There is no doubt that for you to succeed in your job you need a range of technical skills. The following job descriptions are based on google search:
- IT help desk specialists – need to be able to provide technical assistance and support related to computer systems, hardware, and software.
- Sales representative – serves customers by selling products, obtaining orders, establishing new accounts, and meeting customer needs etc…
With the above skills in mind, the following question was asked to different people (employees and customers) ‘Whom do you feel more comfortable working with or going to? The one who shows no interest in your needs or issues or the one who takes time to answer your concerns and addresses your need?’
The unanimous answer was they much rather prefer to work with those who have people skills, who show interest in their needs and concerns.
In today’s growing market where competition is so high and organizations are struggling to remain productive, exhibiting effective people skills is becoming more vital than ever before and equally important for running and maintaining a successful business.
So, what are people skills?
People skills are qualities that influence how well one can work or interact with others in an effective manner. Exhibiting these qualities makes it easier to build strong relationships, create trust and lead teams.
Unfortunately, the importance of these skills is often underestimated, and most organizations do not provide people skills training as much as they do for technical trainings. On the other hand, these organizations assume that employees know how to develop an effective presentation or how to network to win new customers and retain them or how to resolve a conflict, solve problems, provide excellent customer service, take initiative, be friendly, produce high quality work, etc. But is this reality? This assumption is wrong because not everyone possesses these skills and when these skills are missing a gap is created. People skills accompany technical skills and help employees use their technical skills to full advantage.
Today building effective interpersonal skills and maintaining good relationships with people cannot be ignored. It is very important for leaders to recognize the importance of these skills and the role they play within teams, not only that but also to encourage their development throughout the organization. Some of the areas to examine and evaluate include:
- Effective communication
- Interpersonal skills
- Emotional intelligence
- Negotiation skills
- Conflict resolutions
- Presentation skills
- Coaching and mentoring
Communication skills are fundamental to success in many aspects of life and play a vital role in today’s world. It is widely agreed that an understanding of the many ways people communicate is becoming increasingly important in our complex, technological society. Communication skills affect workplace relationships, departmental relations and ultimately the overall health of an organization.
Clear and concise communication promotes openness and is considered essential to move projects forward and enhance relationship. At the same time poor and unclear communication can lead to projects disruption or even failure, low morale, and costly mistakes.
According to Wikipedia, interpersonal skills, in the business context, refer to the measure of a person’s ability to operate within business organizations through social communication and interactions. Interpersonal skill is how people relate to one another.
Effective interpersonal skills don’t just happen, one needs to work to make it happen, especially in today’s business world where we are working more closely with people from different parts of the world. Communicating respect for other people within the workplace enables individuals to reduce conflict, increase collaboration and as a result increases productivity. In addition, positive working relationships help avoid burnout, exhaustion and even loneliness.
Working effectively through conflict in a calm and assertive way is a very important attribute for creating a good working environment and is highly valued by employers.
People who relate and manage their emotional states effectively and are also able to understand and acknowledge the emotional needs of others are known to have a high degree of Emotional Intelligence (EI).
According to Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence: why it can matter more than IQ (1995), EI is defined as a combination of self-awareness, self-control, empathy, and social awareness.
Today EIis considered key to success in life and at the workplace. For leaders to be effective they must have a solid foundation of how their actions and emotions impact their team members; they need to be able to stay in control be flexible and committed to personal accountability.
EI leaders are great communicator and motivators, they help develop their team, build trust, and create a sense of identity and self-worth.
Research shows that employees with high EI are often more productive at work, experience more job satisfaction and less stress level, have better work relationship, and work together to reduce conflict among members of teams.
Negotiation is a basic human function. We all negotiate daily at different levels, whether we negotiate a work agreement or what movie to attend.
Negotiating effectively is considered an essential ingredient to getting ahead in the workplace and cannot be overstated. It is vital for career success. Effective negotiation is tied to increase in profitability, solves workplace conflict more efficiently and builds good reputation for the organization.
Negotiation skills are not about beating the opposition. In fact, great negotiators ensure that discussions turn out in a win-win situation, get the best outcome for everybody involved and during the process build better and more trusting relationships among the involved parties.
Learning how to be a great negotiator can be challenging. It is a skill that can be learned with proper training and practice.
People bring different perspectives and knowledge to situations. These differences can lead to or create conflict. On the other hand, they can generate new ideas, as well as innovative solutions to problem solving. To keep working relationship productive, empowering leaders must understand and manage these perspectives successfully.
Conflict resolution is a skill that is designed to keep disagreement from intensifying while continuing to discuss each point of view to reach a collaborative conclusion.
The importance of conflict resolution should not be taken lightly. Managing conflict effectively can lead to better leadership skills, greater job opportunities, building healthier relationship among teams, ensuring goal achievement, and enhancing commitment.
It is well known that conflict in the workplace raises stress levels among employees, demotivate them and have a high impact on absenteeism rate as well as turnover. Applying good conflict resolution skills will minimizes this negative effect and helps maintain a more positive and comfortable environment for all employees.
Presenting, in some form, is a major part of business. Whether you get up in front of formal audiences or you simply have to talk in a meeting you are using presentation skills. Good presentation and public speaking skills are key to many influential roles in the business world and are debatably the most important set of skills an employee can possess.
With work being globally expanding and companies spreading their wings across the universe great communicators with good presentation skills are considered the most successful employees. Possessing great presentation skills will lead to individuals’ success and are more likely to get noticed by their superiors and climb their way up the corporate ladder.
Coaching and Mentoring
Today more than ever, mentoring and coaching have become necessary in the workplace. Its impact on personal and professional development is huge. Organizations are looking more for managers who use coaching approaches to keep momentum within the team and get employees to think of solutions to different issues that could arise by asking coaching questions.
Great leaders are characterized by applying coaching and mentoring tools to build a positive and concrete change in employees by transferring knowledge in an empowering manner to engage, retain and upskill them for career growth and at the same time empower them to become more confident in their roles, self-aware and able to solve problems efficiently.
By enhancing these skills and knowledge among employees, organizations will be building a strong foundation for a healthy working environment. Training and development increase job satisfaction, maintain a positive attitude among individuals, improve productivity and profitability and keep the organization competitive.
25 May 2022