Soft skills: Smart skills for Organizations

Teamwork is the key

It is okay not to have the answers to everything. Being an expert in one thing at one time does not mean that you are an expert in everything or all of the time. Find other experts to complement you and expect to take on a narrower role as the organization evolves.
Once you bring them on, it is about sharing the wealth, sharing the authority and sharing the vision: these are what make the organization move at an accelerated pace to success.
Believing that you and your organization are invincible can have dire consequences. Expect the best from people and many times you will get it from them, invest in good people!
Team does not begin and end at work, as you started out, your family, friends and relatives supported you with money, time, advice, encouragement and referrals. As you grow the organization, you have to figure out a way to make those people part of the extended team. Your empathy, appreciation and acknowledgments should extend to your family members and other supporters if you want their continued support.

Birungi K. Desiderius
077 2 426 607
Executive Director
Better World Uganda
P. O. Box 406, Hoima-Uganda

Soft skills: Smart skills for Organizations

Appreciate the roles of others

Give credit where it is due. Appreciating what others have contributed will enhance their loyalty and increase the chances of continuing to do the work that brought the appropriation to begin with. Be specific, timely and concrete when you appreciate others. At different stages of the Organization’s growth, different ways of appreciation become necessary. When you appreciate people in different ways, be cautious about fairness and appropriateness.
Delegate, delegate and delegate some more. It shows that you really appreciate what they can do and it communicates your ability to trust. Delegating to them means that you have one less task to complete,and you know that it will be done well. The attitude that “nothing gets done here without me…” fails to appreciate the roles that others play in the organization.

Birungi K. Desiderius
077 2 426 607
Executive Director
Better World Uganda
P. O. Box 406, Hoima-Uganda

Soft skills: Smart skills for Organizations

Manage Perceptions

Perception is reality in that people generally act upon their perceptions and this action is real. Leaders must be sensitive to their own judgments and comments about others. Be aware of the consequences of your words as much as your actions.
Different cultures may account for some differences in perception. Something that is said in one culture could mean very different in another. This becomes very important when teams are multicultural or supervisors are unfamiliar with cultural perspectives on work, management, personal freedom and responsibility, ethics, and the like.
Managing perception is one of the key skills that one has to learn to move forward in our world of work.

Birungi K. Desiderius
077 2 426 607
Executive Director
Better World Uganda
P. O. Box 406, Hoima-Uganda

Soft skills:Smart skills for Organizations

Be sensitive to context – timing is everything

There is time for daring and time for caution. The wise manager knows the difference. Leading people is different from managing people. Encouraging risk taking is different from exploring possibilities. Knowing the difference in styles of communication and the context in which you can present them can make the difference between success and failure.
Saying the right things at the right time with clarity as well as exposing complex issues in simple, basic, and compelling ways are traits of great managers.
Poor jokes, inappropriate comments during parties,and insensitivity to other people could create a negative impression about you.
What needs to be discussed in the boardroom should not be discussed in the corridors and vice versa. Appropriateness in terms of content, confidentiality and courtesy are critical to success. Honesty and transparency do not mean that you should tell everything to everybody.

Birungi K. Desiderius
077 2 426 607
Executive Director
Better World Uganda
P. O. Box 406, Hoima-Uganda

Soft skills: Smart skills for Organizations

Walk the talk

Be aware of of your capabilities and be honest with yourself about them. Be cognizant of your knowing-doing gap. This does not mean that you don’t practice what you know in the strict sense of it; it means that your performance level is not matching your words in a consistent and coherent manner. If what you say is important, then your actions should reflect that.
Leaders need to be models of the attitudes and behaviors they expect others to display. By speaking and acting consistently you allow others to learn from your example. When you make promises, or when your organization makes promises, it is important to keep them. Therefore, limit promises to ones that can reasonably be met. If they are inappropriate, then whatever potential efficiencies they might have offered at one time are outweighed by the loss of effectiveness.

Birungi K. Desiderius
077 2 426 607
Executive Director
Better World Uganda
P. O. Box 406, Hoima-Uganda

Soft skills: Smart skills for Organizations

Build on your strengths and mind your core incompetence

In general, focus on your strengths and negotiate your role in the organization based on those strengths. The concept of core incompetence is to describe that aspect in each individual that interferes with accomplishing goals. In the early development stages of your organization, you might have to wear different hats to get the job done, but never assume that you can do all those jobs well. An organization is never the work of a single individual. As the organization grows, you will give away additional responsibilities to people with right set of skills and focus on making a contribution based on your core strength.
As the organization grows, what worked before might not work any longer. As the environment changes you might have to search for new ways to use your strengths. Identify the core competencies of your organization and focus on strengthening them. Pick one that you are strong in and build the organization based on that strength first.
Understanding what energizes you and taps into your passion can provide fuel for your journey. Clearly seeing your core incompetence will free you to move toward your goals. Losing sight of your passion might require that you take a break for reflection.

Birungi K. Desiderius
077 2 426 607
Executive Director
Better World Uganda
P. O. Box 406, Hoima-Uganda

Soft skills: Smart skills for Organizations

Soft skills: Smart skills for Organizations

IQ starts you, EQ lets you keep it

Intelligence Quotient (IQ) may get the organization started, but the Emotional Quotient (EQ) is essential for it to become successful. Emotional intelligence competencies include self-awareness, self-control and team-focus, influencing others, and building relationships.

Commitment is one of the factors critical to an organization’s success. This commitment must come from all stakeholders: yourself, your spouse and family, the friends and relatives who will directly or indirectly be connected with your Organisation. Keep in your mind that your family and/or friends will also be making sacrifices in addition to yours, as you focus more and more time on your organization with less time for them.

Birungi K. Desiderius
077 2 426 607
Executive Director
Better World Uganda
P. O. Box 406, Hoima-Uganda

Soft skills: Smart skills for Organizations

Soft skills: Smart skills for Organizations

Focus on humility and self confidence

When you get to the execution and growth stages of your organization, humility will keep you in the loop. It is important for you to be able to listen to professional managers and directors with appropriate self confidence and knowing where you can make the most contribution to the growth of the organization.

“The most effective leaders of organizations in transition are the quiet, unassuming people whose inner wiring is such that the worst circumstances bring out their best”, Collins says. “They’re unflappable, ready to die if they have to. You can trust that, when bad things are happening, they will become clearheaded and focused”.

Birungi K. Desiderius
077 2 426 607
Executive Director
Better World Uganda
P. O. Box 406, Hoima-Uganda

Soft skills:Smart skills for Organizations

Soft skills: Smart skills for Organizations
Focus on humility and self confidence
Humility is looking at life from different perspectives, not just from your own; it will allow you to see what others cannot. Humility gives you a perspective to do what needs to be done to make your venture successful. Arrogance can blind you. When you see yourself superior to other founders, smarter than your staff and directors, more capable than professional executives, you and your organization lose. It is that simple.
In conceptual and development stages of the Organization, you should balance humility and self-confidence, not arrogance. Listen to criticisms of your ideas and plan with openness but don’t lose your confidence. Don’t show-off or have an attitude of “holier than thou” or “smarter than you” because that puts prospective partners, who could be clients, collaborators, staff, off. It doesn’t build your future or create good “buzz” about you and your ecosystem. To partner with others, who have different set of skills than you do, and to hire and manage people better than you, you need to have a healthy sense of confidence in yourself. You must find the right balance between inner strength and outward humility combined with a genuine sense of leading a whole team and not advancing one’s isolated, personal gains.

Birungi K. Desiderius
077 2 426 607
Executive Director
Better World Uganda
P. O. Box 406, Hoima-Uganda

Soft skills: Smart skills for Organizations

Soft skills: Smart skills for Organizations
Organisations sink or swim based on soft skills regardless whether their technologies keep them afloat temporarily. Great technology and mediocre management leads to sure failure! Leadership is the key. “The truth is that no one factor makes an organization admirable, but if you were forced to pick the one that makes the most difference, you’d pick Leadership”. Leadership is one of the key soft skills along with communication, creativity, learning and teamwork.
Soft skills contribute to leading people, by leading a team, one’s life, conflict management, interviewing and selecting new members, delegation, coaching, networking and developing others.
Managing activities, like service quality, workplace safety, client care and fundraising.
Managing resources, such as people and finances.
Managing information, in decision making, problem solving, meeting management, persuasion and presentation skills.

Birungi K. Desiderius
077 2 426 607
Executive Director
Better World Uganda
P. O. Box 406, Hoima-Uganda