You want your people to be friendly and service-minded to each other and to your customers. A smooth running operation is desirable, so people skills are important. Do you find it hard to schedule employee training time to hone and develop interpersonal skills in the workplace? Those soft skills are essential to keep your teams collaborating and productive (and happy.) Let’s talk about some ways to level up people skills in your team.
In the beginning, you hire friendly people. During their honeymoon phase, they are eager to work with their peers. Some of their coworkers, though, have lost their new-employee enthusiasm. People get impatient and abrupt. They don’t take time to listen. Little issues grow bigger. Pretty soon the new employee is jaded too.
Don’t think of people skills training as a two-hour session every month or quarter. Set aside five minutes during your regular team meetings to level up people skills. Here are some ideas:
- Ask an employee to bring up a social challenge they faced with a customer or coworker, and how they successfully handled it. Or explore as a group how a situation like that might be handled more successfully.
- Talk together about the importance of listening longer before responding. It can let another person feel heard and diffuse a potential conflict.
- Ask an employee to relate a successful interaction they witnessed when another employee spoke with a customer or team member. Celebrate that!
- Talk about the importance of empathy and how to show it. Everyone struggles with interpersonal situations sometimes.
- As the leader, share a recent social issue that you could have handled better. Talk together about you could have improved your response. It’s essential to demonstrate that you’re learning too.
- Keep the focus on what can be done, not what can’t. There are always limitations, but there are usually ways to skirt them and find an agreeable solution.
As a leader you have to work on your own people skills constantly, so you can embody their importance to your employees. To level up people skills in your team, talk about them weekly and you’ll see excellent results. You haven’t peaked yet!
Get more performance out of your most valuable and expensive business assets – your people. Contact me to find out how.