Developing "People" Skills

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Workers are sometimes reluctant to respond to supervisory postures, in particular when significant change is required. How can you persuade a reluctant employee that it’s best to develop more healthy patterns of professionalism? Your own professionalism and “people” skills provide part of the answer.

Promote Responsibility
Develop a sense of responsibility in subordinates. Give each worker a chance to learn and improve professional skills. Then when you give responsibility, give authority too. Allow workers to use their creativity and their ability to be innovative in improving job methods and procedures.

Provide Clear Patterns of Communication
Describe assignments clearly and concisely. And remember, listening to employees is as important as speaking clearly and well. Make it easy for workers to communicate their ideas and concerns to you. Then follow through with those matters whenever possible. If it’s not possible, explain why.

Offer Encouragement
Ask employees for their advice or help. Encourage individual thinking. Meet with workers to discuss improvements and progress. Praise and sincere encouragement will reinforce improvement displayed by employees.

Be Approachable
Make it easy for employees to come to you. Keep workers informed and let them know where they stand with you. Let your staff in on your plans at an early stage and let them know about any changes that will affect them.

Be a Person of Principle
Your values and beliefs will shape not only the decisions you make but also the atmosphere in which you and your staff work. Also, remember the value of a sense of humor. These qualities will do much to enhance your "people" skills and your ability to motivate and inspire your staff.