Using the right words in the right order at the right time with the right pitch & the right approach to conduct the task – rightly.
Do you ever ponder as to why is it that some individuals with the requisite qualifications and degrees are admired by their teams, subordinates, colleagues, staff and often looked up as leaders while other individuals with equivalent qualifications and degrees, or even better ones are only referred to as just a boss “y” & only earn disrespect with the way they conduct and lead their team or colleagues or subordinates and earn bad reputation with less productive environment.
Though both individuals as mentioned above are getting the team to perform and deliver, the first individual (leader) is creating an environment that promotes harmony and happiness, thus driving the team towards growth, loyalty, helps in cultivating positive culture thereby enabling employee retention, the later (boss) creates a stressful environment that builds a toxic culture, derailing the employees of their work objectives thereby creating higher attrition in the organization.
so, lets’ look at the reason behind the two different approaches. The primary reason is that the first individual (leader) has some traits which the later (boss) does not have. And that is nothing else but soft skills application in managing the teams and getting the tasks completed successfully with growth objective.
Let’s agree to the fact that …. We all are carrying unique traits & qualities…each one of us has our own individuality and that makes us do some tasks better than the others.
If you have siblings, you would realize that the two of you have your own strengths and that makes the two of you unique. Similarly, in an organization, we have to realize that our colleagues/ employees who we are working with would have different same understanding at work place, which can be attributed to different cultures, surroundings, education, personalities that we carry.
To put all these different qualities, knowledge, thoughts, culture aligned together embedded in the workforce & driving them together to achieve the desired goal without making anyone feel different –is a “leadership trait” which needs effective application of soft skills.
Friends, we often invest a lot of our time and resources in building up our hard skill sets through education, on the job trainings, various online / offline courses across various streams be it engineering, sales, marketing, designing, analytics, MBA, coding. MS excel, power-point or accounting etc. What we need to realize is that developing or acquiring soft skills is equally or lets’ say more important to achieve higher advancements in your carrier or in your business.
Developing hard skills acts as a stepping stone or a key parameter that enables you to crack a job or skill you up to execute the assigned tasks effectively and efficiently, thereby allowing you to showcase your capabilities, but if you do-not have the soft skills be it communication, listening skills, adaptability, team building, time management, interpersonal relationship or any of the ones listed below, it will be very difficult for you to advance in your carrier as effective team management is as important as being an individual performer, neither would you be able to lead or build a team, nor would you be able to create a trustworthy environment. Thus, the team shall not feel motivated or driven towards effective performance and the assigned vision & mission of the company may not be achieved. Thus, all your hard skills shall become useless after a point in time if not ably supported by soft skills.
To simplify, the soft skills are a combination of abilities related to people and social situations rather than a person’s technical abilities. Some important soft skills are: –
• Effective communication
• Active listening
• Influencing without authority
• Problem solving
• Adaptability & resilience
• Work ethics & teamwork
• Empathy & conflict resolution
• Critical thinking & collaboration
• Time management
• Interpersonal. Relationship & positivity
• Acceptance of criticisms with open mind
Most jobs require more than just technical skills to be truly effective.
According to many surveys & reports, 98% of the HR leaders confirmed that soft skills were important for candidates looking to land a technology job. Further, 67% said they had withheld a job offer from a skilled tech candidate because they lacked soft skills.
For instance, a salesperson with in-depth knowledge of their product and market will struggle if they lack the interpersonal skills required to close deals and retain clients. A business manager must be able to listen to employees, speak effectively, and think creatively. To make hard skills valuable, all careers require at least some soft skills.
Hard skills aren’t always difficult to learn. They are simple to teach and can be learned and perfected over time. Soft skills are more difficult to develop because they have little to do with knowledge or expertise but are closely related to a person’s personality. Improving your soft skills requires deliberate effort, ongoing practice, and a commitment to self-development. Your hard skills may look impressive on your cv but it is your soft skills that will set you apart from the many other candidates with similar expertise.
Poor soft skills can lead to workplace issues such as missed deadlines, unhappy clients or workplace conflict.
The beauty of soft skills is that they’re highly transferable. Creativity, responsibility and excellent communication skills can be applied to any job.
Employees with strong interpersonal skills are going to need less hand-holding. They will have the confidence to be self-starters and collaborators. Managers can delegate projects to such employees with less oversight and more time to dedicate to bigger projects.
Conducting soft skill trainings for the hard skill experts (primarily represented by the middle/ senior management) helps in building up a happy environment in the organization wherein the employee fells motivated to work and deliver, even go beyond what is expected.
Training can be conducted through various modes such as:
• Virtual reality
• Online learning
• Coaching/ mentoring
• Interactive workshops
McKinsey survey reveals that recognizing and awarding best-performing employees, holding interactive workshops, offering constructive feedbacks, giving your employees the time and opportunity to hone their skill through various interactive workshops & trainings cultivates the healthy culture among the organization gradually build an appetite in employees to develop & acquire new skills that works toward the overall growth of employee as well as organization.