In a world where there is constant progression with technology, and artificial intelligence is used in ever increasing areas within organisations, it is, without doubt, a digital and disruptive workplace like nothing we have experienced before.
As a manager or senior leader responsible for management development, there will no doubt be a question that has occupied your thinking at times that goes like this: For managers to succeed in the digital age, what are their “must have skills”?
Only when you can answer this question can you then begin to think about how your organisation supports managers to build and develop this skill set.
In a two-part series, we will share the five must-have skills: Communication Skills, Emotional Intelligence, An Ethical Compass, Agility and the need to build connections. So let’s get started and take this one by one. In part one we explore the first 3.
Story Telling: Communication Skills
A recent report on the use of the internet and social media showed Australians spent five hours and 5 minutes each day on the internet in 2018. The good news is that this is down 30 minutes from 2017. Before we get too excited, our time on social media decreased by just 8 minutes over the entire year!
With technology playing such a key role in how we work, it is more important than ever that a manager has strong communication skills. Whether it’s one to one time, or meetings, being able to give direction, coach, influence, present, facilitate – each relies on a person’s ability to get and hold their employee‘s attention and move them into action.
The most basic form of communication is sharing a compelling story. We only have to think of a small child and how they learn – through repetition. Repetition of their favourite story over and over again. As adults, we use “story time” as a way to engage and communicate with our small people.
Be honest now, who haven’t created your own story using your son or daughter’s favourite storybook characters to communicate an early life lesson?
In the earlier stages of my career, the perception was that the senior leaders with the highest IQ would be the most successful. As we now know, this assumption has proven to be incorrect.
Think of the friend or colleague who never allows their temper to get out of control, no matter what challenges they face. Alternatively, a senior manager you admire who enjoys total trust with their team.
They listen to their team, are easy to talk to, and make considered and informed decisions.
These are some examples of a manager with a high degree of emotional intelligence.
To clarify: Emotional intelligence or EI is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions, and those of the people around you. According to Daniel Goleman, the American psychologist who helped to popularise emotional intelligence, there are five critical elements to it:
- Social skills.
The more that you manage each of these areas, the higher your emotional intelligence.
While there is Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa, the fact is that machines are rudimentary in their ability to understand the emotional tenor of a person, meeting, or organisation.
An Ethical Compass
The Deloitte Human Capital Trends Report in 2018 stated that organisations were no longer being judged solely by their financial performance and products.
“Rather, organisations today are increasingly judged based on their relationships with their workers, their customers, and their communities, as well as their impact on society at large—transforming them from business enterprises into social enterprises.”
At the time of writing the 2019 Human Capital Trends has just been published and reports that;
“This year, we believe the pressures that have driven the rise of the social enterprise have become even more acute. They are forcing organisations to move beyond mission statements and philanthropy to learn to lead the social enterprise – and to reinvent themselves around a human focus.”
Of course, this isn’t about practising corporate social responsibility. It’s about recognising that while a business needs to generate profit, it must do so in a way that improves their employees, customers and the communities they operate in too; which is no mean feat.
While it is the role of a CEO to solve this issue, what it means for managers is that their style of management must take into account the “human experience” each team member has of them.
For example, how they:
1. Respond to requests for flexible working or working from home.
2. Work with and support a team member who is experiencing mental health problems.
3. Manage the demands and deadlines from senior management and have the ability to push back. Moreover, say no when there is a risk of it negatively impacting the team and consequently customers.
AI demonstrates what a machine is and is not capable of. Humans are not machines, and it’s remembering that the days of soaring profits and whatever cost are no longer acceptable.
In our next article, we will cover the final two areas of, agility and flexibility. Remember to look out for our email which will announce it’s publication.
JobFitts Consultants are a specialist provider of professional Recruitment Services for the Financial Services sector and related suppliers in Australia. Since 2003 we have recruited and placed a breadth of operational roles at all levels, from HR, Accounting, Marketing and Customer Service/Frontline.
To find out more visit our website at JobFitts here or call us on (02) 9220 3595 or email here.