Too few managers make the direct link between people skills ( which they often deem the warm fuzzy stuff) and accountability for task performance.
The delegation conversation is a task oriented conversation that sets the standard of performance and creates accountability for actual performance.
The supporting conversations you have while the task is being completed- engage the people, ensure they feel significant and inspire them to perform at their best. These are the conversations that demonstrate you CARE about the person just as much as you care about completion of the task.
And then of course there are the feedback conversations which I often refer to as “tough love” – where you specifically share the impact of their performance on you and the business.
There is nothing “soft” about any of these conversations.
People skills are all about the competence and confidence to engage in the “right conversation” at the right time and with the right intent.