Top 3 Soft Skills Companies Look for in Managers

Plus how you can acquire and hone them.

We are all no strangers to soft skills. Touted as a key management skill, this borders on ambiguity at times. Sure, we know that communication and leadership is part of soft skills to have. But what are the specific components of it? How to acquire and hone these skills?

With the changing economy and a shift in the industries’ focus, the kinds of soft skills emphasised by companies tend to change. Looking at an economy that is increasingly relying on automation and providing quality service, here is our take on the top soft skills to have in a corporate environment and how to gain them.

       1. Conflict Resolution

As a manager, you are the bridge between your team and the upper management. Conflicts are bound to happen between you and your team when it comes to the directive provided by the C-level leadership. It could also happen between you and another team you work with closely on projects. Sometimes, clashes happen for simple reasons such as a difference of personalities.

Three people discussing

A valued manager is not only able to manage resolving differences and opposing opinions but is capable in coaching the team into solving their own conflicts. Yes. If you know how to teach your team on the best practices in solving their differences, you get a high performing team! You need to be a master in conflict resolution first.

One way to learn this skill is through experience. It is a long method and requires a lot of patience to learn the unique ways to resolve arguments among different personalities. A more efficient way of learning is through professional coaching courses. Coaching equips you with the tools to de-escalate tensions. This is done through recognising your own triggers, understanding your style in resolving disputes, as well as acquiring the tools to solve it effectively.

Man taking picture2. Self-Awareness

One question that managers like to ask potential hires is “what is your weakness?”. Just as you expect your team to know themselves well, a good manager understands one’s own shortcomings. It doesn’t just stop at your own weaknesses but also having a curiosity to know qualities that others know about you that you don’t, as well as uncovering aspects of you that nobody knows about you, even yourself.

Being self-aware is what make a good manager great. They are able to form positive interpersonal relationships and connect. As a team player and leader, this soft skill helps you to foster a harmonious team. Coaching is an effective way of discovering who you are. Through a conversation with a coach, you get to understand and hone your strengths while conquering your weaknesses.

Business man

3. Mental Agility

Managers with mental agility are people with foresight, flexible and curious learners. They are the ones who anticipate potential problems and are always five steps ahead. These managers are valued for their ability in taking part in the company’s directive process.

So how can you acquire this skill? It is all about being constantly curious. Get to know about the latest news in your industry or areas surrounding it, see the big picture and start getting involved in what competitors are up to. This enables you to formulate the next steps based on informed decision or an educated guess.

Now that you know the top 3 skills companies look for in a promising manager, have you mastered those skills? We want to hear from you. Share with us how you attained these skills and your experience in the comments section!

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