Daily Buzz: Want to Be a Better Leader? Work on Your Soft Skills

To be successful, leaders must have the people skills to work with others. Also: Digitization is not enough for associations.

The most successful leaders have not only mastered the technical skills, but they’ve also mastered soft skills, write Allana Akhtar and Caroline Hroncich on Business Insider. Leaders need the interpersonal skills to maintain relationships, inspire others, and build a productive work environment.

“In the age of automation, these skills are becoming even more important,” Akhtar and Hroncich say. “Although some tasks at work will be automated, soft skills like emotional intelligence and the ability to teach won’t be.”

Akhtar and Hroncich say leaders should be able to:

Negotiate. “Look at the situation through the other person’s eyes, be prepared to offer several options, show that you’ve heard and understood the other side, and offer to help out in some way to demonstrate that you’re a team player.”

Build morale. “Regularly communicate information, changes, and company news so employees don’t feel out of the loop. Provide growth opportunities, and explain the impact your employees have on the company and its mission.”

Communicate effectively. “Communicate with courtesy, show confidence, back up statements with facts, and try to avoid tentative language like ‘might,’ ‘maybe,’ ‘possibly,’ and ‘ASAP.’”

How Associations Can Make a Digital Transformation

Digitization is important for associations, but the goal should be digital transformation, writes Tom Jelen in the DelCor blog.

“Members will almost certainly appreciate any steps that are taken to digitize your offerings. However, it’s less likely that your members will choose to renew their membership because you allow them to pay their dues online. Digital transformation requires associations to dig deeper to truly understand what members value,” Jelen says.

For example, associations shouldn’t stop at putting their applications and membership dues payments online.

“It’s still critical to digitize one’s business. In fact, digitization is often the first step in an organization’s IT maturity. The important point is that digitization isn’t enough,” Jelen says. “Associations need to look for ways to innovate their business to meet the needs of their future members.”

Other Links of Note

What does a great thank-you email look like?Kristina Leroux of Nonprofit Marketing Guide breaks it down.

The associations that distinguish themselves in 2020 will be the ones delivering great member experiences, says Amanda Kaiser on the Smooth the Path blog.

Roger that: Microsoft has added a walkie-talkie feature to its Microsoft Teams app. The Verge has the story.

(designer491/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Michael Hickey

By Michael Hickey

Michael Hickey is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

Got an article tip for us? Contact us and let us know!