When you want to grow and scale your business, one of the key factors to making sure your growth goes off without too many hitches is to have a team with the right soft skills. Because job skills can be taught, those skills, although a necessity, can be learned by the person you hire for your team. Soft skills such as working with a team, organization, and the ability to grow your emotional intelligence, are all workplace skills that are innate to a person and are much harder to instill. Therefore, you’ll need to find team members who already come with the soft skills your company needs to grow.
But which soft skills should you look for when vetting and hiring new team members? Take note of these specific soft skills to determine which ones matter the most to your company if you’re looking to fast-track growth and significant results for your business.
Emotional Intelligence for Relationship Building on Your Team
Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, be empathetic with, and manage emotions for yourself and to be conscious of the emotional welfare of the people on your team. A key relationship-building skill in the workplace, having emotional intelligence is essential for your team members if you’re looking for rapid company growth.
Emotional intelligence, or EQ, can help your team stay mindful of rising anxiety levels during growth phases. This is vital for being aware of when to address elevated stress levels to keep morale, engagement, and productivity at an optimal balance. In addition, being mindful of your team’s morale is essential to retaining staff, especially when you’re on the path to company growth.
Using your own EQ can also help you regulate your own emotions. As a leader, you need to understand when and how to keep your emotions in check. In addition, you’ll need to know when to leave your home stress at home and when and how to check your emotions at the door, so you can be there for your team.
Seeking Innovation and Growth Opportunities for Your Company
Opportunity and innovation are at the forefront when looking to advance your company quickly. So keep an eye out for this crucial management skill for rapid growth. You’ll want your new team member to have the ability to notice gaps and use them to give your company an advantage, says Raven Waterman. “Leaders who can innovate by taking existing solutions and creating new or improved ones position their teams to proactively address their target market’s needs,” she says.
You’ll want to look into allocating and scheduling time to reflect and think critically about your team’s tasks and if the tasks they are doing will ultimately put your business on the path to hitting your yearly goals. “When leaders spot gaps, they can identify potential opportunities within their industry. However, they should avoid chasing every new idea and instead hone in on specific ones aligned with the team’s core values and mission.”
Cultivating Trust within Your Team
All leaders should be aware that their reports are looking for respect and an opportunity to learn and grow. When you cultivate trust with team members, they’ll give you their best work. So, when your team is at its best, you can do your job as CEO and focus on the bigger picture.
If team members are hired into a rapid growth company, they most likely have entrepreneurial skills and thrive on being a part of something bigger than themselves. Therefore, trusting the people you hire and fostering an environment where celebrating trying new things and ‘failing fast’ is essential to your team moving forward with considerable momentum. On the other hand, suppose trust isn’t a key component of your team. In that case, you’ll see a significant amount of time and resources wasted on meetings, micromanaging, checking up on tasks, and other “busy work” that leads to wasted time, money, and energy.
Tap into the Individual’s Strengths on Your Team
The most efficient teams know each other’s strengths and how to leverage them to accomplish team objectives quicker. To know and understand which strengths your team members have, the best place to start is to utilize CliftonStrengths, an hour-long assessment that helps you understand and make the most of your strengths in the workplace.
So get to know each of your team members and understand their unique strengths. Next, think of ways to combine each individual’s strengths in your team into collective wins. Finally, you can delegate the projects to the individual or group of people best suited for the task.
The Key Management Skill of Effective Delegation
Speaking of which, effective delegation is a crucial management skill for scaling your business. And while wearing many hats is commonplace for a small business owner to sit, keeping that position in your company will not lead to the growth of your business – only to burnout. Growth means more work that needs to be accomplished on time, and managers need to have their mental energy in check. As a company CEO, you can focus on guiding your company’s growth and evaluating your progress to see how close you are to reaching your business goals. Understanding and implementing which tasks to assign to specific team members so they are accomplished correctly and in a timely manner allows you to be focused on the big picture rather than wasting time taking care of other tasks in your business that can easily be delegated to another team member.
The Ability to Create SMART Goals for Your Business
Smart goal-setting goes hand in hand with delegation. And as one of the most critical soft skills for leaders, using those SMART goals gives you a path to success. Once you have your SMART goals in place (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Bound), you can break down your big goal into smaller, more tangible steps that team members can work toward. Looking at the smaller steps that will lead to the outcome you want to achieve in a timely manner is crucial for scaling operations.”
Why Strong Communication Skills are Essential for Your Team
Add strong communication skills to your list of essential team-management skills because you’ll need them to navigate fast-paced growth. When you can communicate changes to your team, your team will work with less stress and anxiety. The result will allow development without damaging the company culture and the mental health of your employees.
Leaders need to understand their team’s readiness and ability to navigate change. If a leader sees growth and change as a positive aspect of the company, the team will follow suit. For your team to share your vision as a leader, you’ll want to share your vision and anticipate and respond to your team’s concerns as a continued, regular part of the growth process of your company.
In addition, you’ll want to have clearly defined expectations and communicate those expectations to your team. In a high-growth environment, it’s vital for leaders to clearly define where their job ends and the team picks up.
There’s a tendency to act quickly and step on toes in an early-stage, high-growth company. Instead, make sure to formulate and have detailed, clear roles and responsibilities and clear communication, which are all key elements for efficient and productive growth in your company.
Listening to the Concerns of Your Team
When you want someone to know how much you care, let them know you care about them! Listening to your team’s concerns, even if you can’t remedy them right away, is one of the most effective soft skills a leader can consistently implement in the work environment.
Because listening skills are an underrated aspect of effective communication, you’ll want to make these a priority on your list and be aware of how much you’re listening to your team. Having good listening skills is vital if you want to drive rapid growth because you can find valuable information that can change your growth trajectory by being a good listener. Innovation and crucial information come from the front lines of your team, and listening to them is the best way to find out what needs to be done to move your team forward.
Give people the time and space to give feedback on how their jobs are done. Allow the freedom to experiment with different ways of implementing tasks, even if these new activities or processes take more time. Because the next thing you know, you’ll have an aha moment that leads to a game-changing innovation for your team. You could also solve a problem that was holding your growth back for your company!