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 Cultivate interpersonal skills

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TianHua
Staff Sergeant
Staff Sergeant


Number of posts : 456
Age : 24

PostSubject: Cultivate interpersonal skills   10th January 2009, 10:40

The fourth essential tent pole of leadership is interpersonal skills. Along with the central tent pole representing character, it probably holds the most canvas. This leadership skill has become more important over time, especially since the demise of the "command and control" styles of leadership. Of all the competencies, interpersonal skills seem to make the most difference in whether leaders are considered extraordinary.

To develop strong interpersonal skills, leaders must do the following:

Communicate powerfully and prolifically. Extraordinary leaders don't hoard new insights. They tell people! These leaders give their work group a sense of direction and purpose. They help people understand how their work contributes to the goals of the organization. They err on the side of telling people too much.

Inspire others to high performance. Great leaders energize people to go the extra mile. They set stretch goals that motivate people to accomplish more than they think is possible.

Build trust. Superstar leaders act so that others trust them. They balance their concern for productivity and results with sensitivity to employees' needs and problems. When conflicts arise, they deal with employees' feelings as well as the technical aspects of the issue. They stay approachable.

Develop others. The most remarkable leaders support others' growth by giving honest and constructive feedback, balancing corrective with positive evaluations. They stay tuned to what is happening in employees' careers. They let others grow, even if it means letting them leave the department.

Collaborate and develop strong teams. Excellent leaders know not to insulate themselves from other team members and departments. They keep in touch, so that cooperative urges beat out competitive urges. They cultivate their team members' ability to work with diverse people.

Some key points for mastering people skills include:

Involve others in communication: One of the best ways to communicate is to get others to communicate! Interestingly, the worst communicators focus solely on getting their message across. The best communicators check people's reactions and get their ideas.

Train everyone to be a leader: These days, leadership often gets passed around in a group. The person with the loftiest title and supposed power is no longer the one with all the answers. Believe that others are capable of great accomplishments and then watch them follow through.

To develop others, develop yourself: The best leaders create space for their employees to move up from below by raising their own performance. Their efforts not only set the example, but also blaze a clear path for others to follow.
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