All management interactions, such as delegating assignments, leading change, handling a difficult employee, giving performance feedback, solving problems, thinking critically, resolving conflict, and building a team, require emotional intelligence and effective leadership and interpersonal skills.
Surprisingly, all of these skills are considered “soft” skills.
Calling them “soft” skills suggests that they are less important or easier to learn than technical “hard” skills. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Emotional intelligence, leadership and interpersonal skills are essential for individual and organizational success. They also require considerable practice to achieve mastery.
Many managers who were promoted due to their technical expertise never had an opportunity to develop these skills.
And now that they are in management positions, their lack of these skills becomes a problem.
There are more workplace problems caused by weak communication, leadership and collaboration skills than by technical errors and faulty designs.
Research has shown that people lose jobs more often because of their inadequate mastering of soft skills than for their incompetence with their technical hard skills.
It is no wonder that 60% of new managers fail within the first two years.
Managers who lack emotional intelligence, cannot control their anger or their tone of voice, cannot make decisions, play favorites, communicate poorly, don’t know how to collaborate, or don’t handle conflict or disagreements objectively or professionally, can do irreparable damage to their working relationships with their peers, their employees and their customers.
These human or power skills need to be learned, practiced, and reinforced in an interactive and supportive environment. It’s not enough to provide training alone. Upper management needs to hold managers accountable for using what they learned and support the resulting behavioral changes.
Do all your managers have the soft skills they need to be effective?
May your learning be sweet,
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