Saturday, 16 April 2011

Interpersonal skills depend a lot on your intra-personal skills!

So you have got your promotion, moved up the ladder, have a larger team to handle now – well many congratulations to you. But the question is, are you prepared for such a role right now? With the skills you possess, the knowledge you hold and the great insights you have, are you able to encompass interpersonal skills and pay heed to the needs of your team? or allow me to  put it this way- Do you have the appropriate interpersonal skills to become a good boss?

As we move up the ladder we believe that all the things that we have acquired so far along with all the success will continue to foster further success in the future as well, though this might not be the case always. With growing success and positions we need to cultivate certain behaviors or skills which will help us in managing the large work force with a high success ratio.

We have had enough discussions on bad bosses, bosses who abuse; as they are the legends of the game :)…but why not for  change talk about those who played a key role in making us what we are.

I have been fortunate enough to have some good bosses too, and will share some of the experiences with you all.

Here is a Story: I met Patrick during the interview, immediately after the first meeting we both decided to work together, the gelling was such that the enthusiasm could be seen in the eyes. Even when we were in a different locations (he was placed in Germany (HQ) and I was in India), he made sure that the learning curve grew consistently over a period of time. He never interfered in any of my decisions but made sure that I did an analysis of all the pros and cons; helped me in understanding global HR practices, so that I could prosper in the company. With high EQ, he taught me to empathize with people and then reconsider decisions, policies and procedures. He was truly a people’s person-humble and very popular amongst all the employees in various regions as he was the Director HR Asia Pacific.

Similarly, have you ever considered what are the qualities you appreciated in your ‘good’ boss? In order to inculcate the same in yourself just enlist them and start working. Some of these are:

Communication skills: As a boss how you interact with team members can be seen from your communication skills and it could either make or break the interpersonal relations. The tone, pitch and choice of words can easily express the behavior and interpersonal skills. Special emphasis on honing listening skills is empirical to be successful with people around you. Team members want to know if they are being heard.

High on EQ: In order to progress, one must have shown all the intellectual skills with consistency, now is the time when one needs to sharpen the skills of being a people’s person, and the best way out is empathy and genuineness. Think from their viewpoint, what would be best for them and also for the company. Provide solutions keeping in mind the team member’s welfare and growth. Appraise them- just a pat on the back may be, or occasionally sitting with them and having lunch, just like Mr. Adi Godrej started taking lunch once in a week in the Company’s cafeteria with all the employees.

Proper delegation: Delegating the right amount of authority with responsibilities is actually an art, and very rarely are people connoisseurs of this art. It only comes when the Manager knows the strengths and weaknesses of his/her team members properly, and then delegation happens with appropriate skills. Practice also makes people perfect in the art of delegation, initially there are times that one might not get the desired results and make mistakes but it does not mean that the chosen one is not the right person for the assigned work. Give them another chance and then rate them on the scale of success.

Cheering: Encouraging taking of initiatives, thinking out of the box and every time you have given an idea instead of refuting it down (S) he ensured that you understood the repercussions and then decided to go ahead with those ideas. Cheering reflects the vision of a person, how he plans to take his team ahead and thinks about their growth path and succession planning too. As I say, a compliment a day can make your employees happy and gay!

Decision Making: Though it has been talked about in delegation, but we will deal with it as another interpersonal skill required in a ‘good’ boss. They not only take good decisions themselves with people’s participation but also inculcate the same in their teams as well. Learning comes from trial and error and such bosses will always encourage taking some ‘not so good’ decisions too, although not at the stake of their business.

Less Interference: Personally, I really liked this in my boss that he hardly ever interfered in my work areas, however he taught me a lot, and still he used to manage to keep himself away from many things which now a days is a difficult task for some insecure managers/bosses or the legends referred to as the ‘bad’ bosses.

Sense of humor: One should know how to keep healthy humor flowing in the team, with some witty remarks, sometimes sharing of anecdotes and good jokes. While giving feedback to the team one should always keep some humor handy so that things can be handled positively.

Interpersonal skills depend a lot on your intra-personal skills! So make a preference and instill these aforementioned qualities and skills in yourself and who knows you may end up being the next ‘GOOD’ BOSS!

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