People Skills Truths to Unstick Leadership & Teamwork #Peopleskills
by Kate Nasser | 6 Comments »
People Skills: From confusion to trust!
As leaders wade into the areas of employee engagement, empowerment, and teamwork, different views that are never discussed get everyone stuck.
So this short post today is meant to put related people skills truths on the table. Explore them, discuss them, and unstick everyone! Innovation, productivity, and high performance are within your reach when you clear the confusion.
People Skills Truths: Lay Them Bare & Unstick Success
- Trust doesn’t have to be blind trust. Believing in each other doesn’t require you to completely overlook signs of trouble or lack of commitment. The truth is there are employees and leaders who subvert the good of the organization and team. Stay awake. It doesn’t mean you lack trust.
- Empowerment is not democracy. I have witnessed many teams incorrectly think empowerment is each person doing what they want. When leaders intervene and “set limits”, mistrust and discontent brew and gets everyone stuck. Even people skills can’t remove the scars.
Leaders, make your vision of empowerment clear. Don’t assume everyone knows. Engage teams to discuss it. Use examples. Explore both empowerment’s freedom and responsibilities. The truth is each person defines it differently if you don’t bring them together!
- Diversity is a universal truth. Respect the differences, learn to love the differences, and find the fit! This unsticks leadership and teamwork as it builds tremendous trust. The truth is if leaders don’t model this in their people skills, they are cheating the teams of full potential and success.
Have these incredibly important people skills discussions with the teams. Don’t assume, don’t fear the conversations, and don’t cheat the teams from the brilliance they can achieve with these truths.
If you would like to add to this list of people skills truths, I would love it! You will help unstick all teams with your experience.
From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™
5 Essentials to Building 21st Century Teams
©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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
4) “There is nothing called over communication” myth
Leaders should set communication protocol for the team or else teams will be bombarded with so many communications channels (thanks to email, Whatsapp, Facebook, etc…). If such channels were all used with no defined boundaries of when, where and how to use them, people will have trouble attending to messages and information management would be a nightmare!
I hope this counts as 4 compared to your first great 3 points Kate 🙂
Great list so far! I have to put my old team/org hat back on for this. : )
‘Empowerment is not democracy’.
I like the way you worded this. And really…it’s true. If we are working within an organization, unless we are being ‘forced’ to stay there, it’s ‘assumed’ that when we take the job, we are in alignment with the overall vision/mission/goals, etc.
In the healthcare setting, there was only one place (out of all the medical facilities/locations I worked) where I had to make a stand because management was in direct violation legally and ethically with an ongoing patient care situation. I utilized proper channels and dealt with it directly in person accompanied by a written letter to document the exact nature of the problem and why it was in violation, etc etc. When I tried to handle it in person without a letter of documentation, they told me to simply ‘turn my head’. When I returned with my written letter, they immediately dealt with the situation. It was a position I did not enjoy being in, I can tell you that much!
And this ties in both with your other 2 points as well; blind trust and diversity.
In the situation above, I entered employment in good faith that the facility was up to par with good and ethical practices, etc. (it was a very small facility) Once I became aware there was a problem, it then became my duty as a licensed healthcare professional to take responsibility and deal with it. (even though I wouldn’t have volunteered for the task willingly..yet when you are on the job…if you ‘see’ it, you need to own it type of gig…. )
As for the diversity, again, this was a situation where once something crosses the line into being legally/ethically ‘wrong’ and/or puts people at risk or in danger, then we need to do something about it. We shouldn’t keep silent in those situations.
One of the huge problems we had overall in every org/company I’ve worked in though is poor communication skills. Overall, many people not feeling safe enough to be honest. And that makes things worse because it creates palpable tension within the team/org. Yet people aren’t saying what’s bothering them or willing to directly address issues (in house) until it reaches ‘crisis’ proportions….when people are really unhappy and just can’t take it anymore. This one really takes some times to deal with, not only as an organization; via leaders and management, but with the employees as well.
People bring their poor communication skills to work with them regardless of their title/position. If they fear conflict at home, they will fear it at work too. If they handle things passive aggressively in other areas of their life, it will be similar at work. (or as much as they can get away with in a work setting)
The organization and leaders really need to create a sense of safety and MODEL good communication skills and guide employees/team members in how to learn it as well. Most people simply don’t know how to do it very well and really need the extra help and guidance. ?
You have brought so much to this post with these vivid real life examples. So much to consider and learn — and our learning about people skills and leadership never ends!
Many thanks for all your support and contributions to this blog!
Wonderful post, Kate. I read it earlier this week and wanted to come back to it and reflect further.
I think for me one of the “truths” is “Talk withpeople, not about them.” Many problems are the result of triangulation (talking about others behind their backs with no intent to resolve the problem). While it certainly makes sense to call on a trusted friend to be sounding board or reality check, there are plenty of times when the right course of action involves a direct, person to person dialogue. The hardest aspect is often talking with someone about that person’s behavior or performance in an immediate way, combining a commitment to sharing your own truth with positive care for the individual you are addressing. Not easy stuff, but a people skills truth (or series of them) that often can’t be avoided.
All the best!
I love your addition — talk with people not at them. It has come up over and over in teamwork improvement sessions I run. Preparing a new session for a new customer and what do you know but again .. one of the issues they want me to address is “gossip”.
Always pleased to read your insights and grateful you share them here!