Why soft skills are more important for business leaders than you may think

For the successful completion of a project in an organization, the conventional wisdom is centered on the idea of hiring people with the appropriate hard skills to fill the roles. These skills include the likes of software development, statistical analysis, SEO and data mining.

But as many business leaders would tell you, this wisdom has its flaws. Instances of projects lagging or over-shooting the budget are cited as argument for this. It’s not that hard skills are not essential, they are-very much so. But they need to be complemented with the equally important soft skills leaders should possess.

This aspect is revealed by a study conducted by Harvard University, the University of Michigan and Boston College. As per the study, soft skills training delivers an ROI of 250 percent while improving productivity and retention by 12 percent in organisations.  

A Deloitte study also mentions how 92 percent of respondents considered soft skills to be of critical priority.

Soft skills are more a matter of inner qualities- connected to emotions and mental abilities than anything. But the good news is that these skills are learnable.

From ‘I failed’ to ‘I enabled’ soft skills  bolster leadership ability manifold

Inspiring the team

A key soft skill leaders should possess is the ability to inspire a team. The motivational aspect should be sustained over a period of time, until the project comes to a successful culmination. Only if the leader is inspired themselves by a vision would they be able to inspire others.

In this regard, the Temenos Vision Lab or TVL, which helps leaders discover their True Personal Vision could benefit you. Incorporating 25 years of insights from business consultancy, and facilitated by some of the best leadership coaches, TVL is developed by Temenos to help leaders take their teams on a transformational path, inspiring them all the way.

While a leader’s personal vision helps them lead their team in an inspiring manner, the other half which completes the picture of inspiration is the compelling shared vision the team should have. It’s the shared goal towards which the team would move. It acts as a further source of inspiration in the transformational journey. Evolving a compelling shared vision is the second key benefit of TVL.

Understanding your strengths and leveraging them

Having a clear mental picture of your strengths and weaknesses is crucial for leaders. Often a leader may have misapprehensions and ill-conceived notions about persons or processes that may be preventing their evolution as a leader.

Clean Slate- a key session in TVL helps you assess these aspects, and correct the misapprehensions. The session would help you lose unwanted mental baggage, and carry forward only the strong points in  your professional self. In other words, you move ahead with a better grasp of your own strengths and weaknesses, enabling you to leverage on the strengths.

A leader with appropriate soft skills can enable a happier, more productive team

Not letting emotions getting the better of you

A leader is expected to guide their team with a firm hand. But that’s not to say that anxieties regarding possible failures or frustration at some project element not going as per plan wouldn’t affect them. That’s an all-too-human aspect of being a leader. The important thing is to not let these emotions pull you down, and more importantly- not to let them affect your team members.

Equanimity should be maintained regardless of the way the project is proceeding. Understanding your team members better would help you to a large extent in this regard. For instance, if a person under-performs, if you know their strengths and weaknesses, you would have a better idea on how to help them come out of the rut. TVL which facilitates open communication among a team is an ideal platform on this front too.

Communicating effectively

A major soft skill that could make or break  a project is communication. Effective communication not just implies communicating in a clear and concise manner but also that the information passed is relevant to the scenario at hand. There are other aspects to effective communication too- like speaking in terms relatable to a person. This latter calls for some level of understanding of the team members, for a communication mode that’s effective with one needn’t be so with another.

TVL promotes open communication as well as understanding each team member on a deeper level. Among the outcomes of TVL is an expanded context in which communication between the leader and team members becomes smoother, and more meaningful.

The leaders of tomorrow are those who grasp the value of soft skills, and develop them. Understanding that these skills are learnable, and finding the right avenue for it would be the first steps in becoming an even better leader.

Susan Gibson- CEO of Temenos+Agility guiding change agents to lead with vision

For change agents and leaders, not to benefit from meaningful events and gatherings is a missed opportunity! We invite you to indulge in some of the most transformational events from Temenos; designed with hard-earned understanding, organized just for you.

Temenos Vision Lab- Online ( June 29, 2018)

We invite you to this special gathering, which brings together a group of wonderful people who fill workplaces with joy and energy. By connecting with each other, you embark on a journey that leads to better clarity about the changes you seek, gain collaboration opportunities and leave with a concrete action plan.

Temenos Vision Lab- Amsterdam, Netherlands( Nov 2, 2018)

Another venue to take an exquisite inner journey, to find your true Vision.

Temenos Effect Gathering 2018- Bengaluru, India(Dec 8 to Dec 9, 2018)

An event dedicated to the idea of personal mastery, for nurturing your beautiful self, for change agents and leaders to become their true selves.

For more details, visit our website - https://www.visiontemenos.com/events

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