Interpersonal Skills & Leadership

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Should leaders place more focus on their technical strengths or their interpersonal capability?

You might think technical skills are the most important skill sets to have, but it turns out that your employees will judge your leadership on your interpersonal skills.

Think about the best manager or supervisor you have ever worked for. When you look at the list of their attributes you will notice that only about 5% of them are technically based, e.g. how they problem-solve, their knowledge of the machinery and equipment, etc.

You will also notice that 95% of what made them such a good boss was their interpersonal skills.

If you want your employees to view you as one of the best leaders they have worked for, it’s important to work on those interpersonal skills.

Here are three tips for better interpersonal skills:

The first tip is to tell the truth and keep your team informed.

It is important for leaders to speak the truth. You want your team to view you as someone who speaks the truth, doesn’t make excuses and doesn’t dance around issues.

If your team senses you are not being honest with them, they won’t trust you. Then, when you ask them for their commitment, they may dial it back just in case you’ve been leading them astray. Keep your team informed and share information with them, so they have a sense of what’s happening in the organization, in the department and/or with customers.

The second tip is to empower your team.

Your team is much more capable than you probably realize, so why not empower them? Why not give them the chance to own their work and take ownership over the quality of it so that they feel a sense of pride?

Your #team is much more capable than you probably realize, so why not #empower them? Give them the chance to own their work and take ownership over the quality it so that they feel a sense of pride? Click To Tweet

Then, when the team does well, give them the glory and let them feel that they’ve made a difference to you and how the department is performing.

The third tip is to be firm, fair and consistent.

Being firm means you’re not going to let them get away with things that they shouldn’t be able to get away with. Being fair means that you are going to respond in a way that is reasonable for the circumstances, the severity of the behavior and the repetitiveness of it. Finally, being consistent means that when they present a problem, you’re always going to deal with it in the same way.

It doesn’t matter who does it, when it happens,  or when you’re confronted with a situation. You’re consistent with the actions you take and the consequences that you apply.

By doing this, your team will see you as the kind of leader that won’t allow them to get away with too much. When they step out of line you let them know but you’re on their side and will encourage them to be better.

As you work on these interpersonal leadership skills, you will realize just how much of an asset they are to being one of the best leaders your team has worked with.