Sunday, February 21, 2010

How good are your people skills?

Good people skills are a must to a successful leader/manager. Consider the wide range of (your) tasks that rely on your people skills:

1. Coaching and developing employees
2. Leading and inspiring employees
3. Encouraging and motivating employees
4. Supporting employees & peers
5. Setting an example/modeling desired behavior
6. Developing beneficial relationships
7. Utilizing available talent

These are just the tip of the iceberg. Surely, you can add to the above list.

When was the last time that you assessed your people skills? Do you know where to begin such an assessment? Think about you behavior around others. Are people open and trusting with you, or are they reserved and seem fearful/mistrustful of you? Are you available to others and willing to listen to them and answer their questions frankly and honestly? Such simple questions can provide a good appraisal of your people skills.

This kind of assessment is even more important during tough economic times. Do your employees know that you value and appreciate them? Are they stressed and stretched to the max? If so, do you encourage them to rest and re-charge? Are their talents aligned with their tasks and projects? Limited resources and reduced numbers of employees make it crucial for us to work efficiently and utilize the available talent to the max. This also means maximizing our own talents and focusing on self-improvement. Take the time to consider your people skills. No matter how good they may be, there’s always room for improvement. The better your people skills, the better your relationships, and ultimately the better the results of all of your efforts.