5 Soft Skills to Become a Great Leader

Persona liderando

“Leadership isn’t about being in control, but about taking care of the people under your responsibility.” That’s what Simon Sinek asserts in his TED Talk titled “How Great Leaders Inspire Action“.

Leading a team of people is much more than just giving orders to employees and expecting them to comply. It involves a set of soft skills, which are abilities that enable us to interact with others efficiently and harmoniously.

In fact, developing soft skills has a significant impact on employability. According to a report by consulting firm McKinsey, the demand for these versatile skills is projected to increase by 30% in the job market by 2030. And that’s not all: according to Adecco, they can even lead to a 40% increase in salary.

The good news is that anyone can become a good leader. That’s why we’re going to share with you five soft skills that you can start putting into practice.

5 soft skills to become a better leader

  1. Assertive Communication. Communicating assertively, in a firm, kind, and respectful manner, whether expressing opinions, needs, or suggestions. One of the benefits of assertive communication is that it enhances the likelihood of the message being positively received. Of course, this also depends on the receptiveness and emotional intelligence of the receiver, but assertive communication sets the stage for a constructive exchange that fosters learning.
  2. Self-Criticism. It’s about developing the ability to identify and reflect on your mistakes. Taking responsibility for your errors and acknowledging them in front of the team also builds trust and shows that you are approachable, relatable and a human. Engaging in useful self-criticism means being able to reflect on yourself, evaluate your behaviors, draw conclusions and learn from those experiences. It’s essential not to confuse self-criticism with excessive self-demand: it’s not about beating yourself up when you make a mistake. Instead, it’s about accepting what you’ve done and extracting a lesson that is valuable to you and being able to convey this attitude to your team.
  3. Adaptability. In a VUCA environment, it’s crucial to possess the ability to adapt to changes, take initiative and even proactively drive change. Adaptability allows you to come up with solutions when facing challenging stages within the company. It’s about showing initiative and being proactive in suggesting changes within the organization in order to align with the sector’s transformation, but also about being capable of seeing changes as opportunities for learning and adjusting your behavior to achieve a common goal.
  4. Resilience. In the Netflix documentary “Stutz,” psychiatrist and protagonist Phil Stutz states that uncertainty and pain are an inevitable part of life. Adversities are a natural part of both personal and professional experiences. Resilience, the ability to adapt to adverse situations with positive outcomes, is a crucial skill that will help you resolve conflicts and gain valuable lessons.
  5. Positive Feedback. Providing positive feedback to the team and expressing gratitude for their work will increase their self-esteem, confidence and overall well-being. This soft skill contributes to a positive work atmosphere in which employees feel motivated and satisfied, knowing that their efforts are recognized and appreciated. Also, we recommend implementing what is known in the business world as “best practices”: making a commitment to society, working towards sustainability and enhancing employee well-being, for instance, by supporting work-life balance initiatives.
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