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How to Help Your Team Manage Soft Skills

When your focus is on people's well being, the entire environment shifts

Source | | Aytekin Tank

“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” — Jack Welch

Many years ago, when I first founded my company, JotForm, I thought success came down to finding the right formula. If I could increase my technical skills and do XYZ, then I could reach clear, measurable goals. I thought that being able to demonstrate my abilities was what led to becoming a great leader, but the problem was that I was only thinking of me. If I could become the most creative, innovative and capable version of myself, then everything would miraculously fall into place.

Here’s what I’ve learned since then: Helping your team manage soft skills is just as important, if not more so, to maintaining an engaging and productive work environment. 

Wait, what exactly are soft skills?

Think of all the demanding, complex tasks your team performs on a daily basis, from writing reports and answering emails to dealing with demanding customers. There’s an element of stress to all of these activities, whether external or internal. No matter how much an employee loves their job, there are moments where all of this builds into overwhelm. While we’ve all experienced an overload of stress at some point, aside from the unpleasantness, it also negatively impacts our performance abilities. As Rick Fernandez writes for Harvard Business Review: Because work is getting more demanding and complex, and because many of us now work in 24/7 environments, anxiety and burnout are not uncommon. In our high-pressure workplaces, staying productive and engaged can be challenging.”

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