In a recent article entitled “The Shift Toward Soft”, Leadership and Emotional Intelligence experts including Harvard and Tuck Professors and Daniel Goleman (best selling author of Emotional Intelligence) point out the now much more critical nature of soft skills for those in leadership.
“First, business in 2012 moving into 2013 is far more complex, fluid and interconnected across geographies and virtual networks. Technical skills have grown less static and reliable, placing an increased emphasis for executive leaders on those skills considered soft, while those they lead focus more intently on technical skills. “I could teach you the latest new way to model cash flows, and there might be a different way to do it next week,” Edmondson, Harvard Leadership Professor, said.
Modern leadership is also less about being an expert in a technical skill area and more about creating context for others to learn, become the experts and then execute quickly. Edmondson said creating context requires leaders to motivate and influence others to perform at their best. How that is accomplished is largely emotionally driven.”
If you’re taking a look at training for your organization in the coming year, certainly an emotional intelligence, or “how to communicate with others”, “how to motivate, guide, influence, and develop others”, track…is in order. The time to say “we don’t need that fluffy stuff” has passed and if you still consider it fluffy, unfortunately the employees who are best at what they do and crave real leadership and a culture of development, may say “pass” when you offer them an opportunity to work with you.