Maggie’s webinar on How to Strengthen Your Interpersonal Skills was so popular, she wanted to extend the conversation in this Q&A! The webinar provides you with practical suggestions for strengthening these essential skills, making you a more effective leader and project manager.
How to Develop Interpersonal Skills. Chances are, you’ll have to interact on a variety of levels throughout your life. Whether you’re interviewing for a job, starting a new relationship, or communicating as part of a team, interpersonal…
As we conclude this three-part series on spring-cleaning our communications habits, I want to focus on improving interpersonal communication skills by examining differing communication styles. We will take a look at two style divides that can result in lost perspective, frustration, and conflict.
The gap between the technical and business expertise of successful project managers is closing as training efforts focus on the development of business acumen, critical thinking and problem solving, and interpersonal communication skills.
Interpersonal Communication for Engineering Leaders from Rice University. This course covers communication skills that engineering leaders use every day to motivate, inspire, and support the people in their organizations. Speaking and writing …
So you wanna save the world? Micromanaging isn’t an option when tackling the health of a nation, but it’s a myth that traditional project management approaches don’t ‘travel well’ from the business sector to international development initiatives. Interpersonal skills and team leadership are critical, even when the deliverables are running water and electricty.
Protecting project scope in the face of budget constraints isn’t fun, and can get downright ugly. The tug-of-war between individual stakeholders’ desires and overall objectives is often contentious, but project leaders can win respect, if not a popularity contest, when they combine disciplined change management procedures with interpersonal skills.
The most effective virtual team leaders are able to balance execution-oriented practices with interpersonal skills and cultural factors. Communication is king, according to a study of 48 virtual teams that identified five best practices for virtual team leadership.
How to Present Yourself and Business Powerfully. Interpersonal skills may seem secondary to financial and business skills. Yet the intangible messages you communicate have very tangible effects on your bottom line if you do not convey them…
How to Influence. We all want to be surrounded by strong, inspirational, and influential role models in our lives. Do you want to be one of those people? You can learn to develop your character, your interpersonal skills, and your level of…
Study shows that a lack of interpersonal skills keeps many new executives from successfully transitioning into their new roles. Despite strong technical know-how and years of previous management experience, nearly one in three externally hired executives and one in five executives hired from within are not perfor…
(PHILADELPHIA, BUSINESS WIRE) The world’s Best Companies for Leaders-among the world’s most respected-are focused on developing leaders who will not only survive and thrive in the current financial crisis but will be well positioned for growth once the economy improves. The 2008 Best Companies for Leaders survey-conducted by management consultancy Hay Group and Chief Executive Magazine-identifies the top 20 best-in class companies (see below) as well as the attributes that make these companies known for great leadership. The research suggests a number of best practices to help organizations and their leaders navigate the significant challenges brought on by the economic downturn as well as key tips to prepare for the upswing. Surviving the downturn When asked what organizations value the most in leaders, 83 percent of the best in class organizations as compared to others said “execution”. Organizations value leaders who can achieve results through others. These leaders create a climate in which people know exactly what is expected of them. In ideal times, the survey results showed, people value authoritative and democratic styles of leadership in comparison to the other four styles of coercive, affiliative, pacesetting and coaching. In tough economic times, employees’ desire more communication and clarity around goals. They want their leaders to become more visible and to be leading from the front. Typical leadership styles which accomplish this include authoritative with some coercive and pacesetting when needed. During tough economic times, best-in-class companies create clarity, encourage development, drive accountability and recognize successful leaders. 65 percent of the top twenty companies on the list hold senior managers accountable for commitments versus 36 percent for all others. 63 percent create a sense of purpose for employees by communicating values versus 43 percent for all other companies. 45 percent honor leaders within the organization versus 32 percent for all other companies. In addition, 62 percent of respondents indicated that matrixed roles are increasing in their organizations. Managing in a matrix poses its own set of challenges, including the need for collaboration, creating a cohesive team, not having authority over resources, managing conflicts over differing agendas, goals or priorities, and minimizing confusion over roles, decision-making and accountability. Hay Group says that there will be an increased emphasis on the skills needed to work in a matrix environment. Relationship building, influencing, adaptability, interpersonal skills and collaboration skills will all be more important in the future workplace. “The conventional top-down chain of command is yielding to decision-making that’s spread across business units, executive teams with far-reaching authority and other activities that reflect a brave, new, flat business world,” said Rick Lash, Hay Group’s national practice leader for leadership and talent. Preparing for the upswing The Hay Group/Chief Executive survey reveals that the top 20 best companies for leaders make leadership development a priority. 70 percent of the top 20 companies say they have a formal process to identify individuals for leadership roles, versus 37 percent of all companies. 65 percent of companies say that talent management is driven by a clear business strategy versus 39 percent of all other companies. 55 percent have formal programs to accelerate leader development versus 34 percent of all other companies. “What we have been seeing in these uncertain times is that organizations are not pulling back on their development of leaders, primarily because organizations recognize they don’t have the depth of leadership they need to meet future demands,” said Lash. “This year we have seen the best in class organizations become more focused, investing their assessment and development on their best leadership talent, rather than providing across the board development for everyone,” he said. “The Best Companies for Leaders are making serious investments in leadership development,” said Lash. “Development opportunities include special projects, assignments, and online training programs.” Hay Group is a management consulting firm that works with leaders to transform strategy into reality. We develop talent, organize people to be more effective and motivate them to perform at their best. Our focus is on making change happen and helping people and organizations realize their potential. We have over 2600 employees working in 85 offices in 47 countries. Our clients are from the private, public and not-for profit sectors, across every major industry. ( Read entire release.)
It’s time for some new thinking in sales training. Clearly, there is a need for more comprehensive approaches to increasing individual competency and building sales capacity. The current approach just isn’t working. Let’s look at some of the newest trends in sales and sales management, and how they can help: Talent management. Studies have shown that a deliberate approach to talent management, including the recruitment, selection, orientation, engagement, and retention of top sales performers, results in annual sales force turnover of less than 10 percent (BPT Partners). Top sales organizations focus keenly on the proper identification and selection of new sales team members who have the best fit for building the sales team. That means they fit withing the sales culture, selling system, and types of products being sold. S kills development. Training is conducted with the purpose of helping salespeople increase their knowledge of the business and developing higher level skills, not just focusing on one element of the sales training mix such as product knowledge. Sales leaders coach and develop their team members. Sales process execution. Once equipped with the appropriate knowledge and skills, salespeople must be free to use them. They must be permitted – and expected – to take initiative, use good judgment, and make ethical decisions. Yet, 81 percent of sales organizations say that they don’t have a consultative sales process or are not following the one they have. Foundational selling skills. Skills such as presentation skills, speaking, closing, and follow-up – seem to be less important in today’s selling climate. Don’t get me wrong, salespeople do believe that addressing tough customer requirements, leveraging industry knowledge, and troubleshooting complex business problems provide the right customized experience for the buyer. Salespeople can provide value to buyers through a collaborative approach that co-creates a solution through a complex sales cycle. These approaches require salespeople to develop a wide variety of skills to keep pace with the increasing sophistication of the market and of their offerings. A competency model can help to define and guide that development. A competency model. A sales competency model can serve as an objective foundational starting point that can help to forecast and address knowledge and skills issues that arise due to the changes in markets and demographics. Consider the impact of a younger workforce: Will the only gap be one of turning knowledge into skill? How will companies turn the raw, undeveloped abilities of these younger players into consistently applied talent? What resources do we have for the bright, knowledgeable sales-team member who lacks the interpersonal skills to form lasting relationships with customers? And how will we address the loss of accumulated knowledge and years of experience when our most senior salespeople retire – many of them within the next five to ten years? If the experience of maturing workers is important to a company’s success, how can that experience and expertise be captured and transferred to younger, less experienced workers? Sales trainers, sales managers, and company executives must be more concerned with providing a holistic learning and development progression rather than relying on ad-hoc sales training activities. Furthermore, management must take a more proactive role in promoting the importance of this development and supplying adequate resources. Right now, many companies’ leaders are getting in the way of their sales teams’ success: In response to the ASTD survey, 44 percent said that there was a lack of management buy-in to sales training in their organizations, and 42 percent said that management’s short-sighted focus on results was an obstacle to successful sales training. To engineer world-class sales performance, sales team development must be holistic, all-encompassing, and proactive. There must be a paradigm shift in thinking, from “sales training” to “sales development and performance.” Sales training must quickly and deliberately evolve from a sometime activity by sales managers to an intentional, qualified effort that is directly tied to business strategy and measured according to business outcomes. Its practitioners must be knowledgeable, dedicated, and guided by a competency-based approach. A quantum shift to sales development and performance will bring sales team members together with professional sales trainers to create positive, progressive change by balancing human, ethical, technological, and operational considerations. A competency-based approach can help organizations attain business outcomes and results by focusing on sales-team member knowledge, skills, values, attitudes, and actions in relation to the workplace environment. For example, a competency-based approach allows sales development and performance professionals to work with a hiring manager to select new employees who demonstrate the agreed-upon competencies and expertise required to be successful in the position. These competencies then become part of the performance management system to monitor and evaluate the individual’s performance on the job. Finally, these competencies serve as the basis for guiding future development. A competency-based approach applied to the sales organization can provide a firm foundation by which sales team members can develop. With this approach, development efforts aimed at helping sales team members gain basic skills, technology skills, or even management skills are designed to be immediately applicable. Salespeople must continually develop new skills in order to contribute to the growth of their companies. The only way for companies to grow and compete in a rapidly changing global business environment is to have a skilled sales team that is innovative, understands the economic environment and marketplace, and is driven to excel within their industry. This requires the right people, with the right skills, at the right time. The tools and systems created by a competency-based approach to sales-team development can help organizations overcome many of the barriers cited here and maximize the potential of their sales force.
“I don’t get no respect” could be a catchphrase for an internal consultant-but not anymore. A few days ago, ASTD Press published Consulting on the Inside, 2nd edition, and once internal consultants get their hands on this book and start applying its lessons, they will get respect in spades. How are internal consultants different from externals? Well, let’s look at external consultants first. The external consultant-often perceived as having a lot of expertise, experience, and credibility-is brought in by senior executives to “facilitate a client-requested change without having the formal authority to implement the recommended actions.” He or she is often viewed as an objective outsider, someone who has a lot of broad business experience and knows all the latest and greatest business thinking. Often he or she is viewed as a hotshot who is trusted by the executive team to fix an organizational problem. Internals, however, sometimes seem to lack credibility and aren’t taken seriously. They can be viewed as having an agenda, as not being objective. Also, they lack the broad business exposure that external consultants gain as part of their everyday work. However, internal consultants do some advantages externals don’t have: They have deep knowledge of the organization-its culture, its lingo, its history, the ways things are done-which can give them an edge in getting projects off the ground because they know who to talk to and how to make things happen. In Consulting on the Inside, 2nd edition, Beverly Scott and B. Kim Barnes provide all that an internal consultant could need to leverage their advantages and minimize their disadvantages. The book provides an eight-phase consulting model that allows for the often nonlinear and iterative nature of the internal consulting process. One of the new additions to this second addition is a section devoted entirely to the interpersonal skills that are required for success in internal consulting (and in business in general). The skills that B. Kim Barnes brings her considerable experience and in-depth knowledge to include influence, negotiation, innovation, change, and team effectiveness. And finally one the real values of the book are the tools provided both in the hard copy and on the web. These include meeting agendas, self-assessments, processes, models, flowcharts, and more. So read the sample chapter at the Consulting on the Inside webpage, pick up a copy, and get some respect!
Use this job aid to measure your strengths in the foundational competencies for trainers. The competencies include business/management skills, interpersonal skills, and personal skills. Rate your level of expertise in those areas and decide which skills are of the highest priority to you. [PDF Download]
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Many hiring managers have practice in assessing broad technical skills. But strong, creative and capable teams result only when those T-shaped people can work interdependently, self-manage, solve group problems and learn together. That implies another set of skills to look for when hiring for a cross-functional team–interpersonal and collaboration skills.
(From Business Wire) — OnPoint Consulting studied the influence skills of 223 leaders (116 men and 107 women) across organizations and industries to examine the extent to which there are gender differences. The research specifically looked at the use of four core tactics that are most effective in gaining the commitment of people who have competing priorities or conflicting goals: Rational Persuasion, Inspirational Appeals, Consultation, and Collaboration. The study found that men and women use two of the core tactics to the same extent: Rational Persuasion (providing logical arguments and factual evidence to show that a request or proposal is feasible and relevant for important task objectives) and Collaboration (offering to provide relevant resources or assistance if the person will carry out a request or implement a proposed change). These findings contradict the stereotype that women leaders have an interpersonal style and men a task-oriented style. If this were true, you would expect to find that men use Rational Persuasion (a logical, data oriented tactic) more frequently, and women use Collaboration (a relationship oriented tactic) more frequently to influence. However, we found no differences between men and women in the use of these tactics. Read more.
Businesses around the world are currently experiencing a profound market shift that will impact the supply and demand for skilled talent over the next decade, according to the research study, Global Talent 2021. The study was conducted by Oxford Economics in partnership with professional services company Towers Watson and other firms. The research reveals that while technology fuels demand for highly skilled workers, emerging economies are increasing the supply of talent by giving people greater access to education. The study, which surveyed 352 human resource executives, examines how rapid globalization and the transformation of business models in virtually every industry will affect workforce needs in the future, and the implications for senior business executives and their HR leaders. As the skills employers require become more complex, labor shortages are projected in many mature markets, including the U.S., Germany, Canada, and Italy. Meanwhile, a surplus of skilled talent is likely to emerge in locales such as Brazil, Colombia, India and South Africa. Digital knowledge, agile thinking, interpersonal and communication skills, and global operating capabilities will be talent areas in high demand over the next five to 10 years. In the developed world, where talent shortages in a number of managerial and technical fields are expected to persist, companies will be forced to think more explicitly about the trade-offs among outsourcing work, offshoring staff and retraining workers.
All effective trainers have certain skills and qualities in common. The core competencies of good trainers are skills that allow trainers who possess those competencies to increase their effectiveness in organizations as well as sustain the overall training profession. This Infoline presents a set of core competencies for trainers based on the ASTD Competency Model’s foundational competencies that fall into the categories of business and management, interpersonal, and personal. For the trainer who continually works to improve his or her skills, this issue will enable him or her to develop and demonstrate these competencies on the job, assess competencies that may need to be developed further, and chart a path for future growth.
Chief Learning Officers are often found at larger organizations where the human resources department is broken out into various specialties. CLOs, who are sometimes called chief knowledge officers, usually report either to the top talent officer or the chief executive officer (CEO). A CLO’s responsibilities may include on boarding, training courses and materials, employee development […]