Soft skills: What are your traits as a leader?

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Soft skills: What are your traits as a leader?
Soft skills: What are your traits as a leader?

Africa-PressRwanda. The most successful leaders have mastered both technical skills and soft skills. Soft skills are non-technical skills that relate to how a person works, for instance, through one’s interaction with colleagues, how they solve problems, and how they manage their work. Soft skills can also be used irrespective of the person’s job.

James Monari, CEO of DMF, a consulting law firm, explains that soft skills are personality traits and behaviours. Distinct from technical skills or hard skills, soft skills are not about the knowledge you possess, rather, the behaviours you exhibit in different situations.

He says, communication skills are very important qualities that a manager or leader should possess for the success of the organisation. As a lawyer, he finds it vital as it helps one prepare for and execute tasks properly.

“Teamwork is a soft skill. Any organisation needs this, from the tea person all the way to top management. This is a key support system for the business to thrive,” Monari says.

“Solving clients’ issues is a day-to-day activity and respecting timelines is paramount,” he says.

He also points out that some issues require critical thinking and decision-making in the absence of the manager, thus a very important attribute.

Monari notes that the service industry is dependent on the service delivery, and meeting expectations is key.

To him, simple traits like maintaining eye contact while speaking to show respect and sincerity, good posture, evading gestures that are distracting, are essential for every leader, as they show respect to the person they are communicating with.

Monari also highlights that communicating with courtesy, showing confidence, backing up statements with facts, giving the speaker complete attention, taking notes, reserving judgment, and being open to opinions, is what every leader should uphold.

He adds, leaders ought to have a strong work ethic, this is basically the ability to follow through on tasks and duties in a timely, excellent manner.

Bienvenu Mwizerwa, the founder of Elegant Trading Solution Limited, says that increased team performance is also a soft skill that shouldn’t be taken for granted, as teamwork is vital in all organisations. It also indicates that people are working towards a common purpose and goal, which is why they share their diverse skills in balancing roles and in collaboration with each other.

He also notes that increased team performance allows individuals to accomplish the best of their ability, hence, meeting expectations and improving communication with fellow employees and leaders.

Mwizerwa says that there is beauty in decreasing or managing stress. If one notices that stress is affecting the job performance, it is important to know the cause, for example, working for long hours, lack of communication, poor work culture, workplace harassment, and so forth.

He says, work-related stress is a result of demands and pressure which challenge their ability to cope.

Stress occurs in a wide range of work circumstances but is often made worse when employees feel they have little support from supervisors and colleagues, and little control over work processes.

“Good leaders are good at making decisions. The basics of making better decisions is to instruct oneself and make sure that you are entirely conversant about the contributing factors. The most imperative thing to recall when confronted with an important decision is to determine what type of impact the decision will have on the people involved,” Mwizerwa says.

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