The Soft Skill That Matters

Even before Covid hit this year, changes were taking place in how companies manage annual or quarterly performance reviews. There is a movement away from numeric scoring and boxes that are checked with “does not meet expectations”. Now, some companies are pushing back performance reviews altogether while others are adjusting goals and lowering expectations. Since many of us are under significant stress at home and work these days, the review process at many firms is being modified to be kinder and gentler, more empathetic and caring.

One of the companies I’m working with has moved to a coaching model for performance reviews, which demands a manager who takes the time to really listen, ask good questions and be more empathetic. It encourages employees to be active in the process and managers to have frequent check-ins throughout the year, while focusing on the goals of the company. Yes, it takes more of a concerted effort but it seems to be paying dividends. Empathetic leadership is the name of the game!

I think we all have empathy. We may not have enough courage to display it.
Maya Angelou​

Worth the Share

The skills that companies look for when it comes to their leaders and managers is also shifting. We are moving from authoritarian, autocratic, transactional or bureaucratic leaders to more authentic, agile, affiliative or even salient types of leaders.

What we do know is that soft skills matter. How we treat others, open up to others and show our vulnerability makes a huge impact on company culture and performance. One important aspect is empathy. Empathy is the ability to understand and share another person’s feelings, joys and sorrows. Developing an empathetic leadership style can pay dividends.

Read on.

And Finally...

Work is busy, especially for those of us who are closing out the fiscal year, and as the holidays ramp up, so does our stress levels. Now more than ever, self-care is critical.

Think about what you eat, how often you move and how well you sleep. A healthy diet is linked to better moods, lower depression and more energy. Exercise is critical to increased blood flow and improved memory. A good night’s sleep is tied to increased focus and creativity and improved empathy. Yes, EMPATHY!

Take care of yourself…as they say on the airlines (remember them?) “Put your oxygen mask on first before helping others”. Remember to prioritize you own self-care.

Happy Holidays, Mary Jo

To learn more about my 1:1 executive leadership coaching, custom workshops, the Career Transition program or just to connect, you can reach me at [email protected]