What are Soft Skills?
Who Needs Soft Skills?
You’ll hear me say that soft skills require more than charm. Charm is a natural ability to connect with people and can be improved. Soft skills are more than mere charm. They are an amalgamation of trained and native skills that help you connect with others. We all have them. The question is to what degree of effectiveness.
Look through the list below. A humble leader will recognize they can improve in each area. Those attributes define the leader. They overlap. Problem solving, for example, by using critical thinking, leads to decision making. We are a web work of these skills.
- Conflict management
- Critical thinking
- Decision making
- Openness to criticism
- Stress management
- Time management
It is more than communication. It is how you respond to crises large and small. It is how you lead during complex times. It is how you work through difficult personnel issues. It is how you get 10 hours of work done in an eight-hour day.
Any great leader has these soft skills. Politicians, for example, have them. One reason the then Senator Barack Obama beat Senator Hillary Clinton was the perception that he connected better with voters. He became the “cool president” because he seemed to move fluidly in public and social circles whereas she seemed to b reaching in from a distance.
President Trump won, in part, because his supporters believed him. Like President Bill Clinton, he waded through a mire of controversy because those who voted for him believed he represented them. Their respective controversies were less important to them than being heard.
Look at all the work Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos get done. Sure, they have teams to which they delegate, but they are also efficient in every moment. That’s time management, sure — but it also involves navigating the challenges of each day.
How do you get things done?
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