Friday, February 11, 2011
People Skills Count Most
One of the most important things I ever learned had to do with mastering people skills. It matters little what the job is or what the context is, if people are involved the key is understanding them and getting along with them.
The book you see here, Hope and Change for Humpty Dumpty, is focused on teaching people how to relate with others and be a positive influence on them. Go to my web for a free download of the book. If you want to influence others as a manager, a leaders or a minister, it is the book for you.
I have failed many times at interpersonal relations. Despite my commitment to listening, understanding and respecting people I still fail at it and I regret it. It is one of the things that drives me to keep learning and growing in relating to others with understanding and mercy.
I read an interesting interview in the Wall Street Journal Fins Section of a top executive from IBM tonight who agreed with my assessment of the importance of communication, problem solving and conflict management.
IBM's Bridget van Kralingen, 47, runs a $40 billion business, accounting for 40% of total revenue at the computer services and software giant.
Van Kralingen was appointed general manager of North America a year ago and is based in New York. She began her career at Deloitte Consulting in Cape Town in 1989, joining IBM in 2004 to run its global financial services business out of London. Born in the U.K., she spent 15 years with Deloitte, mostly in South Africa with a brief stint in New York from 1997 to 1999.
FINS spoke with her about meritocracy, how to boost morale among sales teams and her boss, Ginni Rometty, No. 8 on Fortune magazine's 2010 list of Most Powerful Women in Business.
SP: How do you suggest people get used to working with different cultures and teams?
BvK: Two things. First, go in with the stance of listening before you jump to conclusions or take an approach that may have worked in the place you worked before.
Secondly, go ahead and ask about leadership style in the place you're in. Ask your team, your peers.
SP: What would you advise someone going into sales as a career?
BvK: We sell around solutions rather than products now. So you need to have the skills to consult and understand.
It's not just the selling and solutioning, but also delivery. We're in an era of analytics and making sense of data.
Wherever you go and whatever you do, interpersonal skills of Genuineness, Respect, Empathy and Warmth are critically important. Go to our web page and download the Humpty Dumpty book. Take a look at the skills and start using them at home, school and work. They will save you a lot of time, energy and pain.