Leaders need to avoid these seven causes of people skills errors to maintain their credibility. Everyone needs “people-skills” to survive in an increasingly competitive global market. People skills can be described as what are needed for an individual to succeed in forging memorable connections with leadership, co-workers, and clients. An employee or leader who excels at making these connections will be primed for success because it opens communication channels and allows people to easily relate. Kate Nasser gives us seven common causes of error that people make with regards to people-skills.
- Confusing good judgment and judgmentalism. Good judgment borne of different experiences can bring valuable debate, innovation, and success. Judging people (judgmentalism) insults them and blocks opportunities for success. Remedy: See each person as a possibility for a team win.
- Forgetting or denying that every conversation communicates and creates emotion. People-skills blunders abound in those who focus purely on their own message and never on honoring others as people. People-skills brilliance lies in the awareness of how actions impact others and in the generosity to adapt. Stay on the right road: Speed success by honoring others and avoiding the detour to the land of disrespect.
- Fear of losing. When people fear losing and focus only on winning, ironically they often lose. Fear widens the gap between people and inconsiderate behavior emerges as their people-skills tumble. The chance for engagement, support, and mutual agreement is slim. Remedy: Spot and stop fears from driving behavior.
- Mistaking listening and adapting for surrender. Picture a happy boorish clod who never listens or considers others’ needs. When I asked about the behavior, the clod replied, “The world belongs to those who don’t surrender.” Attention all clods, the world belongs to those who can interact, influence, and create a win for all.
- Focusing on the stressful moment rather than a desirable outcome. Differences can cause stress. They don’t have to derail people-skills and the favorable outcome. Focus tip: When the stressful feelings surface remember your options and choose wisely.
- Believing that confidence and humility cannot co-exist. Regardless of personality type, a person can be both confident in their message and humble in delivering it. Key thought: Humility is flexible and open to learning and that delivers success.
- Clinging to a comfort zone. The greater the craving for self-comfort, the greater the risk of people-skills mistakes. The comfort zones of personality type, cultural background, educational level, and occupational focus, are ripe for people-skills blunders that tumble everyone down. Gentle reminder: The comfort zone is full of sitting ducks — not as safe as it feels!
We all develop people-skills naturally as we grow. Some immediately excel and others lag behind but avoiding these seven mistakes can help to level the playing field whether you are a Fortune 500 CEO or the office lackey. Everyone can benefit by taking some extra time to extend themselves a little further, to reach outside of their comfort zone and keeping a positive outlook. Leaders especially need to avoid these seven causes of people skills blunders.