First of all: don’t focus too much on knowing how to do one thing, rather on how you know how to do something, much more important.
Difference: if you win the 100m at the Olympics, and then get caught for doping, your efforts will have been in vain, and they will leave you alone. But if you win the 100m final at the Olympics as Usain Bolt, with his smile, his hugs, his way of being loved by his colleagues, then the story changes and you will be destined to stay!
When you go to a restaurant and want to make a good impression with friends, with your wife or girlfriend, do you give more importance to the menu or the experience you will have? Will you remember that amazing fillet, that expensive bottle, or the experience that the waiters and restaurant managers will give you? We are talking about people who give you all their attention to make you feel better, so, when the high bill comes, your attitude will change profoundly based on how you have spent your hours in that restaurant.
So why shouldn’t a leader think, educate, build the same experiences within their organization? Why don’t you pay the same attention to your people, in the exact same way as you would like at the restaurant?
Why must the Leader’s attitude be different?
Getting to have Hard Skills (or Technical Skills) is clearly not trivial: not everyone manages to get there, not everyone has the opportunity to get there. Technical skills are important and, at times, basic to achieve in the world of work: it takes time, sacrifices and sacrifices. But they will only take you up to a certain point; you will certainly climb important positions and roles, but it will always be a run-up to something you don’t have.
When you enter the world of work you have to find every day the curiosity that made you choose those studies, the heart, the mind and not just strength.
Have you ever asked a Leader what soft skills ares?
Ask for 5 of them and notice how long it takes to answer. After collecting the answers, you can make a list and find the applicants (who are currently trending topics on social media and in events). I found these:
“Trust, Empathy, Creativity, Persuasion, Adaptability, Collaboration, Emotional Intelligence People Centrics, Teamwork, Problem Solving, Communication, Listening, Curiosity, Strategically Networking, Storytelling, Cultural Awareness, Leadership Skills, Delegation, Dealing with Disagreements, build psychological security, have difficult conversations ”
Surely they are excellent and all very valid, but these are values (certainly looking on google, reading books or doing training you will surely find someone who will explain them better than me). I would not like to add anything else, because you can learn a lot on these issues
– They are also essential values in life, with friends, with family, which make the difference if established in the corporate culture
But, you will agree with me, we all know that values are the expression and example of our behaviors, of our attitudes. For example: we talk a lot about trust, in these important moments, and I am convinced that it is one of the fundamental soft skills, but how do we get it? Here we return to
my premise: it is important how you do something, how you behave. You win trust step by step, day after day, with your behavior.
But then, Fausto, why did you write this article? Because I want to focus on another group of soft skills and non-technical skills that a leader must have spontaneously.
They make a difference, they bring the truth out of people. They never lie. You cannot behave one way when you are in the office and differently when you are out of the office: then you are built and maybe you are not even comfortable. Behaviors reflect who we are.
What are the attitudes, behaviors and gestures that make a new and true leader?
1 ° Do not command: Give directions and instructions based on your skills, but explain why you would do so. If you are really convinced that you are giving those indications, also explain what the weak aspects of your decision might be: “I believe that to do this, you have to do this, but you may be faced with these reactions or this unexpected result. If that happens, then do so. ” Always present a plan B to your directions
2 ° Do not react by listening to only one voice: if you get an email criticizing your team’s activities, deal with it immediately, but without attacking. Ask your employees about the genesis first, and if you find any flaws, ask your client for understanding, and explain your weaknesses, reassuring him that you will do your best to fix them. Ask your team how to fix it and help them find the solution, if possible, and rebuild the error with them to see the wrong steps, to avoid another similar error.
3rd Smile when you enter the office: that moment can affect the work of others for the rest of the day. Difficult? Are you bluffing? For 5 minutes think about the others, and say hello to everyone if you can: it doesn’t seem like a big effort, and it’s still about education!
4th Thanks whenever possible. A leader always takes the time to recognize the work of his team, even publicly, internally and when he deserves it also on social networks
5 ° Look people in the eye, always: when you are speaking for a joke, when you are arguing for an idea, when you are at odds over a thought or activity, when you are giving negative feedback or even when you thank a person, look into their eyes, otherwise they are not sincere your thanks. Look people in the eye when they ask to talk to you, it really shows that you are giving them time, it’s not a chore!
6 ° Stay more often in the middle of the offices, go to see people while they work, without the look of a train conductor. If you are in a large organization, and it is impossible for you to reach everyone, do it systematically and periodically. Spend some time in the midst of daily activities, with the curiosity of wanting to know what is happening, let them tell you some difficulties, anecdote, but without the checker’s gaze or the gendarme uniform!
7 ° Take responsibility and admit your mistakes. Leaders are also wrong and wrong more than others, because they have to make many more decisions, and with more people. Budget it wrong, never get defensive, and ask for help so people can help you when you’re in trouble.
8 ° You must have courage: in one of his famous phrases Arnold H. Glasow said that
“A good leader takes a little more of his share of the blame, a little less than his share of credit” There is no worse thing for one of your team members to take the blame for an unfortunate and sometimes ambiguous situation or outcome.
9th Be generous. When you want to do something for another person, when you want to help a collaborator in need, or when you just want to help someone because you like them, do it without thinking about what you will get in return tomorrow. My father always told me “when you decide to help a person, do it in silence and move, do not expect anything, otherwise your behavior is only of interest, it is not generosity” 10th Live with self-irony. Everyone has flaws or faux pas: even make fun of your weaknesses. This does not make you weaker, but more real and human.