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Which type of skill do you value more in your team members?

SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 190,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: Which type of skill do you value more in your team members?

  •  Technical — being an expert at their work is key: 18.03%
  • Functional — skills like leadership and problem solving are most critical: 81.97%

It’s the soft skills that matter. While it’s great to be a domain expert in your field, clearly leaders value functional or soft skills more.  Those soft skills can be applied to a broad array of issues, opportunities, and challenges and people who possess those skills are easier to move around the organization to solve other problems.  What gets even more interesting is thinking beyond functional skills to “role-based skills” like devil’s advocate, cheerleader, driver, etc.  Leaders who can manage all three critical types of skills are much more likely to succeed than those who stay focused solely on the technical competencies.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS and author of “One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership.”