Soft skills are essential for successful professional development. According to Stanford Research Institute International and the Carnegie Mellon Foundation, 75% of long-term job success depends on soft skills.
The benefits of having employees with strong soft skills include better customer service, improved communications and team interactions, stronger relationships, and increased efficiency.
Here are 8 crucial soft skills supervisors need to have:
”86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures,” according to ClearCompany.
Supervisors with developed communication skills are able to use listening techniques and nonverbal strategies to improve conversations.
It is essential for a supervisor to be able to balance time constraints and a heavy workload while managing other employees and projects.
Having excellent communication skills allows supervisors to speak with impact, whether it be off-the-cuff dialogue or brief updates to their team. It is essential to keep thoughts organized and to the point.
Giving and receiving feedback is another area that can be improved with developed communication skills. When using the right techniques, feedback can be used to reinforce or change behavior.
2. Conflict Resolution
Conflict is when change happens and stances differ. When a supervisor has the ability to manage conflict well, issues come to resolutions and successful relationships are developed.
A supervisor’s ability to define and identify conflict styles, causes, and methods for handling conflict can improve the department’s or organization’s productivity.
According to CPP’s Global Human Capital Report, “where training does exist, it adds value: over 95% of people receiving training as part of leadership development or on formal external courses say that it helped them in some way. A quarter (27%) say it made them more comfortable and confident in managing disputes and 58% of those who have been trained say they now look for win–win outcomes from conflict.”
Supervisors with leadership skills help bring accountability to their teams by creating a supportive and motivating work environment.
Leaders are able to delegate and manage a wide variety of skillsets. It is important for supervisors to lead their teams in the most effective way by recognizing where the strengths are, where improvement is needed, and how to properly use the skillsets of each team member.
4. Critical Thinking
Critical thinking is a crucial skill in understanding how to methodically, strategically, and collaboratively make decisions, solve problems, and foster innovation.
A study by Pearson notes that “the higher up the ladder a position is, the more essential critical thinking becomes.”
A supervisor with critical thinking skills has the ability to develop a step-by-step process from targeting the problem to developing a solution.
Critical thinking also helps in situations in which groups have different thinking styles and need a collaborative environment created to successfully work through issues.
5. Interpersonal Skills
Different from communication skills, interpersonal skills are important for a supervisor to identify and build a purposeful team culture within an organization.
Interpersonal skills enable an individual to develop highly effective teams that are built upon consensus, effective meetings, social style understanding and relationships.
6. Time and Priority Management
Supervisors with time and priority management skills can boost productivity and efficiency.
Being able to balance a heavy workload and time constraints while managing and delegating other employees and projects is an essential skill.
It is ideal for supervisors to understand what is urgent and what is important.
The University of Georgia conducted a study that found people who practice good management techniques often find that they are more productive, feel less stressed, get more things done, have more energy, and feel better about themselves.
Supervisors with time and priority management skills are able to understand the differences in employee’s time and priority management and adjust projects and workloads to ensure success.
7. Diversity and Generational Differences in the Workplace
The University of Florida studied workplace diversity and found that “respecting individual differences will benefit the workplace by creating a competitive edge and increasing work productivity. Diversity management benefits associates by creating a fair and safe environment where everyone has access to opportunities and challenges.”
It is crucial for supervisors to have the ability to be aware of workplace diversity and understand the gaps and differences that exist as well as their impact.
Being aware of diversity issues helps supervisors appreciate the different experiences and places value on the impact it has on the workplace.
8. Problem Solving
Good problem solving skills are fundamentally important within the workplace.
AchieveGlobal reports that “successful problem solving translates into enhanced productivity and increased profit.”
A valuable supervisor is someone who not only knows how to take an issue and find the root of the real problem but also has a process for solving the problem in a structured manner. Supervisors with excellent problem solving skills can greatly benefit any organization.