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What Soft Skills Should My Frontline Leaders Have

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How can your leaders focus on crucial leadership skills to drive the outcomes that you are looking for?

A study by the consultancy, Woohoo, of 700 people found that close to 40% of “bad days” could be directly tied to a lack of support that team members felt from their boss. 

Think about that. 

If you knew that 40% of your bad days were tied to lack of support, would you want to do something about that to make your organization better?
If you knew that 40% of your bad days were tied to lack of support, would you want to do something about that to make your organization better? Click To Tweet

Are Hard Skills Better Than Soft Skills?

The myth that we have to deal with here is that hard skills are more important than soft skills. This has been a misconception that has perpetuated many operating environments (whether it is a distribution centre or a manufacturing plant).

The answer is no.  In fact, soft skills probably determine your success more than the hard skills (at least from a leader’s perspective). 

Failure After an Untrained Promotion

There was an organization that tended to promote people based on their technical skills. They would take the person who was most proficient and then make them a supervisor. 

Unfortunately, this resulted in many of them struggling as they took on these leadership responsibilities, because the skills that earned them the promotion were not necessarily the ones that would make them successful as a leader. 

Should You Be Leading? 

Many people who are technically “good at a job”, are not necessarily “good at training” someone else at being technically proficient themselves. 

What can you do about that? 

There are three essential skills that you should focus on to help your frontline leaders succeed.
Many people who are technically “good at a job”, are not necessarily “good at training” someone else at being technically proficient themselves. Click To Tweet

Skill Number One: Self-Awareness

How can you increase the awareness of your frontline leaders to understand how their impact and their interactions with their team?  

Your leaders need to be aware of how they affect team members’ engagement, production, and productivity of your plant or production location.

That is why self-awareness is a key skill that, we of course, address in our courses by providing a Frontline Leadership Strengths Assessment. 

Skill Number Two: Learning Agility 

Agility is an interesting word. Back in the good old days, you could look ahead in your business three, five, or even ten years, and map out exactly what you are going to need to be successful. 

What is needed are people who are good at changing things as they go along based on the circumstances. 

You only need to look back to the first two years of COVID to see how much pivoting and changing organizations needed to do to remain successful. 

Leaders need to embrace that kind of agility going forward. 

Skill Number Three: Motivating Others

Creating a motivational climate usually involves:

  • Showing people appreciation for the work that they do
  • Involving them in decision making
  • Keeping them in the loop in terms of communication
  • Paying attention to them as human beings

You are not interacting with machines, these are people, and they want to be cared for as human beings. 

Additional Essential Skills for Leaders

Once you focus on those three essential skills, then you will have the soft skills that you need to be successful as a leader. 

After you have mastered this, you might decide that you would like to improve other areas of your leadership abilities. You can do that by going to our complete Frontline Leadership Training Program and browse that on our website at UniqueDevelopment.com. 

Why not start a conversation with us about how we can provide the leadership training that your people need to have the ultimate success?