Excellent soft skills that allow leaders to encourage and inspire their people are a common characteristics of successful leadership. Additionally, a leader’s capacity to strategize, listen to feedback, and integrate their team’s ideas and input is often critical to their ability to lead successfully.
According to a Closing the Technology Leadership Gap report by West Monroe, a business and technology consulting organization, more than three-quarters (78%) of HR leaders have grown increasingly attentive to hiring technology experts with good soft skills. 67% say they have knock-back job offers because an applicant lacked soft skills.
Here are seven crucial skills to concentrate on.
Effective communication is essential for leadership. Active listeners who are receptive to input and accepting of their team’s viewpoints are common characteristics of successful leaders. To effectively display communication abilities in a leadership job, IT leaders must be able to use discussion strategies, understand body language, and communicate with others in writing.
Empathy is the ability to see difficulties from a variety of angles. To build understanding in an organization, IT leaders should show how they have formed cross-functional teams across operating units. They must also demonstrate how varied perspectives help people make better judgments. Most importantly, IT executives must acknowledge their own prejudices and how empathy helped to mitigate them.
IT leaders demonstrate their willingness to learn and evolve by taking responsibility for their work and mistakes. Individual contributors and IT team leaders alike benefit from humility. Teams that lack responsibility have a hard time collaborating with one another or with other teams.
The readiness to be vulnerable in one’s conversations is an important people skill associated with building trust. Vulnerability that is appropriate for the situation promotes connection. A leader’s team is more inclined to empathize with them and join them on their journey.
IT leaders, for example, may admit to a previous failure. They could claim that they made a mistake. They have learned from it, which is why they are on this new path.
Instead of delivering orders without explaining why, IT leaders might utilize this type of vulnerability to assist their people realize the need for change.
A flexible executive knows when to be pragmatic and when to be strategic. The best leaders know when and how to recover, as well as when and how to go forward. Demonstrating this balance provides hiring managers comfort that they are not suffering from “analysis paralysis,” but also that they won’t make rash decisions.
Another highly desirable attribute that successful leadership can demand is the ability to develop innovative solutions to workplace difficulties. Effective problem-solving includes various critical components such as finding solutions to manage risks, reducing logistical challenges, and implementing methods that achieve company objectives.
Any IT leader must have a strong desire to learn and comprehend new things. Enterprises have had to undertake substantial changes and pivots to deal with disruptions; therefore, curiosity has become increasingly crucial. IT leaders must be interested in what procedures are functioning and what processes must be changed, from supply chain disruptions to workplace disturbances. Curiosity is also vital in interpersonal relationships, as it motivates other virtues like empathy.