Why Soft Skills Matter for School Leaders

Why Soft Skills Matter for School Leaders

Earlier this year, a report based on a study of 2,000 UK workers by Social Enterprise Skills Builder Partnership (in liaison with the CIPD, KPMG and Edge Foundation) discovered that the UK was losing £22 billion a year by not investing in soft skills development. In addition, they found that people with higher levels of essential skills earn, on average, an extra £4,600 a year.

(People Management, March 2023)

If you are new to the academic workforce, climbing the career ladder, or going back to work after a break – soft skills are absolutely critical to your success and your pay packet.

You might be technically perfect on paper, but it’s those all-important people skills that will help you progress to the next stage. With many interviews taking place remotely, it is useful to show a variety of soft skills so that your prospective employer can get a good impression of a well-rounded people person.

Soft skills are also essential for progressing in teacher and management leadership roles within independent and private schools. Learning to actively listen, people manage, make decisions and communicate effectively are all part of learning to be a great leader, managing your faculty teams, students and workload with confidence.

GOV.UK defines leadership soft skills as:

  • Time management
  • Conflict management
  • Problem-solving
  • Decision-making
  • Mentoring
  • Team motivation
  • Communication

(maybe “soft” is not the right word to use when referring to skills that are often hard to consistently achieve.)

It’s often said that when you teach, you touch the future. As a teacher, you are a role model. Leadership is about looking to the future and modelling positive behaviours and actions.

Soft skills can be applied in various leadership roles in the workplace, including teaching roles to show confidence in your abilities to your students, staff meetings, parent conferences and wider governing board positions. These capabilities will come in handy in all work situations during your career in education. But, often, in a fast-moving learning environment, they can be difficult to acquire while on the job.

Learn, Love, Look Ahead offer ILM-accredited leadership courses with soft skills embedded into the studying process. Each module covers practical sessions to support the understanding and development of these core competencies. You can select courses from entry-level to advanced. Courses are completed through flexible online sessions, with up to 12 mentoring sessions (for our Pioneer advanced course). So, you can make time for learning around your teaching or work schedule.

Right now, we have an active listening taster course available for free. Active listening is an essential skill for effective communication, so it’s ideal to start your leadership learning journey. Start enhancing your soft skills by active listening; sign up here

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