Soft skills get a bad rap. Yet more organizations are requiring development on the softer side than ever before.
So, what’s the deal?
“Companies have moved away from the ‘command and control’ decision-making style,” says Marie Holmstrom, the Charlotte, N.C.-based director of talent management and organization alignment with Towers Watson. “Managing day-to-day decisions takes away [leaders’] perspective and capacity to focus. Leaders must lead through others. You don’t accomplish that only with technical skills. You have to have [those skills], but to achieve the next level of success, you have to be able to lead through others.”
Research from HBR states, “Once people reach the C-suite, technical and functional expertise matters less than leadership skills and a strong grasp of business fundamentals.” In a nutshell, soft skills.