When you think about self-development or development of a team in terms of soft skills, there are 9 key soft skills that one can consider to be essential and that are usually missing from many executives. These soft skills are spread across 3 categories – professionalism, critical thinking and followership…Category a – Professionalism
1. Self-assessment – being self-aware and able to candidly assess one’s own strengths and weaknesses as well as one’s performance against desired standards.
2. Personal responsibility – the ability to focus on what one can control directly – e.g. personal behavior – and managing the response to factors outside one’s own control.
3. Positive attitude – maintaining and conveying a positive and enthusiastic outlook in interaction with others. This is particularly important in situations where there is complexity, uncertainty and difficulty.
4. People skills – ability to interact and communicate effectively with individuals and groups and a key part of this is presenting, listening and empathy.
Category b – Critical thinking
5. Learning – having a curious mind, questioning assumptions and constantly striving to acquire new information to build one’s knowledge and skills.
6. Problem-solving and decision-making – ability to consult, identify and consider multiple options to choose the course of action that can lead to problem resolution and an effective outcome.
Category c – Followership
Everyone knows and talks about leadership but how many people know what followership is?
7. Adaptability – knowing the importance of molding oneself to better align with the needs of the organization rather than expecting the organization to change to suit the individual.
8. Teamwork – ability to work well in groups and teams and knowing how to balance self-interest with team interest. This also implies being able work with shared goals and celebrating the success of others.
9. Service orientation – calibrating around what you have to offer rather than what you expect or want from others. This implies genuine concern and respect for the needs of others whether they are customers or colleagues.