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Top 10 Leadership Soft Skills

Jean Leslie, a senior fellow with the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), highlights these 10 soft skills for business leaders.

Self-awareness: Leaders must have an accurate picture of their strengths and weaknesses.

Learning agility: This is an individual’s readiness, willingness and ability to learn from experience.

Emotional intelligence: Emotional intelligence is a constellation of abilities that help leaders deal with their emotions and the emotions of others.

Resiliency: Bouncing back from adversity.

Building relationships at all levels: Being able to show compassion, sensitivity and have a sense of humor with others — above and below in organizational structure — and being able to cultivate these relationships toward positive business performance.

Political savvy: The ability to influence people to obtain goals. The heart of being politically savvy, according to CCL, is networking, reading situations and thinking before speaking. Not every leader likes politics, but it’s present in every organization.

Motivating and engaging others: How many leaders have been successful when they cannot motivate their teams?

Building and leading effective teams: This is one of the top challenges CEOs report, according to CCL. Building trust, setting strategic direction and breaking down silos are some of the micro skills needed.

Creating a culture of trust and respect: This has become a big challenge since the rise of virtual communication, yet trust and respect among team members — and chiefly among leaders — is paramount.

Communication: Voicing goals and inspiring others is vital — but so is listening.

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