Essential Soft Skills for Successful Executives

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 Have you detected the major change of skill need in the labor market? Due to the interaction of the industrial revolution, increasing labor resources and other economic factors, a remarkable transformation in business mode has happened in every domain. As the result, the skills which are needed in the workplace are changing rapidly. However, what is known for sure is that the value of soft skills is increasing, and it would reduce the threat of replacement by automation. In this blog, you can find some soft skills that are significant for a successful executive. These kinds of skills could enhance your emotional quotient and improve your ability to devise a strategy, innovate and manage an organization (Goleman 2013).

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Goleman, the author of The Focused Leader, indicates that intense self-awareness can enable administrators to use more resources for a better option and make contact with authentic selves. Always keep a watchful eye on the information sent by your body is one of the main factors of self-awareness. The more attention you pay to your body, the more intensive self-awareness is. A high degree of self-awareness can lead to a strong gut feeling that can help you to make a decision. According to the example which is given in Goleman’s article, most successful bank traders are not only focused on their intuition when they are making a decision. They prefer to pay attention to all the emotions expressed by their internal signal as they would utilize them to evaluate their gut feeling. They would be more careful if they are aware of their anxiety rather than the people who ignore it. Self-awareness also enables you to get in touch with your true selves, which is also essential for leadership. An authentic leader is a self-actualized person who can recognize their strength and weakness and emotional status (Kruse 2013). If an administrator can realize strength through self-awareness, he can use it in the right situation and make his contribution to his company. Moreover, he can also prevent himself from acting inappropriately in the workplace by being awareness his shortcomings and emotions. The leader can be more realistic about himself and trustworthy for his employees.

Another skill that has been pointed out in The Focused Leader is self-control. This is the ability that enables an executive to focus on his goal and prevent him from being distracted by his desire and setbacks. Another example of willpower is demonstrated in this article. Several children are asked to make a decision that they can eat the marshmallow given by experimenters right immediately or waiting for 15 minutes for 2 marshmallows. This research indicates that most children with great self-control would be more successful in their career than the ones who ate the marshmallow right away in that experiment. Indeed, with this kind of capacity, fliting out undesirable distractions, the leader can be more efficient while working. What is more, he can set a good example and inspire his employees. Nowadays, the positive leadership style has become more and more significant in the workplace.

Building a strong relationship with his subordinates is playing an important role in a successful executive’s career. The capacity for empathy and social skill is indispensable for him to create relations with his followers. The article claimed that the administrator with empathy and good social skill can find common ground and his opinions are decisive. In addition, people would love to work with him. Empathy can be distinguished into three categories, which is cognitive empathy, emotional empathy, and empathic concern. Cognitive empathy enables the executive to understand his colleagues’ thoughts. With this kind of skill, the leaders can understandably clarify their opinions and comprehend others’ ideas at the same time, which would make the conversation or meet more productive. Emotion empathy is a capability to enter others’ feelings and empathic concern can lead the executive to sense what people need from you. An intensive emotional empathy and empathic concern can help the executive to strengthen a good relationship between him and employees. He can offer to help his followers and understand their feeling in good time. In other words, treating them with empathy could create loyalty and trust. It is known that efficient work cannot be done until the leader has a strong and loyal backup. However, the article also stresses would the bad side, as the leader could be suffered by being over empathetic.

What is more, great social skill is essential for leaders. Goleman demonstrates that people who are sensitive to social activities are less likely to do something inappropriate than others. Executive can be an influencer with good social skills, as they can be persuasive in a seminar. Moreover, the article shows that the more power the people get, the less sensitivity to a social activity they have because they are more likely to interrupt others. As the result, some better ideas from the lower ranks cannot be heard if the executive with poor social skills likes to interrupt them.

Additionally, Goleman points out that executives with the ability to focus on strategy can be more innovative. The two factors of strategy are exploitation of your strength and exploration of new potential. An experiment claim that human feels cozier when doing exploitation because he only needs to do the job that he has already been good at. However, he needs to make a cognitive effort to do exploration and a great innovation often starts from exploration.

It is known that being creative is another indispensable skill of an executive. An innovative leader can select useful information from a mass of data while not being distracted by the one that is not relevant to the problem to be solved. A creative executive can help the company reduce the threat from its rivals and build a connection of developing market, which can gain opportunities to get more market share.

The last skill mentioned by Goleman is system awareness, which enables the executive to manage the organization as a complex system. However, the article emphasizes that some of the good system thinkers are lack empathy. That means they cannot feel others’ feelings or understand their thoughts. As the result, the leader needs to balance their system awareness and capability of empathy.

In conclusion, an effective and successful executive needs to have an intensive self-awareness skill to identify his strength, weakness, and emotional status. He can be more realistic about himself and reliable to his followers. Additionally, having empathy and good social relationship can build a close tie with others, which would get a decisive position for the leader. Meanwhile, the capability of exploration and focusing on the relevant information enables the executive to be more creative. At last, having good system thinking can help the administrator to manage his organization.                

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