'Soft' or 'Power' Skills, not Technical Skills, will take our career where we want it to go

careerdevelopment leadership management Apr 30, 2024

We know that technical skills or hard skills puts us on our career path but that it is ‘power skills’ or ‘soft skills’ that will get us where we want to go in our careers. Underpinning all leadership is self-awareness, the cornerstone of ‘power skills.’

Leaders with developed self-awareness have the following strengths

Understanding strengths & blindspots: Leaders who possess self-awareness have a clear understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. This awareness enables them to leverage their strengths while being aware of how these strengths, overplayed, become weaknesses. By leveraging the strengths in themselves and in their teams, they can build a team filled with complementary strengths in their team members and delegate work accordingly. A good place to start with understanding our strengths and blindspots is a Clifton Strengths Finder assessment and a coaching debrief. We have several Gallup certified strengths coaches on the COM team.

Empathy & EQ: Self-aware leaders are better equipped to empathize with others and understand the emotions and perspectives of those around them. This emotional intelligence allows them to build strong relationships, communicate effectively, and foster a positive and supportive work environment. They are attuned to the needs of their team members and can respond appropriately to their concerns and challenges

Adaptability & Growth Mindset: Self-aware leaders are more adaptable and open to change. They are willing to challenge their own assumptions and views and to embrace new ideas and to learn from their experiences. This adaptability enables them to navigate complexity and rapidly changing environments with confidence continuously refining and improving their approach as they lead their teams through continuous change.

Authenticity & Integrity: Self-aware leaders are authentic and genuine in their interactions with others. They are interested in people, taking the time to understand the drivers and motivators of their team members. They understand their values, principles, and beliefs, and they lead with integrity, aligning their actions with their words. This authenticity fosters trust and respect among team members, creating a culture of transparency and accountability within the organization

Effective Decision Makers: Leaders who possess self-awareness are better equipped to make sound decisions. They are able to bring their team into the conversation welcoming diverse perspectives and opinions. They have a clear understanding of their own biases, preferences, and motivations, allowing them to approach decision-making with objectivity and clarity. By taking a step back to reflect on their thoughts and emotions, they can make more informed and rational decisions that are in the best interest of their team and organization

In summary if you want to develop your power skills, start with self-awareness which is the foundation upon which effective leadership is built. It enables leaders to understand themselves, relate to others, adapt to change, lead with authenticity, and make sound decisions. By cultivating self-awareness, leaders can unlock their full potential and inspire others to do the same, driving success and growth within their organizations