As leaders consider which skills to focus on developing in 2024, change management and emotional intelligence might top the list. Even as leaders are called on to craft strategy around the use of artificial intelligence, the harder problems involve steering teams through all of the changes AI continues to bring.
If you’re one of those leaders, you’ll need to not only retain but also inspire your best people in 2024. That might mean helping them automate business processes and experiment with generative AI. But it will also mean honing some of your distinctly human strengths, like communication and empathy. The good news: You navigated the darkest days of the pandemic and the transition to hybrid work, so you’ve done some valuable prep work.
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To give you a jump-start on making even more progress as a leader in the new year, we’ve curated these leadership tips from some of our most thought-provoking articles of 2023. (In other words, we’ve saved you from having to ask ChatGPT, “What should I work on as a leader?”) Consider which ones you can apply to your current — and upcoming — challenges.
1. Flip the script on how you deal with pushback.
“Effective leaders think of pushback as an opportunity to boost their team’s learning while moving their organization forward. The objective should be to increase people’s understanding and build support by tempering both advocate enthusiasm and contrarian pessimism. This deeper level of understanding, while not necessarily satisfying to all in the moment, fosters a climate of candor, humility, adaptation, and trust, thereby subtly steering pushback away from latent disruptive tendencies.”
Read the full article, “Five Ways Leaders Can Turn Pushback Into Progress,” by Phillip G. Clampitt and Bob DeKoch.
2. Foster more intellectual honesty on your team.
“Emotional intelligence includes four main elements: self-awareness (awareness of your emotions), self-management (regulation of your emotions), social awareness (empathy and the ability to see others’ viewpoints), and relationship management (the ability to find common ground and build rapport).
“While leaders need to be skilled at all four, social awareness and relationship management are particularly important to encouraging debate without destroying psychological safety. Leaders who can listen with empathy, see others’ perspectives, and defuse conflict by finding common goals are more likely to foster intellectual honesty while preserving safety.