What are the market influences driving the need for soft skill leadership capabilities?


Managers who want to stay relevant in their jobs and employable in the future need to enhance their soft skills.

Research shows that soft skills are underpinned by emotional intelligence and include things like motivating and engaging team members, facilitating and maintaining a mentally healthy workplace culture, and adapting behaviour to best suit the situation and people involved.

The market influences driving the need for leaders with good soft skills are seeing organisations double their efforts with emotional intelligence. More emotional intelligence assessments are being used in recruitment and development than ever before, and if you haven’t already, you will most likely undergo an emotional intelligence assessment as part of the next leadership role you go for and be asked to undergo an emotional intelligence 360° assessment if you’re being considered for your organisation’s talent pipeline.

The first market influence driving the need for leaders with finely tuned soft skills is the rate of change organisations are experiencing. CBE recently reported that the average organisation has experienced five enterprise-wide changes in the past three years, and that 50% of them are rated as complete failures. The CBE report highlighted poor leadership soft skills as the principle cause of change project failure. Change, by its very nature, causes stress and anxiety both for leaders and their teams. This means that having leaders with good soft skills underpinned by emotional intelligence helps to ensure the success of change projects. By examining the impact improving leaders’ EI can have on change projects,  leaders with high levels of emotional intelligence are better able to manage the stress and anxiety of change and motivate team members to deliver project outcomes.

The second market influence increasing the need for more leaders with high levels of soft skills is the rise of mental health injuries in the workplace. Mental health injuries now occur more frequently in the workplace than physical injuries. One of the main causal factors of these injuries is low levels of emotional intelligence in leadership, leading to poor workplace relationships, ineffective change management and work-related stress. Emotionally intelligent leaders are better at identifying stress, improving workplace relationships and driving change.

The third market influence increasing the need for leaders with high levels of soft skills underpinned by emotional intelligence is the rise of artificial intelligence and machine-lead learning. Machines now and in the future will be better than leaders at many of the IQ-related tasks of leadership such as diagnosing and solving business problems, interpreting financial information, identifying process improvement opportunities and so on. The remaining capabilities that artificial intelligence will have trouble replicating include key soft skills such as understanding, motivating, and interacting with other people. Emotional intelligence dependant skills like social persuasion, resilience and empathy are going to become the leadership team differentiators as artificial intelligence and machine learning take over other tasks that were previously done by leaders.

CMPI is proud to be partner with Genos International on their Emotional Intelligence products and would love to talk to you on how you could utilise these tools for yourself or your business in 2019

Adapted and reproduced with permission from Genos International

Keep reading...

View more