Three essential skills for leaders

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‘Soft’ skills are the hardest skills of all.

‘Hard’ (technical) skills are relatively easy. They are what we have an aptitude for and have been trained in. Research into 4IR and the future of work tells us that soft skills are the essential human skills of the future. Our technical skills are important, but insufficient in a world that increasingly relies on cooperation rather than confrontation. Like a log in a fire, individuals shine more brightly and for longer when they are within a team rather than on their own.

These essential skills include:

Listening is more than hearing what is said. It includes drawing out shy or reluctant people and helping teams articulate what is important for them and what they are discovering.

Decision making
This involves knowing when to take the lead and make decisions and when to step back and empower the team to make their own decisions. Some leaders are ineffective because they cannot make decisions, others are overpowering because they make them all.

This includes an ability to reflect on a broader canvas than just what works for the organisation.

Search for and recruit these skills. Make them the focus of your teambuilding.


Contact Simply Communicate to help with training these and other leadership skills.


Ian Webster

From Methodist minister to Customer Relations manager in a computer bureau to HR Manager in a newspaper printing and publishing company. Now focussing on training and developing people and HR & people-management consulting.

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