[vimeo id="125074634"] The most rewarding parts of leadership are the relationships you develop. At the same time, the most stressful parts of leadership can be the relationships you deal with. This is why strong social skills are critical to effective leadership. Daniel Goleman, in his pioneering work on Emotional Intelligence, calls social skill the “culmination” of every other dimension of emotional intelligence. Why? Because every aspect of emotional intelligence and leadership involves people. Here are three ways social skills can be an effective tool in leadership along with my own thoughts.
First, social skills achieve different results than technical skills. Achievement is not limited to pie charts and presentations. People with strong social skills often are “working” through relationships. Two co-workers chatting may appear to be “wasting time” when, in fact, they are achieving a stronger relationship which will result in more effective work later on. Of course, this isn’t a license to spend the day at the water-cooler. Some people really are just being plain lazy. The takeaway here is that the best results often are the relationships you built, not the presentations.
Second, social skills can achieve faster results than technical skills. Sometimes teams can stall when they get into an internal gridlock. Different sides want different things. Presenting a systematic explanation as to why one choice is better than the other often doesn’t help. Why? Because the team’s emotions are involved. Telling one side, “You’re wrong. Here’s why…” isn’t going to convince them to agree with you. However, close and personal dialogue will encourage people to be willing to see your side.
Lastly, social skills achieve the best results with technical skills. When a leader combines both knowledge and social skills, there is very little they can’t do. Consider the gridlock example. A leader may have the necessary social skills to direct the team towards a goal. If the leader doesn’t have the technical skills to make that goal a reality, the team’s faith in their leader will vanish. If you bring both aspects to the table, you will achieve the best results.
Thanks for checking out my blog. I hope these words encourage and inspire you to develop your own legacy of empowered mentors. Please feel free to share your thoughts or comments below. Thanks again and have a great day!