4 soft skills CFOs must master

Gaining access to the C-suite isn’t the end game for executive development. In many ways, it is just the beginning, as you seek to make your mark in a field of a higher calibre and plug the knowledge gaps you may have overlooked on your way to the corner office. Here are four soft skills that will make you stand apart from your peers.

Develop the social suite
You may be analytical and accurate when it comes to the numbers, but then so are many other CFOs. An engaging, sociable finance chief, however, is not as common. People will follow someone they respect, but it doesn't hurt to be liked as well. Being personable is an undervalued asset that you can bring to the table.

Join the debate team
As CFO, you will need to employ a certain amount of verbal gymnastics to persuade the board to move in particular direction or ascertain the merits of an argument put forward by someone in your team. If you are comfortable with this sort of communication, you'll soon find that you're able to extract value from what others may see as routine conversations.

Be a person of the world
You're a person, not a function. Gain an understanding of other parts of the organisation and the sector, but also express your interest in the world outside finance to co-workers and the board. The modern CFO is expected to be a knowledge hub who has a broader perspective and is able to provide insight into the greater impact of boardroom decision-making.

Know how to draw on your emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence isn't new-age claptrap. As a leader of your organisation, your behaviour and moods aren't your own anymore and can impact the business and employees. Understanding what makes you tick and how you react to certain situations will allow you to manage the face you present to the organisation.