As we have thankfully advanced towards the Covid exit gate, it has become clear to perceptive leaders that things have changed in their relationships with employees. The hybrid working model has become almost the norm and working hours, working patterns and work locations are, in many organisations, up for negotiation. Some Companies have resolved these easily, some not so.
As a leader and manager, it requires you to stand back and take some time to assess how well are you managing the people in your organisation in the current employment climate. Have you just picked up where you left off and are you carrying on as before? Or have you done some deep thinking as to what your team now need from you to perform at top levels?
A quantum leap in thinking on leadership and management skills is required.
This entails re-evaluating what have traditionally been known as hard and soft skills. Hard skills have historically been the skills most valued as they are relatively easy to teach and are strongly focused on the job at hand. So-called soft skills have historically been grudgingly acknowledged as a requirement for managers to have, but really existing as a side show to supplement technical skills. If there was a choice to be made, hard skills won every time.
This is no longer the best paradigm to use to guide both the recruitment, and predict the success, of leaders and managers.
The reality of today’s working world is that the so-called soft skills have come out on top and emerged as the most critical for any manager to have. They are now rightfully referred to as Power Skills and are the essential skills that any manager needs to create a top performing team that can successfully drive an organisation forward.
In the past, the use of the word “soft” has in fact discredited their value and has been a real barrier to their adoption within organisations.
If creating the right working environment for employees to flourish and prosper in an organisation is seen as key, then ensuring that leaders and managers have Power Skills is essential.
Companies find their biggest challenges not so much in the technology space, but in the values, strategy, innovation, change, ethics, culture, diversity and growth arenas.
What are Power Skills?
Power skills are basically behavioural skills:
- Communication style
- Creating and promoting a Vision
- Negotiation ability
- Team building
- Reading a room and responding appropriately
- Innovation and creativity
- Changing to accommodate different circumstances
- Understanding non-verbal cues
- Successful collaboration
Power skills are complex and are difficult to acquire.
They require emotional intelligence and the ability to be aware and mindful of what is right in front of you, rather than hinged to pre-conceived notions. They are closely linked to life skills but in a work environment also have a commercial slant. They require an element of wisdom to successfully apply. They also require a deeper understanding of what makes people behave the way they do.
Because they are behavioural, Power Skills require leaders to lead by example in both what they do and, importantly, how they do it.
Hard skills still, of course, have a critical role to play in determining success. Employees and customers alike expect a leader to have a wide and deep understanding of the technical details and workings of the products or services on offer. However, there is now a real acceptance that Power Skills are such a huge determinant of organisational success that they have been elevated to the front row.
So, how can Power skills be learned?
A commitment by the Senior Leadership Team to the central importance of Power Skills is the starting point. This will usually translate into Leadership Development programs that encourage collaborative learning. Collaborative apps can also have a part to play here.
Commit to elevating Power Skills in your organisation and reap the benefits.
Have the discussions around the benefits of having Power Skills elevated to be a non-negotiable and central management and leadership skill. Then fashion and deliver a leadership development program, one step at time, to train and grow your senior team.
We can guide and support you to have the important discussions and develop a customised Leadership Development program that moves your organisation’s thinking and implementation of Power Skills forward.
Call us on 09 445 1077 or email firstname.lastname@example.org