Back in September, a report from NTUC revealed that in Singapore, skills mismatch is the biggest form of mismatch at the workplace. To solve this, the Chairman of NTUC LHUB suggests businesses relook their training priorities to address the issue.

Many business leaders I have met in the field would probably jump to reconsider the training programmes and pilots for their workers to upskill the team members. However, often leaders neglect relooking at their own priorities. To some degree, it is perhaps more important that leaders challenge the status quo and upskill themselves sooner than the rest of the team. After all, they are at the helm of guiding their businesses to success.

I believe the pressing issue of skills mismatch exists across different levels, spanning across both technical and soft skills. Given the constant volatility of the business world now, the first step executives need to take is to do this self-evaluation:  identify their own strengths and weaknesses, and name the leadership gap. This is particularly critical because the workplace cultures and demographics have become more diverse, where people of all ages, backgrounds, and working locations can now work together in a blended, hybrid world.

What used to work no longer does in this multi-generational, remote, or hybrid workplace. So to ensure leadership relevance and continued success in this changed world, leaders need to examine their biases, style, and strategies across the board in order to future-proof their organization by designing the right policies and initiatives.

From my experience working with numerous business leaders, I’ve designed an easy-to-apply framework for executives of various levels to first identify the areas of opportunities and immediately take action to grow the relevant leadership skills and attitudes. The eventual goal is to simplify rather than make complex the process of looking for the skills gap to close. Named Re4 Coaching Model, this guide is evergreen and will facilitate the renewal of mindsets and help leaders calibrate their actions thereafter.

Reconstruct the map

This involves challenging one’s perception to find the true reality all around them. “The map is not the territory,” and most people I work with will discover some truths previously unseen. Verifying the validity of the stories leaders put in their heads – a normal and natural way that our human brains work to make sense of the world – is essential. Taking time out to re-examine through a courageous reality check would help any business leader identify the gaps previously not seen, and then realign their actions and achieve tangible outcomes.

This first step may sound simple on the surface, but this is a game-changing, enlightening endeavor that is worth any leaders’ investment, so this is often my first recommendation to begin a recalibration of mindsets.

Refresh the lens

The next step is to identify and refresh any assumptions and bias leaders may have. The emergence of work-from-home, remote, and hybrid teams is one example where this step is useful. The belief about where and how work should be done, once challenged and refreshed, presents many possibilities that are aligned with the needs of a multi-generational workforce. A detailed validation of perception-reality alignment is needed because the follow-up actions – strategic or corrective – all depends on your lens.

Renew the identity

With new perceptions and refreshed perspectives, this step challenges a leader’s role in the ecosystem. Do leaders need to be the provider of solutions or a wise facilitator? It all depends on the context and how they can best achieve the desired outcomes. This stage could also be useful, in a changed business landscape, to relook at the role the business plays in relation to other partners and customers. A new identity would often determine the strategies that need to be embarked upon.

Rebuild the capabilities

This last step is about enabling change after having the right mindset and skills. Communication, time management, active listening, storytelling are skills that some may have to put in effort to learn or improve. Practice then becomes key, and once executives change the quality of communication, their influence to help the company get to the desired outcomes increases significantly.

You might have noticed that three steps of this model focus on first shifting the mindset before diving into skills development. This could be quite different from many other leadership development approaches. The more disrupted a workplace, the more leaders need to validate their views and conclusions. Challenging their assumptions and validity of the “truth” using the Re4 Coaching Model is crucial for designing future initiatives that meet the needs of talent and the market.

It takes not only a skilful leader to drive a business, but one who is also empowered by the agile mindset. Once mindsets shift, employees and employers will become more adaptable to the new challenges that emerge, and respond with resilience and strategy.

As the pandemic develops all around the world beyond Singapore, the way businesses are conducted will also evolve. It is not unrealistic to expect entire industries to disappear, merge, and emerge, so now is a golden opportunity for your business to make the radical changes to your workflows, and to reap the rewards in the right direction.

Yeo Chuen Chuen is a multi-award-winning executive coach based in Singapore working with clients in both government and private sectors. She has served clients from nearly 40 countries across 5 continents since 2013. Chuen Chuen has extensive experience working with a wide range of business leaders from various industries, coaching them to develop an agile mindset. This increases their ability to navigate the complexities of today’s workplace and lead effectively.

An official member of Forbes Council, Chuen Chuen uses her Re4 Coaching Model to help clients create behavior that drives towards desired outcomes. Her approach promotes the strong alignment and congruence between values, beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and actions. This allows leaders to generate deep insights and Chuen Chuen facilitates the translation of these into powerful motivation. She blends the many approaches and techniques which are well-grounded in research seamlessly and brings clients through a tailor-made experience to best meet their needs.

Established in 2018, ACESENCE is helmed by award-winning leadership coach Yeo Chuen Chuen who has years of leadership mentoring experience and extensive coaching experience with Fortune 500 across sectors and functions. ACESENCE is able to meet all your agile leadership and talent development needs to accelerate business growth.

TechNode Global Insider publishes contributions relevant to entrepreneurship and innovation. You may submit your own original or published contributions subject to editorial discretion.

The rise of gender equality