The word “soft” sometimes carries connotations of fragility, but when it’s paired with “skills,” the result is anything but weak. In fact, it usually describes a set of characteristics and behaviors that are needed to form strong connections with others – empathy, compassion, and authenticity. At AchieveUnite, we’ve started calling them essential skills, since decades of research have proven time and again that the most effective leaders demonstrate these skills consistently.

Today, as we are leading multigenerational, remote teams during widespread political and economic uncertainty, the development of these essential skills is no longer optional. The good news is that these skills can be improved with consistent intention and application and the payoff is worth your investment. Interpersonal relationship and trust building, compassionate and clear communication, active listening, and leading with empathy will help you build more effective teams and retain and motivate your top contributors.

We would be remiss if we didn’t also address the impact of AI on leadership. Gartner predicts that by 2024, artificial intelligence and automation will perform 69% of managers’ routine work. The Harvard Business Review says this transformation will lead companies to a choice: reduce management or update what managers do.

Essential skills to the rescue – When you reinvest your time into truly leading and inspiring, you’ll become a valuable leader who is known for driving innovation and adding to a positive organizational culture.

This article from Forbes goes a bit deeper into how to develop some of these essential skills:


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