Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Good people skills required

Good people skills are a requirement for success in virtually any position - from community volunteer to C.E.O., every job description calls for good people skills. We all raise an eyebrow, and then most of us read another book or take another course designed to give us "hard" technical skills instead.

Good people skills are often seen as the excuse that the mediocre give for keeping us one level below where we really belong. They are a necessary evil, a way of catering to political realities instead of doing our 'real' work. In a perfect world, we would not need good people skills to make the most of good ideas.

Or would we? What if good people skills means having the skills to work with good people. Too often, communication skills are confused with conflict management. They seem to be a way of dealing with difficult people. No wonder so many people stay away from practicing them. Who wants to be the expert called to manage cranky, dreary people?

Good people prefer to work with good people. The top achievers in every field like to work with other top achievers: they like the company of people who are as bright and energizing as they are themselves. Good people skills are the ways they communicate with one another; think of them as the secret handshake by which high performers recognize one another.

If you do not have good people skills, how will good people know they want to work with you?

Teleseminar with Mike Murray on Integrated Thinking for IT will be available beginning Nov. 29 at www.episteme.ca.

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