by Chuck Kuglen
In a recent leader/manager article in “Chief Learning Officer” magazine by Frank Kalman, I particularly liked a section listing top 10 “soft skills” used in Management. Several relate to what we teach at The Henderson Group. I think as we’re now in the new year it’s often useful to do an honest “self-assessment” on key areas like these.
In particular, what can I do better? Where can a strength or weakness help me in my personal and professional goals in 2013? For me, a lazy but persistent, learner – “what can I do right away or very quickly to make a difference with others?”
- Self-Awareness: Leaders must have an accurate picture of their strengths and weaknesses.
- Learning Agility: This is an individual’s readiness, willingness, and ability to learn from experience.
- Emotional Intelligence: Emotional intelligence is the constellation of abilities that help leaders deal with their emotions and the emotions of others.
- Resiliency: Bouncing back from adversity.
- Building relationships at all levels: Being able to show compassion, sensitivity, and have a sense of humor with others – above and below in org. structure, and being able to cultivate these relationships toward positive business performance. Many in sales have this, but they neglect “underlings.”
- Political savvy: The ability to influence people to obtain goals. The heart of being politically savvy, according to CCL principles, is networking, reading situations and thinking before speaking. Not every leader likes politics, but it is present in every organization.
- Motivating and engaging others. How many leaders have been successful when they cannot motivate their teams?
- Building and leading effective teams: This is one of the top challenges that CEOs report, according to CCL. Building trust, setting strategic direction and breaking down silos are some of the micro skills needed.
- Creating a culture of trust and respect: This has become a big challenge since the rise of virtual communication, yet trust and respect among team members, and chiefly among leaders, is paramount.
- Communication: Voicing goals and inspiring others is vital, but so is listening skills.
If you take time to inventory which skills are most critical to you, and which you’d like to focus on this 2013, let us know how and if we can help.
A couple of our key partners have wonderful learning programs and online tools for leadership. One, a favorite, has one of the best “management” (101, 201, etc.) programs in the country. Another helps in business writing or proposals. A third is in a favorite skill area of Negotiations.
If you’re in a position to delve into work one-on-one, we can help you develop key sales, communication, and leadership abilities directly.
photo credit: buddawiggi