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  • Review your interpersonal skills and leadership style

    Review your interpersonal skills and leadership skills banner

    Become better at communicating, influencing and persuading.

    See how effective leaders have the ability to adjust their approach depending upon the situation or the person they are faced with.

    The range of activities you undertake as a manager is substantial with the result that the variety of skills needed to succeed is broad. You could say that everything you do as a leader can be grouped into two areas: engage people to ensure their commitment, competence and motivation (the ‘leading’ part) and harness that engagement by focusing on process to ensure productivity, efficiency and quality, in order to achieve the performance and results required (the ‘managing’ part).

    To be successful, you therefore need to both lead and manage and the variety of skills needed to do so is extensive.

    The art of communication graphic

    Relationship building is a vital part of the management role and it is the quality of your interpersonal skills which facilitate the building of relationships with others. The prime interpersonal skill is the ability to communicate, which can be broken into three parts:

    1. Elements of communication: how you currently communicate is an example of conditioning (learned behaviour) and you may have to change or unlearn what you currently do, as a stepping stone to becoming a more effective leader.

    2. Communicating more effectively: in seeking to become a better communicator, you naturally need to consider both content (the words you use) and context (your tone and body language). Having leadership qualities like self-control will help you here, as it will allow you to manage your emotions more effectively and therefore improve how you communicate.

    3. Improving your listening skills: as well as thinking about how you send messages, you need to think about how you receive them too and to communicate more effectively you must be a good listener.

    Leaders also spend a lot of time influencing and persuading others. Becoming a better influencer means first knowing the impact you have on others and being aware of the process involved. You also need to take into account leadership styles, with an emphasis on Situational Leadership. Instead of using just one style, successful leaders should change their leadership styles based on the ‘maturity’ of the people they're leading and the details of the task.

    What you decide to do following your review of your interpersonal skills and leadership style (having read the personal leadership effectiveness: leadership skills guide) is entirely up to yourself, but even small improvements in your ability to relate to others or adjusting your leadership style can lead to significant improvements in employee performance.