The year 2020 saw nearly all organizations around the world adopting a work-from-home strategy. Business owners had to ask employees to work remotely in response to stay-at-home protocols and lockdowns. 

But with the ongoing mass vaccinations, fewer restrictions, and economies reopening, businesses are now restarting and employees are being allowed to go back to their physical workplaces.

However, the post-COVID-19 workplace is a bit different from the pre-pandemic one. Some changes need to be implemented to ensure employee safety.

These include social distancing protocols, reduced workplace occupancy levels, and limited customer interactions. It also means not removing remote working arrangements completely. It means the necessity to grow leadership as a skill.

Being a Great Leader in Post-Pandemic Times

With the changes in post-COVID-19 work settings, as a business owner, you need to develop or improve some leadership skills that will allow you to be a better leader.

It will also help you manage your work better and have a successful, thriving business that will allow you to recoup your losses from last year.

Signing up for a business coaching program can help you acquire and hone the right leadership skills you need to run a productive and lucrative venture in the new normal.

A qualified business coach will work with you to create a customized leadership development program that will turn you into an effective leader and entrepreneur during post-pandemic times.

With your coach’s assistance, you can have the skills you need to lead an efficient team and run a successful workplace post-COVID-19.

But which particular skills should you focus on learning or honing with your business coach to be the best leader you can be in the new normal? 

Here are the 6 leadership skills you should put on the top of your list:

1. Communication and Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Effective and consistent communication is crucial in the post-pandemic workplace (and any type of work setting). It is a skill that you have to hone continuously.

Start by learning the best ways each of your employees wants to be communicated with. Also, you have to master the habit of communicating clearly and consistently to ensure your team members understand and complete their assignments based on the specifications.

Also, keep in mind that communication and EQ go hand-in-hand.

Having a high EQ means being aware of the emotions of others and being empathic to their feelings and behaviors.

As such, you have to learn how to express genuine human connection through verbal and non-verbal ways. This is something you have to do during physical and virtual meetings and sending individual and company-wide communications.

When you can score high on communication and emotional intelligence, you will be able to boost the productivity levels of both your physical and virtual teams.

2. Agility and Flexibility

Agility in the post-pandemic environment pertains to your willingness to change and the quickness you demonstrate as you adapt to these changes. It means learning how to leverage technologies, practice responsible oversight, be more adept in problem-solving, and come up with creative solutions.

On the other hand, flexibility in the post-COVID-19 workplace means having an open mindset, learning to adjust to new and unexpected responsibilities and deadlines, and being capable of working well under pressure.

If you are implementing a hybrid working arrangement, which is a combination of an office-based physical and remote team, expect significant, unexpected changes to happen.

Being agile and flexible will help you deal with and manage these changes effectively.

3. Creativity

The coronavirus pandemic has created a unique, tricky set of challenges for organizations to overcome. This gave way to the heightened emphasis on the value of workplace creativity.

You should also expect the business landscape to change and evolve rapidly post-pandemic. Because of this, you need to have a creative mindset in order to steer your business through these challenges and take advantage of opportunities you will come across.

Constantly challenging yourself, creating opportunities, looking for inspiration, and exploring multiple solutions to problems are some techniques for improving your creative thinking skill.

You can also improve your creativity by organizing team brainstorming activities.

When coupled with agility and flexibility, your creativity will help you lead an efficient, productive team post-pandemic.

4. Critical Thinking

With fake news and contradictory data proliferating online, as a leader, you need to be critical of all the information you come across.

You have to be able to think clearly and rationally as you evaluate information objectively so that you can make informed, smart decisions.

Working on your critical thinking skills means learning what questions to ask that will help you dig deeper and get as much correct information as possible.

Playing with or expanding the basic 5 W questions (who, what, when, where, and why) can help you improve your critical thinking skills.

Asking and answering questions such as the following can help you deepen your knowledge and make the right decisions regarding your business.

  • Where did the information come from and is it a trustworthy source?
  • Who will be affected? 
  • Why is it important? 

5. Honesty

The pandemic has spread an air of anxiety among all employees. In most organizations, this fear is fanned by the lack of information they receive from their employers.

If you want to lead a motivated and productive team, you need to practice honesty and transparency in the workplace.

Transparency in the workplace means being honest and open about the company’s revenue, profit, and losses. It also entails informing everyone about all-important company changes.

Even if the information is not positive, your team will appreciate that they are being updated instead of being kept out of the loop.

Although being honest and transparent can be challenging, doing so will help you build trust among your employees. This, in turn, can lead to a boost in their productivity and loyalty.

6. Technology Savvy

Lastly, the coronavirus pandemic has uncovered the urgent need for digital skillsets that help businesses become more aligned with today’s technologies.

Additionally, the post-pandemic work setting calls for investing not only in technologies but also in knowing how to use them for your business.

As such, you have to be knowledgeable about systems or tools that you are already or will probably use in your company.

This means demonstrating a solid working knowledge about data literacy, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence, or AI, and the specific technologies you and your team are already using, such as project management, file sharing, collaboration, and communication tools.

Learning and improving is crucial whether there is a pandemic. Ensure your business thrives this year and beyond by focusing on developing and enhancing these key skills.


Salma El-Shurafa

Salma El-Shurafa is an experienced Executive Coach and founder of The Pathway Project. She is a Professional Certified Coach by the International Coaching Federation (ICF), a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach from The Coaches Training Institute (CTI), and a graduate of CTI’s Co-Active Leadership program.