Do Your People Skills STINK? 4 Things Leaders Can Do to Build Better Work Relationships

I find that I enjoy blogging when it comes from a real place. Lately, I’ve watched people not tap into their people skills and then wonder why they don’t get results. If you are the type of person who thinks you don’t need people to accomplish results in your work life, then this post is for you.

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I remember being a first-time manager and all I could think about was getting the work done. My team members would walk into my office and I was extremely focused on their marketing projects that were due that week and I rarely made a genuine effort to connect with them.

Well, let’s just say…’thank GOD that has changed.’ I have learned from amazing mentors and bosses who have taught me that people skills are key when trying to create a successful work team. When I didn’t make an effort to build a genuine relationship with my team (which I’ve noticed in both my work and volunteer life, leading various projects such as mentoring groups), the atmosphere was strictly business and cold. It was because I lacked the human personal connection with the people who were supposed to be working toward my vision as a manager or leader. As one boss told me before:

“Look Rebecca, you spend more time at work than with your family when you add up the hours you spend at the office, so I encourage all my employees to find a way to connect and get along in my department.”

Her words are true and I am constantly reminded as an entrepreneur that people could be more effective, if they realized that building relationships is NOT an option when trying to create a healthy work environment for your staff, volunteer team, and even vendors or clients.

Below are 5 tips or reminders to help you leverage or build your people skills with the people who work with you:

1) Learn the art of conversation.

Before you deep dive into asking someone to do something for you (whether it be in person or email), acknowledge them. If it’s Monday, acknowledge that the weekend has passed. Ask them how they are doing. You never know what personal issues someone is going through and may be unable to take too much from you on that day.

2) Connect outside of work.

As a leader or manager, create opportunities to bond with the people who work with you. I’m not saying become “besties,” but coordinate fun activities (more than 1x a year) for you to connect in a setting outside of your office or work space.

3) Don’t miss opportunities to nourish your relationship.

Okay, so again, I’m not saying become best friends, but if someone you work with invites you to an important event such as a wedding, baby shower, or milestone birthday, go to it. Even if you are incredibly shy or an introvert, GO and try your best to be there for them. You never know how much it would mean for them to see you there. If the type of event conflicts with your personal beliefs or your schedule, then of course that is an exception. However, you could send a card or gift to acknowledge the event in lieu of your attendance.

4) Remember to say “thank you.”

How many times has someone done something for you and you forgot (I’m being nice) to say thank you? If your team has been working hard to bring your vision to life and putting out fires that you will never know about, the least you can do is say thank you. No, I’m not saying every day send them a thank you note. But perhaps you can thank them with a bonus, a birthday or holiday gift, a day off, or ask the CEO to acknowledge them. With this tip I must add that always credit them for the work they do; never take credit for their work or idea. If someone thinks you did a particular project, correct them. It’s wack to take credit for someone else’s work or ideas—whether they report to you or not.

In closing, just remember that no matter if your team is getting paid or not, they are people and they deserve your respect and concern for their well-being. Demonstrating positive people skills will only help toward potentially creating a positive work environment.

Wishing you all the best, business rock stars!

Be strategic! 

Do you have tips on how someone can develop their people skills?  Tweet them to me @bestrategicPR.

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