We have all heard about the concept of leadership. It has changed a great deal in the past five years due to changes in technology and the workplace. The rise in millennials has also changed how we view leadership and its qualities. It’s not about looking out for yourself, but looking out for those on your team. There is no “strict” hierarchy mentality where ideas have to be formally submitted to go up the chain of command. Today, leaders want to hear from their teams. Collaboration and a relaxed atmosphere create the best ideas, which are shared within a team. So, what skills will leaders of 2020 utilize the most? Soft skills.
These skills don’t get the appreciation they deserve. While they are very important, hard skills receive all the glory, such as creating business strategies and forecasting revenue and growth. They are tangible practices that produce measurable results. There will be a shift to making hard and soft skills equal. Soft skills are those talents that cultivate relationships. It’s about managing a team for the good of the company, and not to make the leader look good. It has been proven that when a team trusts their leader, they are more productive. The same can also be said of a leader who empowers his or her team. Servant leadership will be utilized a great deal next year. Servant leadership is serving first then leading by example. To be a servant leader, the person must utilize soft and hard skills to lead effectively. According to Fast Company, there are five soft skills:
Listening — This sounds easy, but it is not. Active listening is when a person is making an effort to listen to the speaker. This is accomplished by recapping what the speaker said, thereby confirming to the speaker what was heard and will be put into practice.
Self-compassion — This has to do with changing your mindset. Self-compassion breaks the “rule” that a leader must know the answer and never admit a mistake. By practicing self-compassion, you will see a change in how you are treated by your team. It will also produce feedback, which can be hard to take at first. However, feedback is a valuable and necessary tool that helps us grow professionally and personally.
Empathy — When you try to understand a person’s situation, you are employing empathy. You are not feeling sorry for the person or dismissing his or her problem, but you are trying to see how the situation was created and the difficulties produced from it. Like active listening, empathy is not an easy skill to master.
Vulnerability — Some see being vulnerable as a weakness. However, it takes a strong person to admit their vulnerability. This is a combination of self-compassion and empathy. Expressing your concerns about an issue shows that you care about it and that you are open to solutions. You are stating that it’s okay to ask for help, which builds trust within your team.
Honesty — Being honest is another way to build trust and respect with your team. Again, when your team knows they can trust you, productivity and workplace attitudes change for the better. It also builds confidence in your team that they can openly speak to you without fear of being penalized.