Think about the leadership skills list of the best leader you know. What would you put on it? It’s true that there is no winner in the hard skills vs soft skills contest. Hard skills are important but soft (people) skills can save the day. What would be the most important soft skills – qualities of a leader?
We have made a list of soft skills and identified 60 essential items. The list is not exhaustive, but the skills on the list will help make the difference between an average leader and a great one
There are 6 main chapters in this list of soft skills for leaders and inside each chapter we have added 10 supporting skills.
If you don’t have time to read the whole list of soft skills, here are the 6 main soft skills a leader needs to succeed:
- Communication Skills
- Motivation Skills
- Delegation Skills
Communication Skills – Essential Soft Skills for Leaders
1. Complex information is communicated in an easy to understand way. Does not dumb down the message.
2. Does not listen to answer but to understand
3. Doesn’t avoid difficult conversation but approaches them in a constructive manner
4. Adapts their communication to the environment
5. Always asks, never supposes.
6. Communicates in a transparent manner
7. Gives honest feedback. The feedback is actionable.
8. The message is clear and easily understood
9. Speaks with impact
10. The presentations are clear, to the point and actionable.
Motivation Skills – A Must Learn Soft Skills for Managers
1. Sets the vision
2. Sets the direction
3. Takes good decisions in times of ambiguity
4. Shows the way forward
5. Walks the way, not only talks it
6. Is passionate and honest
7. Is supportive and caring
8. Has leadership presence
9. Motivates others during times of uncertainty
10. Shows empathy
1. Develops talent
2. Mentors, coaches, and develops people
3. Inspires people to act and move toward goals
4. Empowers others
5. Gives people what they need to achieve the goal and steps out of their ways
6. Builds a team and help the team members develop
7. Allows people to learn from their mistakes
8. The success belongs to the team
9. Does not micromanage
10. Celebrates the successes of his team
1. Takes responsibility for the failure
2. Breaks silos and works across departments to get things done
3. Leads by example
4. Is a role model
5. Integrity is the keyword for his behavior
6. Takes charge. Assumes responsibility
7. Excels in organizational skills
8. Walks the talk.
9. Obstacles are not an excuse to not achieve goals
10. Takes calculated risks
Flexibility – In a VUCA World, This Is a Sine-Qua-Non Soft Skill
1. Is capable to understand when change is needed
2. Can evaluate a situation fast and course-correct when needed
3. Learns and adapts
4. Is curious.
5. Asks questions.
6. Challenges the status-quo
7. Is capable of making decisions in times of ambiguity
8. Doesn’t wait until all the data is in to act (it might be too late)
9. Accept changes and find creative solutions to the problems that come their way.
10. Accepts feedback and acts upon it.
1. Has a positive attitude even when stress levels are high
2. Exudes energy and drive
3. Is an advocate and supporter of his team
4. Makes sure the team morale is up
5. Brings out the best in everyone
6. Encourages others to succeed
7. Can laugh at themselves when something doesn’t go quite as planned
8. Can create a happy healthy team environment
9. Takes care of the team’s morale
10. Knows how to manage crisis and conflict.