Powerful leadership skills that use brains and the heart

Powerful leadership skills that use brains and heart

The London School of Economics predicted in 2018

“In the past jobs were about muscles, now they’re about brains, but in future, they’ll be about the heart.”

Since the pandemic it has become even more imperative for team leaders to inspire, motivate and engage their teams – soft skills are the new management ‘must have’ to retain a more socially and culturally aware workforce.

The world of work is becoming increasingly focused on leading with a story and a heart, as employees and customers are drawn to open-minded and purpose-led companies.

As a result, the next generation of leaders needs to be resilient and self-aware so that they are able to look after their own well-being and bounce back from adversity and also lead in a way that supports and empathises with others.

The increasing advances of AI mean that soft management skills are essential for companies to differentiate from those that are simply ‘good at their job’. 

Teams need to be heart led so that they are more creative and use better critical thinking skills

The School of Economics explains that creative thinking and abstract thinking, are not skills that can be automated and therefore for the future success of companies, soft skills that involve heart, excellent communication and soft management skills will succeed by developing high levels of team engagement.

5 Leadership Reflection Questions to promote resilience & team engagement

Powerful leadership skills that use brains and the heart

The increasing advances of AI mean that soft management skills are essential for companies to differentiate from those that are simply ‘good at their job’. 

Teams need to be heart led so that they are more creative and use better critical thinking skills

The School of Economics explains that creative thinking and abstract thinking, are not skills that can be automated. 

“Brains and heart will win the future of work”

The London School of Economics and Political Science – LSE

For the future success of companies soft skills that involve heart involve excellent communication and soft management skills that develop high levels of team engagement.

The effect of the rapid change cycle

The effect of the rapid change cycle:

The workforce – and the world – has seen a rapid and constant change cycle that leaders need to be able to navigate.

This rapid change cycle has routinely come from sources including:

  • regularly changing clients,
  • annually changing organisational objectives,
  • adaptive and constantly innovating marketing strategies and product campaigns,
  • adapting the workforce to the change in demographics as Boomers leave and Gen Z’s arrive,
  • the flux in the workplace with The Great Reflection also means team personnel changes are happening regularly

This regular cycle of change means that managers need to rely on their own resilient leadership skills to support themselves as well as display these skills to their teams so they adapt and also model this style of behaviour.

Clients that I am currently working with are supporting their team leaders so that they can bounce back from this constantly changing and challenging environment including:

  • their own workload,
  • issues from their teams,
  • and from their wider home/world perspective.
The change cycle affects the team leader’s ability to lead

What my clients are typically noticing in their teams:

The change cycle affects the team leader’s ability to lead

The constant work change combined with the wider experience is affecting team leaders’ ability to manage their team’s work productivity.  

Absence rates and quiet quitting levels are high and leaders are not able to deal effectively with this which has a cascading effect on the team’s morale and therefore affects the organisation’s productivity levels.  

Managers currently using available resources but require more support

Team leaders are aware – to an extent – that they have their own personal emotional triggers and are using the EAP counselling provision, but a more proactive stance is required so that these team managers can move through difficult situations rather than sitting with them and instead bounce back and move on so that they can continue to be effective in their roles.

Organisations that are currently running a management training programme require more empathy and compassion support – a resilience development training programme is supplementing these management programmes.

The inclusion of these two programmes illustrates to team managers that their organisation is committed to serving and supporting them in their current roles and their management advancement within the company.

Using ineffective leadership skills

Currently, team leaders manage their teams with a mixture of being a friend, a therapist, and even a doctor  – rather than effectively dealing with the issues in a way that inspires and coaches an alternative course of action.

Team leaders’ lack of confidence

Team leaders are currently not confident or feel equipped to handle the needs of their teams, which require personalised support and need to be led by skilful and resilient leaders.

Lack of experience and life skills means that there is a need to equip these young team leaders with confidence, and resilience skills to develop their emotional intelligence.

Intergenerational communication is not been managed effectively by leaders.

Team attrition rates are being affected by intergenerational misunderstandings  – with some team members having a tenure of fewer than 6 months.   Gen Zs and Millennials are seen as having work ethic issues and difficulties with work attitudes, they are not as professional as they could be.

The prevailing attitude from senior leaders is that the issue is too big for team managers to handle and are not managing the team well.

The cost of mismanaged team communication

The cost of team leaders’ ineffectual handling of these issues includes costs to the organisation for example:

  • Ineffective communication has long-term costs to the organisation in terms of productivity and financial implications.
  • There is also a short-term cost on morale when other team members need to carry the load. This creates a negativity loop, where more team members are not coping.
  • Team leaders are ill-equipped and are not able to deal with the issues coming from the teams which means that the teams are not working to their full potential.
  • A lack of confidence and lack of personal resilience skills means that team leaders are being dragged down and not coping well.

Professional Development Programmes with resilience skills at their heart

Organisations are dealing with these issues with bespoke Professional Development Programmes with resilience skills at the heart of them, which means that in the longer term, managers that develop personal and professional development skills will be able to progress to the next level of management, and the organisation will hit their financial targets as well as mitigate problems in the team.

Organisations with high professional and technical standards, in particular, are benefiting from significant levels of professional development.

It is important – for successful, forward-thinking companies – that all team leaders are on the trajectory for higher management roles and supporting and building these team leaders internally is a vital part of a company culture that will retain key players.

If your team or organisation is looking to develop managers’ emotional and mental leadership resilience skills so that they manage their teams and can thrive at work despite changing and challenging times feel free to reach out.

Working together with the programmes that I’ve developed within organisations creates managers and team leaders who are able to effectively work with their teams in a way that inspires and motivates them by using personal and professional skills like empathy and compassion and will ensure that the heart of the company remains strong.

A professional development programme centred around resilient leaders will enable leaders to productively guide their team members.

Next steps

To support organisations with these performance issues and boost productivity contact Adele to co-create a Professional Development Programme with resilient leaders at the heart of change in your organisation 

A programme that will include personalised training and facilitated coaching sessions that develop personal and professional growth for leaders creating a strong proactive, solution-finding, organisational culture for your business.

Adele Stickland
International Author + Accredited Resilience Trainer + Accredited ICF Coach
Blog | Whitepaper | LinkedIn | Work together in Q2 2023

In terms of the types of Professional Development training programmes I can offer these include:

  • Leadership coaching for your leadership teams to avoid overwhelm and burnout,
  • Professional Development Programmes so that leaders and teams bounce back from difficult work periods,
  • Live or virtual Resilience Training with follow-up group coaching sessions to embed training and encourage behavioural change.
  • E-learning courses for your LMS system.

If you are interested in supporting your team’s resilience with a bespoke Professional Development Programme then reach out so and book a quick call so that we can identify the needs of your team and what will work for them and your business.

Book a chat to discuss your plans

If your organisation is looking to incorporate a Professional Development Programme please email me to discuss your organisational requirements or book an appointment straight in my diary

Leadership Coaching & Support:

Burnout is a real issue when leaders try to cope with and are everything to everyone. The strain can be too much if leaders feel that their role is the crucial pin holding the team and the organisation together.

If as a team leader, you feel overwhelmed, a one-to-one professional coaching session will help give you the time out, perspective and clarity you need so that you can operate at a level your team needs.

Book an introductory session with me. As a professionally accredited ICF coach, I’ve worked with hundreds of leaders so that they reach their optimum levels of performance.

What others have to say about Resilience Training

Book a quick 30 minute session to find out how it works.

Micromanaging is not sustainable for managers. If you’d like to read more this article will help The 6 leadership skills that are essential for hybrid working

Picture of Adele Stickland

Adele Stickland

Business Psychologist & ICF Accredited Coach | Expert in Team Dynamics & Communication Working with organisations to improve team dynamics and psychological safety by creating collaborative & productive teams. An MSc in organisational psychology and awards in education and training enable me to combine evidence-based approaches & tools to support individuals and groups in professional & personal development #Highperformanceteams #Millennialworkforce #Leadershipdevelopment #Employeeretentionstrategies #Millennialjobhopping #Managingmillennials #Teamengagement #Workforcemobility #Professionalgrowthandmentoring #Organisationalculturemillennials

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Download your copy of free White Paper on...

How much is stress in the workplace costing?

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

More to explore

Resilience Training
Adele Stickland

Navigating Leadership Challenges

Transformative Leadership Coaching for managers is a comprehensive coaching program designed to address the challenges faced by leaders in today’s dynamic business environment. This program empowers managers to enhance team dynamics and communication, master the art of effective delegation, and foster a culture of recognition and accountability. By focusing on developing soft skills, empathy, and adaptability, it equips leaders to navigate the complexities of modern management, bridge generational gaps, and lead with vision and purpose. Tailored to meet the unique needs of each organization, this innovative approach ensures leaders are prepared to inspire, motivate, and drive their teams toward shared success, laying the groundwork for a future where leadership is synonymous with resilience, inclusivity, and transformative impact.