Following a recent article on managerial competences it seemed prudent to address leadership. Once again the market place is full of competency and behavioral assessments that assist leaders in discovering their core strengths.
- Social Intelligence
A working definition here includes sensitivity to social situations and the ability to function effectively in a wide variety of social situations. Leaders who are surrounded by a variety of people with diverse backgrounds and who manager to engage these people in conversation have this trait.
- Interpersonal Skills
The phrase “soft skills” is representative of having interpersonal skills. Traits include active listening, as well as, public speaking skills
- Emotional Intelligence
Having emotional intelligence includes paying attention to nonverbal cues of others. Leaders who are adept at expressing emotions appropriately while paying attention to others are displaying EI.
Prudence is being able to see others’ perspectives. It also involves being open to the points of view of others. Requesting and considering the input of others demonstrates this trait.
A second cardinal virtue is “Fortitude,” or courage. When you are able to take calculated risks, stand up for your beliefs, and take action to do the right thing that is a demonstration of courage. Standing firm in your principles takes courage especially in the face of opposition or criticism.
- Conflict Management
Solving inner or personal conflicts is equally as important as becoming involved with employees or managers in conflict. Working with those in conflict to develop collaborative and synergistic solutions is paramount.
- Decision Making
Leaders understand when to make a decision, when to consult with the larger team, and when to bring others into the decision making process. Perhaps the most crucial trait in decision making is the knowledge bred from experience when it is the right time to step back and let others decide.
- Political Skills
An effective leader is a good political player, who understands the dynamics involved, and is able to put in place processes to keep the organizational dynamics stable.
- Influence Skills
As a leader having mastery in terms of influencing others is necessary. The skills developed in the social and interpersonal areas serve leaders well in exercising this trait equitably
- Area Competence
In today’s business world team members may have more relevant knowledge and expertise than leaders. However it is still important that as a leader you add to the competency level of the enterprise.
The list presented is far from exhaustive. It also builds on having core soft skills in place. On review which competencies are your strong suits? From that, which are the ones that can be improved upon? Lastly what would add or take away from the list?
Marie-Helene Sakowski, Business Consultant SME’s, email@example.com