger vision. Leaders are also tasked with relaying the mission to others and keeping their team inspired. Leaders can spread positivity by doing the following:
- Leaders put their teammates’ needs first.
- Leaders can use humor to cheer up their team.
- Leaders encourage their team and show appreciation.
- Leaders practice empathy by being understanding of their colleagues/employees.
Everyone has a role to play. A leader must be able to identify the skillsets of each individual and delegate jobs accordingly to those qualified for those positions. Proper delegation can be practiced by doing the following:
- Leaders identify measurable outcomes.
- Leaders match tasks to the right employee.
- Leaders set expectations and standards.
- Leaders offer adequate training for employee development.