There are four specific aspects of leadership that make a great deal of a difference in your level of professionalism and the overall performance of your team. Good leadership is built on skills that go beyond scheduling, budgeting, and change management. Understanding how to utilize strategic stakeholder communications to uncloak hidden objections while navigating camouflaged negotiations will directly improve your leadership skills and the influence of your role.
A 2019 Global Talent Trends study conducted by LinkedIn showed that 92% of talent acquisition professionals stated that soft skills are equally or more important to hire for than hard skills, and 89% said that when a new hire doesn’t work out, it’s because they lack critical soft skills.
So, why are these key values not being taught in any technical leadership curriculum?
The skills you should be mastering
Stakeholder and Hidden Objections
Each project has a set of stakeholders that will directly influence the outcome, and as a project manager it is your responsibility to know who they are and what they want. Unfortunately, stakeholders and hidden objections are often missed at the opportune time resulting in unforeseen escalation of costs.
‘Uncover Concealed Partners & Concerns’ will refine your skills in identifying stakeholders that might not be obvious. Using a simple technique, we teach you how to amplify your stakeholder identification process, as well as how to implement these skills to properly uncover objections and expectations that might not be in plain sight.
A 2021 discovery report on the most sought after skills highlighted that nearly two thirds of respondents placed a higher priority on “soft” skills. “Leveraging data from 82 million employer job postings, America Succeeds announced findings that reveal the critical importance of Durable Skills training for long-term success in the workplace” Emsi, 2021.
Virtual presentation skills have rapidly become a crucial skill to master during the shift to working from home. It’s never been more challenging and yet simultaneously important to be able to captivate a room while both entertaining and influencing your audience.
‘You ARE a Public Speaker’ – it’s something that you do every day. We focus on specific areas of public speaking, presentation power, and team briefing to increase the comprehensibility and impact of your communication skills. Using our framework enables you to plan, deliver, and capitalize on your objectives.
These skills are often disregarded as soft or interpersonal, the influence that they have is oftentimes the difference between effective versus incompetent leadership. A 2020 Business Insider article mentions that the importance of fostering these skills should not be ignored. “In the age of automation these skills are becoming more important. Although some tasks at work will be automated, soft skills like emotional intelligence and the ability to teach, won't be.”
Not everything is on the table during a negotiation. Discussions can start before the meeting is even scheduled. Learning how to see the concealed aspects of a negotiation will afford you the peace of mind necessary to make more cognizant decisions in your favor.
‘Don’t Leave it ON The Table’ is a valuable approach to negotiating based on making well-informed decisions. This framework for negotiating is straightforward and geared toward understanding the impact and potential of your options. Mastering your competency skills in this area is vital toward managing and maintaining healthy professional relationships with your team and additional stakeholders.
Even though there has been more focus placed toward “soft” skills in the past few years, studies show that mastering these competencies has been crucial for leadership roles well before this time. A 2016 article from Hult International School of Business states that “Building cooperative relationships, responding effectively to multiple priorities and working well with people from diverse cultural backgrounds are just three of the many soft skills required by today’s global leaders. So much so, in fact, that 92% of the respondents in Deloitte’s 2016 Global Human Capital Trends report rated soft skills as a critical priority.”
Early communications affect your project just as much as planned meetings later on. Understanding the role that communications plays in your project, team, and organization will help you identify the appropriate guidelines necessary to lead you to success.
‘Persuade Through Deliberate Conversation ’ the critical role of the relationship between an organization’s strategy and a particular project, and how this correlation affects team commitment levels. Understanding these systems, which are already taking place, and managing their connectivity is the groundwork toward successfully achieving higher expectations and deliverables.
This means that the time and energy you spend expanding your competencies in the ‘soft skills’ give you the power to be able to enter, leave, or shift career paths, industries and organizations.