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Description: Top 10 Leadership Soft Skills | Do You Know About EQ? | IQ-EQ--Which is More Important? | Strategies to Teach Soft Skills

Volume 8 Issue 2 March 2014 Soft Skills vs. Hard Skills What do You Need as a Leader When human resource personnel that hire employees are asked this question their response is BOTH The ideal leader member of your local or state affiliate Board you ll need to assess what skills you possess what skills are ready to go and what skills you will need to polish. You should ask yourself these questions How do I relate to others is a person who exhibits strengths in both areas. Hard Skills are teachable abilities or skill sets that are easy to quantify. Hard skills can encompass things such as proficiency in a foreign language college degrees computer proficiency etc. These are things that you learn or achieve through education or experience. Soft Skills are much harder to quantify and are subjective and frequently known as people skills . These skills relate to either innate or acquired abilities to relate effectively to other people and promote positive interactions. They include such things as the ability to communicate patience effective time management and motivation. As you move into a leadership position either as a new director of an early childhood program or as a (soft skills) Is it generally a collaborative relationship or do I tend to work alone to effectively utilize the skills of others or am I a one man or woman show (soft skills) skills) in terms of organization and time management Do I know how to delegate The Leadership Letter March 2014 Am I a good manager (hard Do I possess the knowledge SOUTHERN EARLY CHILDHOOD ASSOCIATION or experience base necessary to do the job (hard skills) pare myself to effectively manage either my employees or my colleagues on a board What do I need to do to pre- Topics for 2014 Leadership 101 January 2014 1--Top 10 Qualities of a Good Leader March 2014 2--Soft Skills & Hard Skills What a Leader Needs May 2014 3--Communication & Feedback A Critical Skill Set July 2014 4--From Buddy to Boss Making the Transition September 2014 5--Creativity & Flexibility New Approaches November 2014 6--Commitment & Trustworthiness Inside this issue Top 10 Leadership Soft Skills Do You Know About EQ IQ-EQ--Which is More Important Strategies to Teach Soft Skills 2 3 3 4 Leadership Commission Members Anita Dailey GA Marti Nicholson OK Susan Barnes VA Crystal Campbell SC Jeffrey Leffler MS Top Ten Leadership Soft Skills What makes a strong leader Regardless of whether you re beginning a new job assuming a new leadership role within your local or state organization or other personal endeavor a blend of both hard and soft skills is necessary to effectively lead. We all know that the acquisition of hard skills such as that advanced degree in early childhood can make the difference on a career path. What we may not know motivated and acting in the best interests of your organization you can t expect anyone else to do so. What motivates your members and helps them become invested in your mission vide consistent and effective feedback are developing an environment that makes delegating much easier and more successful. is that soft skills are just as critical if not more so as one moves into an increasingly responsible role within an organization. Delegating Do you allow others to have responsibility for tasks within your organization or do you think you must do it all yourself Utilizing the skills and resources at your disposal is a mark of a strong leader. Positivity Do you come across as someone who is the glass half full or someone who is the glass half empty Your attitude will go a long way to influence how tasks are completed and goals reached. Trustworthiness Can persons rely on your word Do you demonstrate your integrity in your words and actions Do the persons you are leading respect you Without trust your leadership will not be effective. Creativity Are you finding new and different ways to accomplish tasks or are you doing it the way it s always been done Great leaders approach problems and opportunities with non-traditional solutions and alternative pathways. Feedback Do people hear from you Are you affirming when things are good or are you only providing feedback when it s negative or there s a problem Leaders who pro Responsibility The buck stops here. President Harry S. Truman kept this sign on his desk. Great leaders take responsibility for their actions and for those who are under their management. These leaders acknowledge mistakes and move forward in a positive manner to rectify those mistakes. Commitment Strong leaders follow through on what they say they will do. They do what it takes to successfully complete a project and expect others to do the same. Being willing to go with the flow is probably one of the most significant soft skills that someone can possess. Very few things in life go as planned and the ability to make changes along the way marks a strong leader. Very often those changes turn out a more positive result than the first plan. Employers and boards are increasingly looking for persons who possess these soft skills. They are confident that they can train someone to be proficient in a required job task however soft skills are more difficult to teach and they are looking for persons who already possess those skills. The soft skills that are most often sought are Flexibility Adaptability Communication As a leader you must be able to communicate to your employees or board members about everything from organizational goals to specific tasks. You must master all forms of communication and become proficient in the media that your employees or board uses to communicate. That may mean leaving your comfort zone and learning to use Facebook or Twitter particularly if you re working with younger members. Motivation If you re not When all is said and done a strong leader is 1) someone who values themselves and the persons with whom they work 2) demonstrates creativity and flexibility as tasks move forward and 3) knows how to work with people. Source Top 10 Leadership Soft Skills retrieved 2 24 14 http jobsearch.about.com Page 2 T H E L E A D E R S HI P L E T T E R You Know About IQ....How About EQ Soft skills is a term often associated with Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQ) or the cluster of personality traits social graces communication language personal habits friendliness and optimism that characterize relationships with other people. Soft skills are related to feelings emotions insights and they provide an important complement to hard skills and IQ. Research around the impact of the presence of soft skills and success is a hot topic and many corporate entities are now mandating emotional intelligence training utilizing EQ tests as part of the hiring process. So if these skills are so important what are they Are some more important than others The Six Soft Skills that Everyone Needs In a survey conducted in 2008 in the state of Washington employers identified six areas that employees were lacking. Adaptability Problem Solving Critical Observation Conflict Resolution than it is to train them on a particular software program. If you re going to teach soft The employers stated that employees could not communicate effectively (write effective memos share ideas etc.) could not work in teams had limited conflict resolution skills and were unable to problem solve or observe critically. They deemed these six skills to be necessary to both professional and personal success in the workplace. If these skills are so necessary to success is it possible for persons who do not possess them to learn them The answer is YES. For managers and leaders there are two things to remember If you re wishing to help per- skills to others do what is necessary to boost your emotional intelligence quotient. This might include taking classes such as college courses that mix technology with areas such as effective written and verbal communication teamwork cultural understanding and psychology. Take a writing or speech class to boost your communication skills. Communication Skills Teamwork and Collaboration sons learn soft skills show-- don t tell. Because soft skills are so tied to emotional intelligence they cannot be demonstrated in the same manner as hard skills. It s much harder to teach someone how to work effectively with another person Teaching soft skills is a show and tell process. And when you really think about it isn t this exactly what we re doing with young children We spend every day boosting their EQ by helping them to acquire these skills. Perhaps our greatest contribution can be to teach very young children how to develop their soft skills....teamwork and sharing anyone Source Six Soft Skills Everyone Needs retrieved 2 24 14 http career-advice.monster.com IQ or EQ Which is More Important As research has continued on intel- Today researchers recognize that a ligence and what that term really high IQ is not a sole predictor of means the ability of an IQ test to success. Although individuals with predict future success has been high IQ s are usually successful in severely diminished. Once the both education and business other gold standard of whether some- factors such as emotional intellione would be successful scientists gence are now recognized to play have now come to the conclusion a much more prominent role. that the standard IQ measurement The ability of successful people cannot predict future success. T H E L E A D E R S HI P L E T T E R M A R C H 20 1 4 VOLUME 8 ISSUE 2 leaders to interact effectively with colleagues and a variety of people can make more of a difference than a high IQ. Researchers have found that individuals with strong leadership potential also tend to be more emotionally intelligent. Page 3 Page 3 Did You Know SECA has a series of nine Board orientation training modules that are available on-line on the Leadership page. The modules include a background paper a PowerPoint presentation (and questions) for Board training and inSOUTHERN EARLY C H I L D H O OD A S S O C I A T I O N formation about resources. One of the modules will be useful in further research on topics in this newsletter. Module 5B The Board of Directors Training Recruitment All materials can be downloaded from the website at http www.southernearlychildhood.org leadership.php. You might also be interested in these past issues of The Leadership Letter January 2014 November 2011 and May 2009. You ll find them archived on the Leadership PO Box 55930 Little Rock AR 72215-5930 1-800-305-SECA (7322) Fax 501-227-5297 Email info southernearlychildhood.org Promoting Quality Care and Education for Young Children and Their Families SECA is a Voice for Southern Children www.southernearlychildhood.org page of the SECA website. Strategies to Teach Soft Skills If you re in a leadership position and feel that either your employees or board members need some assistance in developing those soft skills that will help you move your organization forward there are several strategies that you can employ to help. Set up a system in which communication is facilitated and structured. If folks don t communicate effectively try a template or form to help them organize their thoughts. Schedule times when regular communication is to be conducted...model how that communication is to occur. (This can be particularly important if staff members are communicating with parents.) Bring in a coach to identify problem areas and develop training to assist. Everyone can brush up on their writing skills. Do it in an environment that has everyone participate. This might be for a new marketing brochure or curriculum guide or everyone could work on their training verification portfolios. oped those soft skills along the way. Make sure that the personalities mesh and give the mentors some guidance on what you would like for them to do. Promote teamwork and delegate tasks to these teams. Working with a volunteer board is a natural opportunity to develop soft skills. On these boards everyone needs to help carry the load work together communicate effectively and show adaptability and flexibility. Structure your organization s activities to ensure that all participating individuals have the opportunity to showcase those developed or developing skills. Above all model the behavior you re trying to develop. Provide opportunities for individuals to do presentations either at center meetings or during a board meeting. Keep the topic focused the presentation time short and assist that individual as needed. Develop mentoring programs. Pair a new employee or Board member with an experienced one who has devel-