Intentionally Developing People Skills | The Intentional Restorer Vol. 1 (with VIDEO!)
Leaders need to invest in developing skills to work with people if they want to be successful.
Editor's Note: Welcome to a BRAND NEW web exclusive series! R&R is very excited to be launching several new online columns and videos, with The Intentional Restorer being the most recent. Jon has been in the restoration industry since the early 2000's, and already written a number of articles for R&R that have proven quite popular. The Intentional Restorer columns and videos will be featured in the FREE R&R eNewsletter on the second Friday of every month. Be on the lookout for an introduction video with Jon soon!
Can you name a single team that has succeeded without people?
No people = No team = No success.
Understanding how to work successfully with people is a skill that every leader has to intentionally develop on a continual basis. In a tight labor market, recruiting, developing and retaining good people is essential to success.
P is for People, which is the first P in The Four P’s of Success.
1. There is no finish line when it comes to working with individuals. Many have come to label these as “soft skills” or “emotional intelligence”. Soft skills are defined as, “Personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people.”
Whatever you choose to call them, what leader couldn’t use a boost in their ability to interact effectively with other people? Intentionally developing your people skills is critical to your success as a leader and as an organization. You will win when you continually humanize your process.
Where do we start when we want to:
- Intentionally develop our people skills
- Humanize our process
- Attract, develop and keep good people
Having an identity as a person in a position of leadership.
Who do people work for? People work for people. You work for someone, right?
If you are somewhere on the ladder of leadership roles, you likely work for someone and have someone who works for you. Perhaps you have a lot of someone’s who work for you.
If you are a someone who has someone’s who work for you, it’s important that you be the best someone you can be in as clear a way possible.
Having clarity about who you are, what you do well and what you need assistance with creates opportunities for others. Leaders who are confident in their role and abilities can assist others to learn new skills, express their creativity and find their spot on the team.
Your ability to develop a team starts with your effort to develop yourself. Continue that process of clarifying your identity so that you can attract and build with good people.
Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws. - Plato
Developing a clear process for identifying and hiring good candidates.
When you are clear on your vision, values, goals and traits as an organization you can seek out candidates who embrace as well as enhance your culture. Hiring is one of the most important aspects of a leader’s job as an individual as well as an essential mechanism for any organization to achieve consistent pursuit of excellence.
Remember that you don’t always control how an employee turns out but you do have control of who you let in the door. Industries that are service based are competing with each other to attract the available labor force. Think outside the box and be willing to train candidates who exhibit core character traits such as:
- Honest – you can teach skill but you can’t force someone to have integrity
- Hard working – you can train people to succeed but you cannot give them the desire to work
- Willing to learn – we can teach you, but you have to want to learn
Make happy those who are near and those who are far away will come. – Chinese Proverb
If you want to retain good people, treat them like good people.
Do you remember when you were had an entry level position and you were treated poorly by a supervisor?
What did you tell yourself?
After you told yourself that if you ever had the chance you would knock some sense into them, you probably told your future ladder climbing self that you would never be like them.
“I’ll never be like that,” was your journal entry from that day.
So, here’s the tough question, how would you rate yourself in your effort to not be like that terrible leader? How would your team members rate you?
Comparing ourselves to the worst manager we have ever had is a bit of a straw man. At the same time, often what we swear we would never become can creep up on us and when we stop to evaluate ourselves we are more like that person that we’d like to admit.
We need to constantly be checking ourselves against our vision, values and goals. Are we living out what we say or do we need to spend some time getting back on course? If we have veered away from living out our vision and values this could be a reason why we are struggling to attract, develop and retain good people.
How do we keep ourselves on track with our vision, values and goals?
- It helps to have good mentors and/or peers who give you honest feedback
- Create opportunities to engage and listen to your team members
- Exemplify the values and changes you want to see to encourage your team
- Accountability has to flow from the top-down so that all are rowing together
For more on this topic, check out our video Tips for Recruiting and Hiring More Effectively