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Improve your People Management Skills

Improve your people management skills

People management skills

How can you get the best from yourself and others?

Answer: develop your: "People management skills"

People management skills are the "soft skills".
Some people develop them all naturally; and sadly, others don't.
Do you know anyone with good technical skills, but poor people management skills?

Their effect can be devastating, cant it?

People management skills include the following:

  1. Listening with intent to understand.
  2. Asking insightful questions.
  3. Being motivating and inspiring.
  4. Handling conflict situations.
  5. Showing a degree of trust.
  6. Inspires productive atmosphere.

Listening with intent to understand

We would like you to make this distinction between two kinds of listening:

  1. Listening with intent to understand
  2. Listening with an intent to reply

Good people skills mean that you listen with intent to understand.

That means listening and NOT interrupting, not drifting off, but paying full attention to the others message.

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Good listening has three major benefits

  1. You learn more about the other persons wants, desires and fears
  2. You show respect to the other
  3. You can't say the wrong thing, if you are listening

Conclusion 1: Listen more often, with intent to understand.

Asking insightful questions

Listening will not be enough on its own.
Good listening will inspire questions about what the other person has said.
In order to understand you must become a good questioner.

Questions can be used in two main ways:

  1. As a means of gathering more information.
  2. As a means of gentle persuasion.

As a means of gathering more information, use this phrase
"When you say, BLANK, what specifically do you mean?

As a means of persuasion you might ask questions in of the form of:
"I understand what you mean, but what would you see as the possible long range problems associated with doing that?"

Conclusion 2: To persuade and to gather more information, develop your questioning skills.

Being Motivating and inspiring

Nobody likes a grump.
Nobody wants to work with a person who is pessimistic, cynical and down.

Good people skills involves resisting the temptation to submit to the bad news.
Good people skills includes keeping the mood strong in spite of the gloom.

In essence, being a positive motivator boils down to just one thing:

That means being able to:
"Talk convincingly about WHY the future WILL BE better than the present."

If you learn to come up with a convincing reason to support the idea that the future will be better than the present, then, to that degree you will inspire confidence in others.
To the degree to which you cannot do that, is the degree to which you will fail to inspire confidence.

Conclusion 3: Train yourself to talk convincingly about WHY the future will be better than the present.

Handling conflict situations

Handling conflict situations is a delicate and important people management skill to master.

This skill resolves down to three basic abilities:

  1. The ability to criticise the others behaviour (claiming bad behaviour) without criticising and attacking the character of the person ( NOT claiming he is of bad character)
  2. The ability to suggest ways out of the conflict that is both possible and acceptable to the other
  3. The ability to control your language, when you are in a bad mood (not to say too much!)

Conclusion 4: By applying the three laws stated above, train yourself to give constructive criticism

Showing a degree of trust

Trust is the basis of our economy

If you don't trust the other, then you cannot do business with him- her.

Demonstration of trust is therefore a major compliment.
Demonstration of a lack of trust is a major de-motivator and an insult.

Good people skills involves trusting others to the maximum that is justifiable given two things:

  1. Their track record
  2. The value of the task being entrusted

The people management skill is to give as much trust as you can to others.
(Allowing you to delegate lower value work and get on with higher value work).

Conclusion 5: As much as is justifiable, trust others

Inspiring a productive atmosphere

This is the sum total of all the other five skills.
If you can do all the other five, then you can and will inspire a productive effort from those around you.

Conclusion 6: Work harder on changing yourself, than you do trying to change others

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People management skills include the following abilities.

  1. Listen more often, with intent to understand.
  2. To persuade and to gather more information, develop your questioning skills.
  3. Train yourself to talk convincingly about WHY the future will be better than the present.
  4. By applying the three laws stated above, train yourself to give constructive criticism.
  5. As much as is justifiable, trust others.
  6. Work harder on changing yourself, than you do trying to change others.

Visit the Corporate Coach Group for more information on Management Training.

About the Author: Chris Farmer


Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

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