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Out With 'Soft Skills': In With 'Essential Skills'.

In today’s challenging business environment, change is the one constant. The pandemic has forced organisations to #reinvent and adopt new ways of thinking around such challenges as:

- Digital Acceleration

- Unpredictable customers demanding ever-increasing personalisation

- Supply chain shortages

- Hybrid workspaces and adaptable working hours

- Climate change

This is driving recognition of a different approach to workforce needs: #upskilling, #reskilling, flexible workspaces and the use of adaptable resources from the gig economy. All of these, put people at the heart of this change - empowered and supported by new technologies - to improve productivity and reconnect through a shared sense of purpose.

There is an increased focus on a workforce that demonstrates an insatiable curiosity; with a hunger to learn; skilled at working together using different platforms and environments, being prioritised over length of service and experience.

These changes demand a different style of #leadership - using more emotional intelligence (EQ), founded on connection. Achieving results through nurturing, patience, compassion & empathy. Creating environments of trust and high expectations, where every employee understands the purpose and is encouraged to learn and grow, knowing how their work contributes to the greater good.

Admitting areas of ignorance to encourage collaboration is also key. Known as the ‘Servant Leader’, this is about empowering and serving your employees to achieve their potential. Typically called ‘soft skills’ - usually attributed more to women - and frequently seen as of secondary importance to the more traditional leadership approach of ‘commanding from the front’.

But if #reinvention is the future, surely such soft skills will be fundamental to adequately respond to the ‘new normal’ of constant change, with women leaders being ever-more in demand?

Maybe we should rename them ‘Essential Skills’ and put them at the top of the list of being most desirable?

Do you agree?


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