Clear, Effective Communication
As managers, our goal is to help the members of our team complete tasks in a manner that is efficient, consistent, and aligns with the company’s overarching strategic goals. To accomplish this, we must clearly articulate what those strategic goals are—while also detailing the specific work and processes that will be required of our team to reach them.
By becoming a more effective communicator, we remove confusion among our team and ensure everyone's aligned and working toward the same goals.
Social Intelligence (SI)
According to Psychology Today, social intelligence is one of the best predictors of effective leadership and therefore one of the top leadership competencies. Social intelligence is about our capacity to understand different social situations and dynamics. It also comprises our ability to operate effectively in these various social situations.
Organizations change constantly. Some of these changes are relatively small while others take place over a longer period of time. A good example of this are the automation and/or digitization processes many organizations are going through right now.
Effective leaders know how to prepare, support, and guide their people through these various organizational changes.
Being a good coach & being trustworthy
Leaders need to be many different things to many different people. One of them is being a good coach, not only for those in our team but also for our peers.
This means, for example, knowing lead someone to go outside their comfort zone, giving useful feedback when necessary, and helping people find their personal vision.
A word on trustworthiness is in order here, not just because trust is crucial for a successful coaching relationship. It’s also vital for leaders in building and maintaining strong relationships with the people they manage.
Being authentic – Put (very) simply this means be yourself, at all times.
Having rigor in your logic – This is about ensuring the quality of our logic and our ability to communicate it.
Compassion – Aiming our compassion directly towards the people we are interacting with, really listening to them and immersing ourselves in their perspectives.
Organizational citizenship behavior
Put simply, organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) is a term that’s used to describe all the positive and constructive employee actions and behaviors that aren’t part of their formal job description. It’s anything that employees do, out of their own free will, that supports their colleagues and benefits the organization as a whole.
The five most common types of OCB are:
Altruism – This occurs when an employee helps or assists another employee without expecting anything in return.
Courtesy – This is polite and considerate behavior towards other people. Examples of courtesy at work include saying good morning, asking a co-worker how their holiday was, how their kids are doing, how a project they’re currently working on is going, etc.
Sportsmanship – This is about being able to deal with situations that don’t go as planned and to not demonstrate negative behavior when that happens.
Conscientiousness – In a work setting, this means that employees don’t just show up on time and stick to deadlines, but that they, for instance, also plan ahead before they go on holiday so that their colleagues won’t be drowning in a big workload.
Civic virtue – This is about how an employee supports their company when they’re not in an official capacity. Civic virtue can be demonstrated by employees signing up for business events such as fundraisers, or running a (semi) marathon for a charity with a team of co-workers
Leaders need to set a good example to inspire others. One way of doing so is by demonstrating the OCB they would like to see in others themselves.
Emotional Intelligence (EI)
Emotional intelligence is about our ability to understand people’s emotions and emotional situations.
It’s also about our capacity to understand and manage our own emotions.
A highly developed level of emotional intelligence is a hallmark of strong managers and leaders. Someone with a keen sense of self-awareness, compassion, and other social skills is someone who can motivate and influence others—an important quality for managers to exhibit.
This is a leadership competency that fits both this category as well as the ‘competencies for leading others’ category. It involves helping others in the organization, whether they are fellow leaders or people in your team, in avoiding or resolving interpersonal conflicts.
Conflict management is linked to something that organizational theorist Fons Trompenaars calls the reconciliation competency. Reconciliation is, as Trompenaars puts it, ‘the art of combining’. Rather than making a choice between two seemingly opposite opinions, or asking people to compromise, you find a way to combine them.
Interpersonal skills are also referred to as people skills or soft skills. Examples include, among others, active listening, giving and receiving feedback, (non) verbal communication, problem-solving skills, and teamwork.
If there’s one thing we learned from 2020, it’s how important it is to be able to quickly adapt to rapidly changing circumstances. This goes for everyone in the workforce, but especially for leaders as they need to support and guide others – and the organization – through these sometimes challenging times. As such, agile leaders aren’t afraid of change; on the contrary, they embrace it.
Good leaders also have the ability to continually learn, unlearn, and relearn, also referred to as learning agility. They know how important it is to keep developing, growing, and using new strategies to tackle the increasingly complex problems they face in their organizations.
Leaders often need to make decisions. Not every decision will be an easy one and sometimes deciding to do something – or not – means taking a (big) risk. That requires courage.
Courage also is about standing by your values and people and defending them in front of others when necessary.