Soft skills – Leadership

LeadershipFirstly, what are soft skills and what are hard skills?  Hard skills are related to specific technical knowledge and training while soft skills are personality traits such as leadership, communication or time management. Both types of skills are necessary to successfully perform and advance in most jobs.

Leadership comes from the top-down and the bottom up. What do I mean by that all staff from the management team to guards on the ground all have to show leadership? From managing the team on tasks and giving directions, instructions, and guidance to ensure that the task is completed correctly and effectively. The guards on the task also have to display leadership when dealing with patrons, residents, clients staff or guests during the duration of the shift be it during an emergency or incident. Leadership requires an understanding of what the task entails thru to how the task is going to be achieved.

Leadership require confidence in one’s self to make a call or decision, to be able to tell someone to do something that they may not agree with at the time. Leadership may require you to make hard decisions in an emergency on who to treat in a first aid incident. Leaders need to be able to be compassionate, understand, calm, assertive, decisive and able to communicate clearly.

How do we maintain our leadership abilities in the workplace? This may include desktop training were staff can be the leader of the team, training drills or on the job training where we allow junior team members to be the leader of a team whilst being mentored by a team leader.

Skills a good leader need are:

  • Good communication
  • Ability to listen
  • Ability to adapt to the situation
  • Ability to give feedback and take feedback
  • Situational awareness
  • Ability to be inclusive and work in the team as well as lead the team
  • Able to get hands dirty when needed
  • Ability to ensure the task is completed in the timeframes allotted

A clear plan or procedures need to be developed with the whole team knowing what is required. This is leadership in that all levels of the team are on the same page. We at times need to make leadership decisions on the speer of the moment when it comes to situations that a security officer may come across. The security officer may need to lead a group of people away from an emergency or take charge during a crisis.

At OPSI we encourage all of our team to step up and to be leaders in what we do.