Social Intelligence - is the most crucial leadership skill in the future…!
Long time ago management was replaced with leadership in most companies. A great deal of companies are still debating whether top management should have long-lasting industry expertise or a generalist profile is better.
The need for differentiated attention and motivation to employees has proven needed and suitable for many managers in order to have success. Success is often measured in financial KPI’s, but now also in communication of values and ability to attract talent. Hard facts are challenged by soft skills and finding the right balance can be difficult.
90% of all managers see themselves as empathetic, however 85% of all employees do not see their manager as empathetic. Perception and self-awareness can be difficult.
Post corona we have all become more digital and time efficient with our work. With less transportation, working from home, and no talk at the coffee machine – we have all been given 1-2 hours every day, which we have transformed into being even more digital and effective in our work. But have we improved ourselves and our work? Or have we merely transformed the hours to a more isolated working space?
One thing is for sure, managers are now more puzzled than ever.
How do you provide leadership to a team sitting in 16 different locations? How do you foster coherence, belonging and loyalty to the company when the team only meets in full during online meetings?
Do you have to throw a party everyday to get your staff to meet up at the office? Distance management was not part of my MBA or any studies I took.
Many managers find themselves troubled and in a new difficult situation. Leadership is paying attention to the individual and yet foster a collegial trust and winning spirit.
The need for communication has changed and being authentic and present leader requires new thinking. In addition to this, the past decade has fostered a new era where all employees from production floor to C-level very often express their opinions and stories online through social media to large crowds. So-Me is a dimension a manager must master in order to be visible, authentic and present anno 2023. Not all managers have had media training and they risk missing out on the game of attraction talent and also representing the company online.
To bridge the gap of todays leadership the manager must have very good social skills. Financial and administrative skills alone will not embrace employees now and in the future. The agendas today for managers include diversity, digitalization, sustainability, equality and it is expected that managers take a stand and speak up. However, these topics where not in the school curriculum when todays C-level studied for leadership.
The best way to assess social skills is by interviewing with examples, observations over time in various settings, references from manager and employees, evaluate ability to listen, assess skills within communication and social capacity.