The soft skills of the Interim Manager

Published on 12/18/2021

Soft skills represent human qualities and behavioral aptitudes. Combined with hard skills, technical skills, they both characterize the profile of a good interim manager. Soft skills are fundamental for the success of their mission within the companies in which they intervene and this is even more true in the current professional world. Indeed, a certain number of phenomena, including the fact that we have already been evolving for several years towards a world of services (Ubérisation, GAFAM etc.), demonstrate the importance of these soft skills. They have two dimensions, since they are both innate and acquired, and cover a wide range of skills. As transition specialists, we know the importance of these qualities and integrate them into our selection process, which you can consult directly on this page.

Soft skills can be classified into 4 categories. They can more or less correspond to the different stages of an interim management assignment.

Self-awareness

This category of soft skills may seem obvious, but it is far from negligible. Knowing oneself allows one to be efficient and in the situation of an interim manager, to be able to resist one's own stress as well as that of others. A company often uses an interim manager when it needs to quickly revitalize its activity, sometimes in a crisis situation (more information). The pace is therefore very fast, tensions can arise and generate conflicts between employees. The role of the interim manager is to quickly calm the situation by providing relevant solutions through recommendations and strategic support.

The relationship with others

Listening, empathy & altruism are important personality traits to be a good leader. At the beginning of his mission, the interim manager must take stock of the situation in the company. He must therefore spend time meeting, exchanging and listening to the direct collaborators. In this way, this soft skill relating to his ability to listen will enable him to quickly discern the people on whom he will be able to rely during his assignment. Finally, being empathetic will enable him to be a better communicator and therefore to make it easier for people to adhere to the projects to be carried out. The interim manager must identify the right arguments and discourse to convince both employees and decision-makers.

Soft skills linked to action

The interim manager is only as effective as his objectivity. As an outsider to the company, he or she has the necessary hindsight in addition to his or her professional experience to make the most judicious decisions quickly. The ability to adapt quickly to one's environment is essential to the success of the mission. By being able to take good bearings, the interim manager will get to the heart of the matter and take initiatives. Interim management is above all the implementation of strategic actions over a defined and sometimes concise period of time, so time management is essential.

Soft skills related to the cognitive dimension

The soft skills related to open-mindedness are certainly the most important because they position the interim manager in a lasting way, as a recognized player in this profession. They must be curious, especially about new technologies, and continue to train. The digital transformation of companies constantly leads to the integration of new tools to optimize results or improve the organization of work. It is a source of opportunities and must not become an obstacle. The interim manager must therefore not stop learning in order to evolve and thus continue to be able to meet the expectations of clients. By having this capacity for renewal, they will stand out from the competition.

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