Every organization employs formal and informal leaders and role models. But as automation and digitization transform the way we do business, leadership characteristics are evolving, too. In today’s workplace, leaders are those who show an aptitude for:
- Communication: the ability to tell the company’s story and make it relevant to the needs and aspirations of employees, customers, vendors, partners, and other stakeholders.
- Negotiation: a facility for listening, displaying empathy, seeking common ground, and guiding groups toward agreement and a shared commitment to decisions and actions.
- Team-building: skill in motivating individuals and creating a sense of shared ownership in—and pride in—collective actions and outcomes.
- Collaboration: adeptness at encouraging idea exchange and knowledge sharing to optimize individual and group achievement.
- Creative problem-solving: skill in facilitating innovation and encouraging input from individuals at all tiers of the organization.
- Adaptability: the flexibility necessary to respond to changing opportunities and challenges in keeping with the organization’s core mission and values.
These soft skills are now recognized as essential to bringing superior solutions to fruition and remaining competitive. Staff members who exhibit these qualities are in a position to lead by example and bring out the best in colleagues who struggle more in developing those skills.
“As workplace demands evolve, leaders will be recognized for their ability to cultivate soft skills throughout the enterprise,” says Alain Dehaze, Chief Executive Officer of the Adecco Group. “In this context, leadership will reflect merit and success in reaching performance targets rather than titles or positions on the organizational chart. This is in keeping with another trend in business, the flattening of traditional hierarchies and creation of opportunities for more people to take charge and help drive the company forward. And we will see this in blue-collar industry as much as in white-collar corporations.”
To learn more about the role soft skills training plays in developing talent for the evolving workplace…