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Blog > 10 Soft Skills Executive Coaching Can Help You Develop

10 Soft Skills Executive Coaching Can Help You Develop

Improve your soft skills and become a stronger leader
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What do all the successful executives you know have in common? Beyond their industry and technical expertise, it’s likely their soft skills. Indeed, you might recognize quite a few leaders who have ascended to high ranks with minimal technical abilities yet have primarily advanced due to their proficiency in soft skills.

The importance of soft skills in advancing one’s career and leadership capabilities is well-established. These skills, which include adept communication, emotional intelligence, and related competencies, are essential for effective collaboration, influencing others, and ultimately propelling team success.

The Research underscores the pivotal role of soft skills in professional achievement. A study from 2010 revealed that a staggering 75% of job success over the long- term hinges on interpersonal abilities, leaving a mere 25% reliant on technical knowledge. Echoing this sentiment, a 2009 study concluded that 85% of an individual’s success is due to soft skills, in contrast to just 15% attributed to hard skills.

Yet, mastering soft skills goes beyond the basics of casual conversation by the water cooler. An executive coach can be instrumental in honing these skills, pinpointing areas for improvement, and crafting targeted strategies for enhancement.

Want to learn more? Below are 10 important soft skills you can develop with the guidance of an executive coach.

1. Communication Mastery

A proficient leader is synonymous with being a proficient communicator. However, leaders who fall short often misconstrue effective communication as merely the capacity to converse with their team. The reality is that effective communication encompasses far more.

A truly effective communicator is adept at active listening, responding with thoughtful feedback based on what they’ve heard. They recognize the significance of non-verbal cues and the impact of written words alongside spoken language. They skillfully combine these elements to conduct meaningful meetings and presentations and provide their teams with clear instructions and constructive feedback.

An executive coach can assist in refining these communication skills through exercises in self-awareness and practice scenarios, enhancing your leadership effectiveness.

2. Emotional Intelligence

Emotions significantly influence team dynamics in a manner that can’t be entirely removed, making emotional intelligence a vital component of effective leadership.

By employing self-awareness exercises and role-playing scenarios, an executive coach can guide you in recognizing the influence of emotions on your team’s interactions and teach you to empathize more deeply with these dynamics. They can also equip you with strategies for managing conflict resolution within your team, fostering a supportive atmosphere that enhances overall productivity.

3. Decision Making

Yes, decision making is an actual skill, not just an action. A talented, emotionally intelligent, and skilled leader uses critical thinking and problem-solving to make informed decisions based on strategic planning and risk management.

If you struggle with decisions — either with making poor decisions or with making decisions at all — an executive coach can help you develop decision-making skills using decision-making models and pros and cons evaluation exercises.

4. Accountability

A capable leader not only practices self-accountability but also understands how to maintain team accountability in a manner that motivates outcomes without harming team spirit.

If you struggle with owning your actions and their outcomes, as well as inspiring your teams to do the same, an executive coach can help by introducing you to commitment devices and accountability partnership structures that will not only assist you in developing your personal integrity, but that will also help you in setting clear expectations for your team, as you create a culture of accountability.

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5. Time Management

The perpetual feeling of time scarcity in your day may stem from a lack of refined time management skills, a key aspect of leadership. Mastering the art of prioritizing tasks is essential, and when the workload remains overwhelming, knowing how to effectively delegate to your team can lead to the desired outcomes.

As you cultivate proper time management techniques, you’ll observe a ripple effect: your team will handle their projects more adeptly and meet deadlines with increased productivity and reduced stress. An executive coach can guide you through this transformation with the implementation of SMART goals and prioritization strategies.

6. Team Building

Avoid falling back on the overused team-building exercises that have become a staple in corporate environments. Building a team is about more than just introductory activities or social gatherings after work.

As a leader, utilize your soft skills to design innovative and meaningful team-building events and coaching sessions. These can lead to a more collaborative atmosphere, enhance team rapport, and nurture a stronger sense of community within the workplace.

An executive coach can assist you in this process, offering insights on how to use team dynamics workshops and collaborative project simulations to achieve these goals.

7. Goal Setting

All the great time management and delegation skills in the world won’t matter if you don’t have goal setting skills that help you identify the right objectives for your team and create actionable plans to achieve those goals. With executive coaching, you can learn how to align your teams’ goals with organizational visions and put together a road map, using your finely-honed communication-related soft skills.

8. Adaptability

More and more, adaptability becomes a crucial skill for leaders. It can make or break your team, as the business landscape shifts and evolves regularly. Through change management simulations and resilience training, an executive coach can teach you how to navigate changes with agility and openness, as you take advantage of innovations and market shifts, seeing each new evolution as an opportunity.

9. Negotiation Skills

Whether you’re engaging in discussions with a prospective client, a competitor, or your team, the art of negotiation is critical for securing mutually beneficial results. An executive coach can equip you with strategies to settle conflicts, acquire resources, and conduct negotiations that lead to the satisfaction of everyone involved.

10. Leadership Presence

Finally, a soft skill universally shared by successful leaders is the capacity to exude a commanding and influential presence. Once you’ve cultivated this presence, you’ll find it easier to mentor those who most require guidance, inspire your teams, and motivate everyone in a manner that draws them to your leadership, much like moths to a flame.

The Bottom Line

If your career has stalled and you’re not sure why, it might be because you haven’t fully developed the necessary soft skills to advance your professional path. In contrast, if you’re currently in a leadership role and feeling ineffective, it may be a sign that your soft skills need to be strengthened.

Whatever the case, if you find it challenging to hone these 10 essential soft skills, an executive coach can help. To get started, schedule a consultation with an Arootah Executive Coach today.

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Disclaimer: This article is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be and should not be taken as professional medical, psychological, legal, investment, financial, accounting, or tax advice. Arootah does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or suitability of its content for a particular purpose. Please do not act or refrain from acting based on anything you read in our newsletter, blog or anywhere else on our website.

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