7 Ways to Strengthen Your People Management Skills
By Helen Godfrey, MA, NCC, BCC, LPC
Good interpersonal skills are important in all walks of life. Whether you're rich or poor, employed or unemployed, a corporate CEO or a plumber, strengthening these skills can help you live the life you desire.
Imagine how much easier life would be if people heeded your every wish! Go ahead, indulge in this ideal world for a little while. Your kids would be willing to do their chores, your spouse would do some of your chores, and your business life would soar to new heights! Surprisingly, strong people management skills can make all this possible.
Even if you feel as though you have limited skills understanding and communicating effectively with others, you can gain these skills by becoming familiar with some basic psychology and then putting this knowledge to work for you.
We all have a lot in common. We all have many of the same wants and needs. When you meet the needs of others, people tend to be very easy to get along with. With patience, practice, and a willingness to understand people, you can develop strong people and management skills.
Here are some good techniques for strengthening your people management skills:
1. Put yourself in their shoes. If you had their position, would you like yourself as a manager? Great managers know what people are thinking and feeling. They're quick to pick up on things and work hard to solve problems among their team. Ask yourself if you're willing to do the same.
2. Show gratitude and appreciation. You might feel appreciative of your team, but without action, they'll never know it. Always be on the lookout for new ways to show appreciation.
3. Give sincere compliments. Think about what you really like about your team and point these things out as regular compliments. If you're sincere, chances are that the recipient will sense your genuine appreciation.
4. Treat others with respect. Strive to always treat people with respect, no matter what their stance in life. Treat them the way you'd like to be treated. This shows character and strength, both of which are characteristics of someone with excellent people skills.
5. Delegate appropriately. When you delegate the right tasks to the right people, everyone gets a chance to excel and the team works together at its best. This raises the morale of the people around you and motivates them to do a good job.
6. Be honest. Honesty is always the best policy. If you've ever been caught in a lie, you know how quickly you can lose someone's trust. Earning and maintaining trust is an important management skill. When others trust you, they believe in you, and your opinions mean more to them.
7. Listen attentively. Listening is fifty percent of communication. Truly listen to what people are telling you. Make an effort to understand their point of view, even if you don't agree with it. Ask clarifying questions to make sure you really understood. When they know you consider their feelings as important, you've already won half the battle.
Consistently practice these strategies with others and watch as your life becomes easier and more enjoyable.
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