Hard truths about soft-skills

Leaders lacking in soft-skills face hard realities. Poor relational skills always hover near or at the top of every list that explains why leaders fail.


Arrogance may be the reason soft-skills are hard for you. You may feel your strengths, talents, and gifts are more valuable. Don’t fall into the trap of maximizing your talents while minimizing others. Let another’s gifts and strengths humble you rather than irritate you.

People are drawn to humility.

Narrowness may be a reason soft-skills are hard for you. You’re so excited about creating time-lines that you can’t see the people side of execution and delivery. Overcome myopia by asking others to explain the challenges they face. And for heaven sake, when they share, don’t offer solutions! Thank them. Say, “It’s helpful to learn about your challenges.”

People are drawn to those that understand them.


You may fail at soft-skills because you just don’t see your lack. That’s the way it is with people that lack soft-skills. Here’s a tip. If you don’t think you need improvement, it’s likely you have blind-spots.

You need others to tell you what you look like to others.

Leverage weaknesses

Use the behaviors that are hard for you as soft-skill ticklers.

  • If you’re abrupt, admire patience.
  • If you feel under-appreciated, show appreciation.
  • If you struggle with anger, lift those who have self-control.


Don’t make honoring others about you. In other words, avoid phrases like, I’m so impatient but you seem great at it. Leave the, “I’m so impatient” part out. Just say, I admire your patience.

People enjoy you when you enjoy them.

How can “hard” leaders develop soft-skills?