By the business guide
The most successful leaders have not only mastered technical skills, they’ve also mastered softskills.
To be a successful leader, you have to master these soft skills according to resourceful master, a website dedicated to helping managers become more effective at their jobs, “Technical aptitude and business savvy aren’t worth much if leaders don’t have the people skills to execute them.
Good listening is an essential part of being a good leader. You cannot be a good leader unless you are a good listener. You as a leader must be very aware of the feedback you are receiving from the people around you. Successful leaders understand the importance of listening to others’ thoughts and ideas.
Note:”listening involves hearing, sensing, interpretation, evaluation and response”
If you cannot communicate effectively, you cannot be an effective leader. Well-educated people can understand simple clear information; but those with limited education cannot go the other way. The old KISS principle (keep it simple – stupid) has much utility.
Note: A good sense of humor and laugh can be a wonderful tool in leadership!”
- Delivering bad news
No one wants to be the bearer of bad news, but any leader knows that it’s all part of the job. The ability to deliver unfortunate news tactfully is what sets good leaders apart.
Tip: Deliver bad news in person rather than via email or memo, take responsibility, be as honest as possible, and give employees an opportunity to respond and discuss how the news affects them.
- Saying no
In any leadership position, saying no to employees and ideas is a huge part of the job. The ability to turn people down sensitively is critical.
Tip: Empathize with people when saying no to let them know you understand the situation, explain your reasoning for saying no, and end the conversation on a positive note by offering another way to help.
Most leaders are negotiating throughout the day — with clients, with employees, and with friends and family. The most successful negotiators remain fair and considerate of others’ desires while pushing for what they want.
Tip: Look at the situation through the other person’s eyes, be prepared to offer several options, show that you’ve heard and understood the other side, and offer to help out in some way to demonstrate that you’re a team player.
- Connecting with employees and colleagues
Cordial relationships between managers and their employees are absolutely essential to creating a cohesive and productive work environment.
Tip: Always use people’s names when speaking to them, show interest in employees’ lives, express appreciation and recognize contributions, and make your colleagues feel important.
- Giving criticism
The folk saying: “praise in public and criticize in private” is very effective. But the praise should be deserved; a person can quickly develop a reputation as overly “smoothie.”
Mistakes and errors must be dealt with as quickly as possible. If the errors are part of the public record, then your responses should be public also. However, you should take the public blame. Do not point to some supporter or employee and say: “it was all their fault.” If you do, your career as a leader will be short!
- Dealing with difficult employees
Every office has difficult employees whose behavior and attitudes can jeopardize workplace harmony. Leaders must know how to deal with these employees, especially because others will judge the leader based on how he or she handles the situation.
Tip: Tackle the problem as soon as possible instead of waiting to deal with it, rely on documented information when pointing out unacceptable behavior, implement a plan for correcting the behavior, and follow up daily to ensure the positive change is permanent.
- Maintaining professionalism
Maintaining professionalism can be extremely difficult for leaders who are friendly with many of their employees, but recognizing the line between work life and personal life and striking a balance in between is critical.
Tip: Establish clear boundaries if you work with friends, be fair to all subordinates regardless of friendships, and avoid any special treatment or favors.
- Handling resistance
Leaders will always face resistance, and the way they handle opposition determines a great deal about how they are perceived.
Tip: Handle resistance gracefully by focusing on the issue and remaining non-confrontational, taking responsibility if you contributed to an issue, and asking for the resistors’ help in coming to a resolution.
- Dealing with complaints
Leaders are constantly receiving complaints from employees. Strong leadership skills mean handling these complaints with tact and fairness.
Tip: Set the example by not complaining yourself, ask complainers questions to turn them into part of the solution, and consider establishing a rule that you can’t complain unless you also offer a resolution to the problem.
While delegation may seem like a simple task, it actually requires a great deal of finesse and people skills to motivate employees to do the work and get it done effectively.
Tip: Make the goal clear and be specific about the expected results, lay out challenges and discuss obstacles employees may face, and offer available resources.
- Recognizing good work
“Strokes” – almost all people like praise and compliments. Almost everyone likes to be recognized especially if they have worked hard on the project. It may be possible to give too many kind words, but it is very difficult to do so especially if they are given in a sincere manner.
Tip: Recognize people for different types of accomplishments, celebrate good work at meetings where others can congratulate them, and make the praise personal.
- Honesty and trustworthy
You need to be honest both now and in the future. Most people will believe and follow someone they trust. Openness and candor are characteristics that most people appreciate. There are a few people who will take advantage of such traits, but the vast majority will appreciate them.
Note: The age-old Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is a good standard to follow both today and tomorrow