You might not think your interpersonal skills as a leader in business matter that much, but they do. Quite a lot, actually. To help yourself and your business, review some of the most important interpersonal skills as a leader to be aware of. The more you hone these skills, the healthier and more tranquil your workplace environment will be.
Being clear and concise avoids confusion to help employees do their jobs effectively and efficiently. You do not have to be the most eloquent individual ever to be a successful communicator, but it does help to really think about your words before you speak to ensure your message gets across. It’s also a good idea to practice assertive communication, which focuses on expressing beliefs and feelings in a non-degrading or offensive manner. For example, rather than saying “It is really irritating when you say that,” you could say “I think we need to take a minute and look at what you just said. Some might find your words offensive, so let’s have a discussion about it and consider how we can do better.”
While intelligence is an obvious part of effective business leadership, it is also important to be emotionally intelligent. The components of emotional intelligence include self-management, self-awareness, social skills, empathy, and self-motivation. All help you be decisive, speak to others in a respectful, clear way, and complete your to-do lists in a timely manner. Emotional intelligence also means understanding how another person might feel about a situation or issue. Being empathetic makes it clear to your team that you appreciate and respect them, and want them to thrive at work.
If your employees feel like you are distracted whenever they talk to you or that you otherwise don’t really care about their work projects and problems, it becomes clear that respect is lacking. Active listening has the opposite effect, as it demonstrates your dedication to your team and that you want them to succeed. Active listening is about paying attention, eliminating distractions such as phones and laptops, asking questions as necessary, and using the right body language. For example, if your arms are crossed with the exception of looking at your email during a meeting with a team member, your body language tells them you are not really listening. Conversely, if you lean in slightly to hear the person better while clearly focusing on what they are saying, you are engaging in active listening.
A credible business leader says what they mean and means what they say. They are honest, speak with integrity, and make good on promises. If you constantly say things “off the top of your head” that employees take seriously, only to renege on what you say hours, days, or weeks later, team members will stop believing you. Rather than becoming the business leader who cried wolf, refrain from saying anything that is untrue or could be accepted as fact when it is only an assumption.
Being able to peacefully resolve conflicts is one of the most invaluable interpersonal skills as a leader. Effective conflict resolution is all about acknowledging the issue immediately, having a meeting about it as soon as possible, refraining from making judgemental statements or taking sides, and utilizing outside help if necessary. For example, you might need to contact the HR department about the issue or request a professional mediator to tackle the problem effectively. Professional mediation often helps workers speak openly and honestly, because they are talking with an objective third party.
For more about interpersonal skills as a leader, please contact Peaceful Leaders Academy today!