Leadership People Skills: Lead Quietly w/ Courage to Roar

Leadership people skills are critical to success. From inspiring and engaging to communicating and resolving conflicts, leadership people skills are at the heart of it all.

Regarding employee engagement, leaders often ask me for people skills guidance. One of the most common questions is: “How do I know when to show my strengths and when to hold back to engage theirs?


Leadership People Skills: Image is Statue of Greek Woman Goddess

Leadership People Skills: Lead Quietly w/ Courage to Roar Image by: elycefeliz

Grateful for image by: elycefeliz via Flickr Creative Commons License.

My leadership people skills advice to them is …


To engage others, lead quietly with the courage to roar.


Leadership People Skills to Engage

Leading quietly with the courage to roar …

  • Doesn’t mean silence or speaking. It means conversing to explore vs. giving orders.
  • Doesn’t mean denying your leadership talents. It means unearthing their talents dynamically with yours.
  • Doesn’t mean huge risk from their inexperience. It means mentoring and coaching them with the courage to jump in and act when necessary.
  • Doesn’t mean weak leadership. It means the strength to trust others.

Leadership People Skills Engagement Challenges

Sounds simple? Well if it were that simple, engagement would be consistently high and it isn’t. When engaging with leadership people skills, balance is tough to find.

  • Your personality type

    If you are a strong driver, your extreme desire for quick results may lead to you to direct vs. engage.
    Solution: For drivers the issue is pace and time. With your teams, identify the vision and also the pace needed to achieve success. When you put this issue on the table you are less likely to drive and more likely to engage their talents.

    If you are a strong amiable, your high need for bonded relationships may lead to you to recoil from the tough conversations.
    Solution: Understand that bonds are not built on avoidance nor broken through honest conversations. Use your ability to empathize to have the tough conversations with care.

    If you are a strong expressive, your high expressive style may cause others to remain silent. They can’t find a moment to speak. Hard to believe yet it’s true.
    Solution: Use a simple leadership people skills rule: the 30 second maximum. If you have been speaking for 30 seconds, pause and wait for input. Better yet pause after 20 seconds. This simple technique turns monologue into dialogue.

    If you are a strong analytic, your high focus on ordered thinking often shuts out those who think creatively or from the big picture. As you stop them mid-sentence for the logic and data, they hear you telling them to be you — not them.
    Solution: Once again timing is both the issue and the solution. Instead of demanding they use only logic and data, allow them to express from their thinking. Then discuss the logic and data. Two steps instead of one. It engages diverse talents and still leads to the success you envision.

  • Your leader sees engagement as weakness

    When your leadership people skills are focused on engagement and your boss sees engagement as weakness, it may cause you to engage your teams less. Don’t fall into this trap. Solution: Ask your leader what specifically does s/he see as a weakness? Have you and your team missed a critical objective? Specifics and an open discussion can lead to an effective change. It prevents you from reverting to directing instead of engaging.

Leading to engage means assessing the teams strengths and needs every time you interact. This is why leadership people skills are at the heart of employee engagement. Leading quietly with the courage to roar doesn’t require that you be silent and withhold your strengths.

It means that as a leader you contribute from an awareness of what will bring out all the talents. Quiet doesn’t mean silent. It means being aware of team members’ strengths rather than always directing with yours.

With great leadership people skills, you use your strengths as needed instead of directing most of the time. Set the vision, teach, guide, mentor, challenge, spur change, build bonds, and model greatness.

It’s all quite achievable when you lead quietly with the courage to roar.

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related posts:
Employee Engagement: Breed Accountability Not Blame
Leaders, 6 Steps to Be a Buoy & Engage Employees

©2013 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

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