14 June 2023
9 August 2022
Whether a person is new to management or has been in a management position for a long time, it is important that they regularly sharpen their soft skills to take their team to new heights.
Here are 6 soft skills to consider to help managers better manage and mobilize their teams.
Knowing how to align a team around shared goals is important to ensure that everyone is moving in the right direction! Indeed, what could be more complicated than working with people who are going in all directions? When everyone puts their energy in the right place, you avoid unnecessary work and increase performance…
…as long as you don’t fall into the micromanagement trap. Micromanagement has a tendency to demobilize and disempower staff and is the opposite of what you want to accomplish as a manager.
Being a manager sometimes requires demonstrating courage in the workplace. For example, managers may have to discuss a performance discrepancy with a member of their team or intervene in a delicate situation such as a case of incivility. Conflicts may also need to be managed from time to time!
However, it is by daring to support their point of view, by owning up to an unpopular decision, or by having difficult conversations that managers gain respect and credibility. Courage is one of the keys to inspiring leadership. And let’s remember that working alongside an inspirational person is a great source of engagement!
Delegation is the ability to transfer a task or a responsibility so that the other person is able to take it on in the best conditions. And when you are a manager, there are many tasks to delegate.
But delegating is not as simple as you might think. First of all, you have to dare to do it. Indeed, for some people, especially those who are new managers, delegating is not always a reflex and can be uncomfortable. As a manager, taking on too much can make your team feel underutilized or undervalued. Conversely, delegating does not mean getting rid of the tasks you don’t like. Rather, it is a great opportunity to develop the potential of your team members by offering them tasks and responsibilities that match their ambitions and skills.
Studies show that there is a direct link between staff engagement and organizational performance. In fact, according to Gallup, happy and motivated teams are 21% more profitable than unmotivated teams.
But how do you mobilize your team? This is the question on the minds of many managers!
However, there are concrete levers that managers can activate to mobilize their teams. All they have to do is know what they are and apply them consistently and authentically.
We know: the only constant… is change!
So another useful soft skill for managers is change management. This is especially true since we are currently experiencing (and will continue to experience) significant periods of fast-paced transition, including remote work, hybrid work, and labour shortages.
Indeed, when a person masters the rules of the art of change management, they are able to help their team better accept change, adjust, and seize opportunities where they might have seen difficulties. They are also better able to intervene with team members who are having a harder time with change, in order to transform their resistance into engagement.
Finally, communicating in such a way as to exert a positive influence on those around you is an admirable and powerful force. Some people are born with this natural talent and hardly need to practice it. For others, it must be consciously developed (yes, it is possible!). In any case, to become a credible leader who inspires trust and gets a team to rally around common goals, it is important to develop your talent for influence.
Of course, this list of skills is not exhaustive and there are many other soft skills that are essential for managers who wish to manage and guide their team in a mobilizing way: feedback, high-impact recognition, time and priority management…
That said, starting with these 6 soft skills is a good starting point to create a solid foundation to tackle the specific challenges managers face on a daily basis.
So where do you start?
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