Being kind and considerate is a way of being. These are not taught skills, these are innate that we bring out in each other and within ourselves. Please don’t call me soft and don’t call a leader soft because they want to talk about how we language, behave and seek to understand. Is saving time, money, and energy soft? What can you do when you save time money and energy? You can spend more time and resources on developing people.
Soft skills aren’t soft because the people that have them are weaker, they’re soft because some are skills we can’t put up a ruler to and measure.
Essential Skills Not Soft Skills
Think of these skills as essential! Our brains develop habitual ways of thinking that hinder our ability to lead, communicate, innovate, and adjust in ever-evolving complex environments. However, there is another side to this coin. Just like our brains may develop poor ways of thinking, we are able to foster them to develop incredible skills that allow us to improve relationships, be in tune with the people we serve, and create more agreements.
Restoring the Human in Our Workplace
Outside of the obvious social benefit of having soft skills in all workplaces, technology is taking over skills that we used to hire for. However, the things that technology will not replace are things like emotional intelligence, creativity, and collaboration that make the human so important to all of the work we do. Finally, we have the chance to return our focus on the human aspect of our work and that means hiring people that are proactive and have the potential and motivation to form incredible soft skills.
A leader who has mastered soft skills is one who influences their employees, builds and knows strong teams, respects failure, motivates employees, and appreciates contributions. In order to be a truly great leader, one must not only know but master the soft skills and realize these are essential skills. When someone calls me soft or refers to my leadership as such, I simply smile and realize they have not evolved yet and offer my services. Besides, soft is what makes us human!
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