As the world changes, so does the hiring market in response to the demands of professional candidates. Generation Z, set to become the most populous generation on earth, will bring with them a unique perspective on careers and success in the workforce, setting in motion dramatic changes across industries.
To help leaders navigate these shifts and work more effectively with this younger generation, we explored often-neglected leadership skills that can lead to stronger and more compassionate teams.
While conventional traits like strategic thinking and communication skills are vital, these underrated qualities can make a significant impact. Unfortunately, these skill sets are frequently overlooked in favor of other pressing business affairs, but they will prove indispensable to those who want to thrive in the changing world of work.
According to the 2023 Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) Empathy in Business Survey,
Workers feel that mutual empathy between company leaders and employees leads to increased efficiency (88%), creativity (87%), job satisfaction (87%), idea sharing (86%), innovation (85%) and even company revenue (83%).
This reinforces the importance of empathy in leadership, as connecting with team members and creating a positive work environment can not only promote morale and team building but also drive better decision-making by considering the human impact of choices.
Consider demonstrating empathy towards team members through thoughtful questions that show your genuine care for their well-being!
Self-conscious leaders are more aware of their own emotions and inclinations. As a result, they are better equipped to handle stressful situations, make mindful decisions, and communicate more effectively with their team.
Practicing self-awareness can also help leaders understand their own biases and become more open to new ideas and perspectives.
A Harvard Business Review study found that self-aware leaders are more likely to be recognized by their employees as genuine, fair, trustworthy, and reliable.
That’s because of their capacity for self-awareness and willingness to be transparent about their flaws and shortcomings. Developing self-awareness as a leader is an ongoing process that requires conscious effort and reflection. A few things you can try are to seek feedback, keep a leadership journal, engage in coaching and mentoring, or even conduct a self-assessment.
At Zenger Folkman, Forbes developed an assessment that measures resilience and gathered data from over 500 leaders. The survey included ratings from peers, managers, direct reports, and others on 40 types of behavior.
They found that resilient leaders (those in the top 10% rating for resilience) had a significant positive impact on their teams compared to those rated at the bottom 10%.
which explains how solidity in leadership grids in maintaining a positive outlook and helping teams to stay motivated during difficult times.
Resilient leaders can help their teams navigate challenging situations and ultimately achieve long-term success. Strategies to improve resilience include reflection on past setbacks, fostering a growth mindset, and staying curious.
Unfortunately, research indicates that not all leaders are effective listeners. A 2020 survey by Emtrain found that 1 in 10 workers doesn’t believe their managers will listen to their complaints, which can harm employee performance and morale.
Active listening, on the other hand, demonstrates that leaders value their team members’ opinions and perspectives, leading to higher employee satisfaction, engagement, and improved communication.
By practicing active listening and taking swift action, leaders can address concerns efficiently and collaborate with their teams on solutions.
Some helpful methods to practice active listening include avoiding interruptions, asking open-ended questions, summarizing, and paraphrasing, and practicing active silence.
5. A Clear Vision
Maintaining a clear sense of purpose is an essential aspect of effective leadership. It’s not uncommon for companies to become solely focused on achieving deadlines and hitting KPIs at the expense of reconnecting with the reason behind their work.
To prevent this, it’s the responsibility of leaders to periodically remind their teams of the shared vision and goals they’re working towards. In a recent video interview with the Chairman & CEO of Robosoft Technologies Inc., Ravi Teja emphasized the importance of remembering
“why do you do what you do in the first place.”
Leaders must understand what motivates them to work and what they’re contributing to, and they must not lose sight of these goals over time. Ensuring employees remain consistently motivated towards shared objectives is crucial for team success.