Top Soft Skills A Agricultural Manager Needs To Have

Having the technical skills, education and industry know-how is vital to being an effective agricultural manager. However, many highly skilled managers fail to advance in their career because they lack crucial soft skills.

Soft skills refer to a combination of communication and social skills and emotional intelligence. Here are some of the top soft skills managers need to deal effectively with their teams. 

1. Communication

This not only means being able to communicate well, but to listen and understand what others are saying. A great starting point to improvements in this area is to ask yourself what kind of communication and learning style you prefer. Some people prefer to talk big ideas out, while others benefit more from reading an email or having a hands-on experience. It’s important to keep in mind that those you work with may have different communication styles. If you notice that someone you supervise seems to respond better to in-person talks rather than instructions via email, try your best to accommodate them.

It’s also important as a manager to be able to communicate expectations upfront, and to address instances in which expectations are not being met. Being straightforward and firm with your team while also being respectful and understanding is the goal here, however the preferred method of communication.

2. Accountability and Leadership

Accountability is the most important quality of a great leader. It is difficult to lead a productive team if they know that whenever something goes wrong, management will try to shift the blame on someone else. It’s your team, so if something is going wrong, own up to it and address it internally so it doesn’t happen again.

Workplaces frequently see those who avoid accountability and place blame on others rise to the top, but this is the shortcut to success. Such people are usually found out at one point or another, and when your integrity and honesty is called into question, it is very hard to earn that back.

3. Motivation and Attitude

It’s hard enough to stay motivated, but how do you stay motivated AND inspire your team to stay motivated? The best answer to that is to always have a good attitude towards your work. Managers that are positive and hard-working inspire the rest of their team to be the same. Managers who sigh about Mondays and roll their eyes at what they feel are unnecessary tasks undermine their teams and plant a seed of doubt about their own productivity.

4. Decision-making and Critical Thinking Skills

As a manager, everyone looks to you when something goes wrong, and there are no established protocols to follow. These situations are difficult because making a quick decision is hard when the right solution isn’t always clear.

A good manager can quickly assess a situation and make a decision that will protect farm profitability and mitigate employee confusion. If the situation calls for it and is not time sensitive, a good decision might involve calling someone higher up for input on a solution.
Like we mentioned before in accountability, everyone makes a wrong judgement call at one point in their careers, so it’s important to have the humility to back down from a directive if you see clearly that it’s not working.

Soft skills are hard to teach, but they are crucial to becoming a trusted and reliable manager. Earning the respect of your team is also vital to optimizing your workflow and ability to work together.

A great way of working towards honing these skills is asking yourself this question: which of these soft skills do you feel you need to improve the most? Think of some past situations in which you wish you had acted differently. Would the situation have been better if you displayed more of these important soft skills? How can you make sure that when a similar incident happens in the future, your reaction is different? How can you make sure that you always have your “game face” on, bringing positive energy to your team?

Working with a mentor will help you make big strides in these areas. Longmire Staffing Services is also willing to help point you in the right direction in developing your soft skills needed to progress your career.  Reach out to us today to start a conversation.

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Top Soft Skills A Agricultural Manager Needs To Have
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