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What soft skills do you need to become a great leader?

By Fi Darby


What makes a great leader?

Is it business expertise? Specialist knowledge, or perhaps years of workplace experience?

In truth, the best leadership comes from people who have all of the above plus a well-developed set of soft skills. Goals and directives are all very well but any manager who wants to lead an effective team must also be able to provide support. 

That support can come in many forms, all of which rely on excellent soft skills.

Which soft skills do you need for great leadership?

  1. The capacity to handle resistance to ideas.
  2. The means to manage change and uncertainty.
  3. Steadfast conflict resolution skills.
  4. The ability to build and maintain morale.
  5. The confidence to turn disruption into opportunity. 
As a business leader, you’ve almost certainly started to develop your management style. To get to this point in your career, you’ve probably already picked up essential soft skills such as communication, teamwork, time-management and problem solving.

However, if you’re hungry for success and keen to move into the realms of great leadership, you’re going to need to work towards a set of more complex soft skills. The good news is there are programs of online study, developed here in Australia, available to help you do just that.

Below are some of the soft skills you need to move from being a good manager to becoming a great leader.

1. The capacity to handle resistance to ideas.

New ideas allow your business to move ahead of the times, enter recently developed markets and keep that company spark lit. However, implementing those new ideas is often much harder than coming up with them. Whether you’re a leader or a manager, resistance to change will be something you face more than once in your career.

Experience counts here but so does training. If you’re choosing between frontline management courses, look for one that includes specific units on emotional intelligence and leadership communication.

2. The means to manage change and uncertainty.

If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that unknown futures are here to stay. In other words, if you want to be a great leader, you’re going to need the confidence to steer your team through unsettling times. Amidst changing markets, technological disruption and even global pandemics, your performance under stress is going to be what matters.

Of course, it’s difficult to know what your performance will be like in any situation until you’re right in the middle of it. That’s where courses and training come in. As well as giving you qualifications, leadership certifications will help you learn a set of soft skills you can call on when tricky times arrive.

3. Steadfast conflict resolution skills.

conflict resolution concept

Imagine a workplace where everybody agreed with everybody else. You can’t can you? That’s because workplaces, especially vibrant creative ones, are made up of different personalities with different ideas and opinions. Left unmanaged, disagreements can lead to conflict.

One important way to prepare for conflict resolution is to make sure you prioritise the development of trust across your organisation. Whatever type of leader you are, strong workplace relationships are the key to high trust levels. If you’re considering studying for a leadership and management certificate, make a point of checking it includes training in effective workplace relationships.

4. The ability to build and maintain morale.

Low morale in the workplace will eventually bring down productivity. It can be the result of any number of events. As a manager the causes of some of these, such as home pressures or illness, will be out of your control but there’s plenty you can do to manage the situation. A little bit of understanding and recognition can go a long way, as can an open and honest approach to leadership.

Because this leadership soft skill is really useful in everyday life, you may already have it. However, leadership and management courses can give you the competency to use your existing morale-building skills to create a positive culture of confidence and support right across the workplace.

5. The confidence to turn disruption into opportunity.

As with any other role, leadership confidence and agility come from experience and responsibility. As your role exposes you to more unexpected situations, your belief in your ability to manage them will increase. Your team will be expecting strong leadership in turbulent times so it makes sense to prepare.

Thinking on your feet is all very well once you’ve had some experience of disruption. If you haven’t yet reached that point, studying for a leadership and management certificate can help you develop the initial level of confidence required to see you and your team through tricky times.

What are the career outcomes after completing a BSB40520 - Certificate IV in Leadership and Management?

If you’re already in a management or supervisor position and want your great leadership potential to be noticed, you’re not alone. This is why completing a certification in leadership development can make such a difference to your career.

You might be a supervisor looking to move up to assistant store manager level or you could be looking at management roles such as project coordinator or team leader. Whatever your goals, enrolment as a student on a BSB40520 - Certificate IV in Leadership and Management could be your first step towards being a great leader.

How long does it take to complete a BSB40520 - Certificate IV in Leadership and Management?

A BSB40520 - Certificate IV in Leadership and Management may take less time than you think. Once you've enrolled in this course, it can take between 12 and 18 months to complete it. 

Designed to reach all learning styles, with a range of activities and assessment, as well as all the supervisor guidance you need, Upskilled’s leadership and management training can boost any career. Get in touch today to find out how to apply and for more information on enrolment and fees.
 
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