Golden Visions and Associates | Coaching for Success
Thought for the Week
Your Success Thought for the Week of March 4, 2009
Those Darned People Skills
A client recently informed me that he was going to find a place to work that didn't have politics. As soon as the words left his lips, we both laughed at the absurdity of the statement. 
Put more than one person in a working environment and you'll find a potential for politics and conflict.  You'll also find greater creativity, laughter, and synergy.
"Leadership would be easy if it wasn't for the people," he continued to tell me.  Mathew was great technically. Yet 'those darned people skills' as he called them, were leading to his demise.
Mathew could not understand why individuals on his team did not follow his every command.  He was not a 'people person' and as such, gave little credence to what the individuals on his team needed from him. Instead, his only focus was on what they could do for him.
Following is one simple truth in motivating anyone.
People don't care how much you know, even if you are the most technically savvy among them, until they know how much you care.
A leader who clearly communicates how much he or she cares about the individuals on their team and the overall success of the company (not just their division) will have people flocking to follow them. 
We talked about 'listening' skills last week, certainly a 'people skill' we can all improve upon.  Funny thing was that the people who thanked me most for this article (admitting that they could be better listeners) are in fact some of the most focused listeners.  Listening is one way to let people know you care.
Other people skills to show your team that you care:
  • Curiosity-ask questions.  Instead of only looking for how your team can serve you, ask them:  "How can I help you?" or "If there were one thing you would change to make your job or work environment better, what would that be?" You may not be able to provide what they want, but they know you care enough to ask.
  • Effective communications-speak to your audience.  Adjust your volume, terminology, body language to fit those with whom you are communicating. If you speak to a technical rep the same way you speak to a customer service provider, you've likely lost one of them.
  • Manage your emotions-especially important today is emotional intelligence.  Everyone has their own challenges without being burdened with yours.  Emotions such as stress, anxiety, anger are communicated easily without saying a word.  Yet laughter is the most contagious of emotions.  Find a way to create more laughter and joy, and watch the productivity soar to new heights.
Individuals for whom people skills come naturally often value these skills and work continuously to enhance them.  However, people without these natural one-on-one skills may find them unimportant, as did Mathew.  Improving the way you communicate with others enhances all aspects of life, not just your life at the office.
This week begin with the simple act of letting people know you care through strengthening one of the above techniques.
Enjoy your discoveries and have a grand week.

To see more of my published articles, go to:GV&A, Coaching for Success and then click on Writing and Wisdom across the top.

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Ann, thanks so much for all of your inspiration and leadership throughout the year.  You are one special lady.  All the best to you and yours in 2009!
                                                           ~ Jim Lee, Executive Director, Coril, Bend, OR

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Permission is granted to either reproduce copy or distribute "Your Success Thought for the Week" for March 11, 2009 as long as this copyright notice and full information about contacting the author is attached. The author is Ann Golden Eglé, GV&A, Golden Visions & Associates, Coaching for Success, 541.385.8887, PO Box 1696, Bend, Or. 97709.