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The Must-Have Skills Every Leader Needs

Published Tue Jan 21 2020


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By Elizaveta Stronskaya

“The only thing you can rely on is change.”

It seems like I’m hearing this cynical old trope more often these days as everyone struggles to keep up with constant change. But despite the cynicism, not everything is in a constant state of flux.

And one of the steady things that we can rely on are a set of evergreen leadership skills. They may not be sexy. But they are timeless and critical. And when used together, they will work magic across leaders' daily routines and spark actions in others around them. They fall across three categories:

  • interaction skills

  • business judgment skills

  • personal mastery.

In this post, I’ll explore just the interaction skills. But you can learn about the business judgment skills and personal mastery in my full blog post.

The skills needed to communicate and connect with people are the interaction one leaders apply in their many daily conversations. These include the conversations needed to engage their teams and networks and to drive productivity and results.

The skills leaders need through their career include:

  • active and authentic listening to make people feel valued, respected, and heard

  • questioning that guides interactions and promotes active involvement in the conversation

  • purposeful conversations and achieving the intended end results

  • strong working relationships based on trust and respect

  • good coaching and a balance between seeking and telling information.

  • feedback to encourage others and help them improve

  • effective positive and developmental feedback between managers and employees.

These skills have been a focus for leaders for decades but in the age of technology are becoming increasingly important. They also are the ones that help team members meet practical and personal needs that occur in every conversation.

These skills are what enable leaders to motivate their teams to deliver with purpose and involvement. Also, organization-wide adoption of these skills creates a common leadership language and supports the cultural transformation and wide workforce engagement.

Find out more about learning core leadership skills.

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