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Top Soft Skills for Leaders

A man smiling with arms folded in a corporate workspace.

Having the right technical skills and experience is essential as a leader, but equally so are their soft skills. These skills are the personal attributes that enable people to communicate, collaborate, and problem-solve in the workplace effectively.

Soft skills are often the key differentiator between a good leader and a great one. In this blog, we will explore the top soft skills for leaders, why they are important, and how to highlight them on your resume.

Why Leadership?

Leadership is highly valued by employers, even for employees who are not in management positions. Employers want employees who can take the initiative, inspire others, and lead by example.

Top Soft Skills for a Job

In today's job market, technical skills alone are insufficient to land a job and succeed. Employers are increasingly placing a premium on soft skills, which are the personal attributes that enable individuals to interact effectively with others and work well in teams.

Employers highly value soft skills across all industries, and they can be a deciding factor in the hiring process.


Leaders must adapt quickly to new situations and challenges in our fast-paced and constantly changing business environments. They must be flexible, open to new ideas, and able to pivot when necessary.

Adaptability is a highly valued soft skill in today's fast-paced and constantly changing business environment. Companies want employees who can quickly adapt to new situations, handle unexpected challenges, and learn new skills rapidly.

Three coworkers looking over a paper together.


Effective communication is, perhaps, the most critical soft skill for any leader. Leaders must communicate their vision, goals, and expectations clearly and effectively to their team. They must also be able to listen actively, empathize with team members, and provide constructive and actionable feedback.

Employers regularly seek out this soft skill in verbal and written communication and active listening. Good communication skills are essential for building relationships with colleagues, customers, and stakeholders.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to recognize and manage your own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. Leaders with high EI can build strong relationships with their team members, inspire trust and confidence, and create a positive and productive work environment.

They can work well with others, manage conflicts, and create a positive work environment.


Leaders must be able to analyze problems, develop creative solutions, and make sound decisions. They can collaborate effectively with their team to implement these solutions and ensure success.

Employers highly value problem-solving skills demonstrating an ability to think critically and solve complex issues. They want employees who can identify problems, analyze data, and develop innovative solutions.

Time Management

Influential leaders must be able to manage their time and priorities effectively. They must be able to prioritize tasks, delegate efficiently, and maintain focus on their most important goals.

Good time management skills are essential for meeting deadlines, prioritizing tasks, and maximizing productivity. People who can manage their time effectively are able to achieve their goals with fewer setbacks.

Illustration of good time management skills.


Successful leaders understand that they are only as strong as their team. They must understand and develop their management style, build and maintain a cohesive and productive team environment, and foster collaboration and cooperation among staff members.

Effective teamwork is essential for achieving business objectives and fostering a workplace people want to be in. Being able to work well with others and collaborate towards common goals is something all employers look for!

Best Soft Skills for a Resume

Highlighting your soft skills on your resume can be just as important as listing your technical skills and experience. Here are some tips for showcasing your soft skills:

  • Use Keywords: Incorporate relevant soft skills keywords into your resume, such as "communication," "teamwork," "adaptability," and "problem-solving."

  • Provide Examples: Use specific examples to demonstrate how you have utilized your soft skills in previous roles. For instance, you could highlight a successful team project or how you managed a difficult situation.

  • Use Action Verbs: Use strong action verbs to describe your soft skills, such as "communicated," "collaborated," "adapted," "solved," "led," and "managed."

  • Customize for the Job: Tailor your resume to the specific job you are applying for, and highlight the soft skills most relevant to the position.

Soft skills for leaders: note taking at an office desk.

Training for the Best Soft Skills

Leadership courses, especially those that focus on improving communication and other soft skills, are influential for management positions for several reasons.

Effective Communication

First, effective communication is critical for any manager. Managers must clearly communicate their goals and expectations to their team members, provide feedback, and handle difficult conversations. Practical communication skills can also help managers build relationships with stakeholders, negotiate with suppliers and clients, and represent their organization positively.

Positive Work Environment

Soft skills like adaptability, emotional intelligence, and teamwork are essential for managers to create a positive work environment and inspire their team members. These skills can help managers to build trust and respect with their employees, improve collaboration, and foster a culture of innovation and creativity.

Professional Development

Leadership courses help managers to identify their own strengths and weaknesses and develop strategies to improve their management skills. Managers willing to invest in their professional development are more likely to succeed in their roles and achieve their organizational goals.

Best Practices

Finally, taking leadership courses can help managers to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices in management. These practices can include learning about new technologies, management strategies, and industry trends and networking with other professionals in their field.

A man taking notes down from a laptop screen.

Investing in Your Future with REDC

Leadership courses are vital for people to improve their skills, build relationships with their employees, and achieve organizational goals. Here are two worthwhile investments for any manager who wants to succeed and create a better work culture for their team members.

In today's competitive job market, leadership success comes from having fundamentally solid soft skills. By highlighting these skills on your resume, you can demonstrate to potential employers that you have the personal attributes necessary to succeed in a leadership role.

The REDC's training services and curated online courses enable you with the soft skills Yavapai County employers are hiring for. Relevant and affordable training increases opportunities for residents, employees, and businesses. Contact us to learn more about our services.

Home LinkThe REDC is a Division of Yavapai College.Go to yc.edu

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