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How Life Coaching Skills Can Help You Be A Better Leader?
What are soft skills?
Soft skills have gone through many different names – sometimes they’re now called “durable skills” or “21st century skills”. These “soft skills” are the human qualities that determine our success in work and life – abilities such as establishing a vision, communication, leadership and working with people who have different viewpoints.
The real world impact of soft skills
Recent studies by Harvard University and the Carnegie Foundation reveal that only 15% of job success comes from technical know-how or, what we would call “hard skills”. An incredible 85% is attributed to having well-honed people skills.
Thinking outside the context of work, it often seems that almost all our success can be traced back to strong interpersonal skills. So what constitutes personal success? Strong relationships, enriching experiences, and the ability to make good decisions that benefit us and others. These skills are ever more crucial in a world where loneliness is alarmingly common and where technology often keeps people apart or causes more pain than harmony.
The downfall of over-emphasizing hard skills
Our educational system leans heavily on teaching technical skills that will be useful for gaining employment, and for a long time educators believed that the “soft skills” would be picked up along the way. This technical emphasis is truly obvious when high-performing employees are promoted based on their knowledge, and then struggle with managing others in roles that need strong people skills.
No matter how good someone is at technical skills – developing the skills to lead others and manage teams inevitably becomes more valued as the years go on.
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Between work and personal life
Often high performers struggle with “soft skills” in both their personal and professional life. Used to a constant stream of validation at work, the absence of it can be detrimental. They might not have the tools to be vulnerable, to share their struggles, or to cope with the societal pressures of always performing at a high level.
In many cases, it's this very vulnerability and open communication that can pave the way for understanding, compassion, and support. But many of us are conditioned to believe that vulnerability equals defeat, not realizing that it can be the key to deeper connections and success in life.
Connecting soft skills with coaching
Coaching skills ARE durable, soft skills, and it’s the foundation of what people learn in life coach training programs.
Coaching is first and foremost, all about effective communication. It’s about creating a safe and confidential space, asking the right questions, listening actively, and understanding other people. These skills are equally crucial at home, where understanding, empathy, and clear communication are the foundation of solid relationships.
Teamwork and collaboration, another important soft skill, is about understanding and valuing diverse perspectives and using those insights to create something greater than we could accomplish alone. Coaching offers tools to recognize, confront and address our biases, (whether those are conscious or unconscious) promoting a more inclusive environment both at work and at home.
Leading with vision and strategy, is about so much more than just reacting to problems. Coaching emphasizes self-awareness, emotional regulation, empowering others, and fostering long-term goals.
More companies are singing the praises of coaching – and saying that coaching skills are the future of management. As Brian Kropp from Gartner states, the future will need leaders with more social-emotional expertise than technical prowess. In such a landscape, coaching tools not only give you a competitive edge in your career but can significantly improve your personal life too.
In an ever evolving world built on technology, “human skills" are invaluable. They drive success and help us form stronger connections. And with the modern shift in leadership dynamics away from command and control towards a more collaborative outlook, there's never been a better time to invest in human skills.
Whether you're an individual looking to grow or an organization looking towards the future, the soft skills developed through coaching are the way forward.
Ready to build your “human skills”?
Coaching is a rapidly growing field that is continuously evolving. Even for those with incredible “soft skills”, there’s always more to discover. If you’ve not already earned your coaching certification, there’s no better time than now to begin. Grounded in science, Lumia’s ICF accredited coach training program features authentic instructors, a robust curriculum, and fellow students dedicated to becoming a collective force for good.