Many people claim to be a great leader, but what differentiates a good leader from others is his or her interpersonal skills. A leader is not credible if he is not helping his people grow. One skill that every leader must possess is the skill of developing the people of their team.
If you’re a manager, you must look after your employees. If you’re a political leader, you must look after the people who voted for you. In simple words, as a good leader, you must help your people develop and grow in life.
A leader who shows concern and helps his team not only professionally, but also personally is far better than a self-centered leader. One can easily make out from the team and their feedback if a leader is efficient or not.
When we think about great leaders in history, one name that strikes our mind is- Barack Obama. Barack Obama has always been a leader in the true sense. He was the 44th US President and served two terms at the office. It was his ace leadership that made people love him.
He is loved and respected by everyone for his prolific work even today. It is also one of the reasons why the public compares Barack Obama’s leadership with Donald Trump’s leadership. Obama was a people’s man. A leader who stood for his citizens. If you would have noticed his speeches, you’d see that in all his speeches, he’d address people using ‘We’ and not ‘I.’
It is because he always engaged with the people and involved them in conversation. The people would feel heard and contribute. In fact, during the COVID pandemic, various polls were run among citizens. The results showed that most people thought Barack Obama could have been a better leader than Donald Trump to manage the crisis. It is what happens when you help in developing people. They put their trust and confidence in you, even after you leave.
How does it work?
When someone says a task or a project has been done together instead of single-handedly taking all the credit, every person feels that they were a part of the process. It helps in developing confidence and productivity in people. Barack Obama aptly uses this leadership skill. He made everyone around him involved and heard. So, the next time you have to manage your team, make sure you address them with a ‘We’ and not ‘I.’
When I started business, many people asked and wondered how I could run a business when I had been a housewife for so long. I would always say it is always because of my team. In my company, I would never take a decision alone. I would always listen to my team.
From small decisions to marketing, policies, or employement decisions, I would always take the views and feedback of all my team members. I made sure I listened to each and every feedback and worked according to it. It always made my team feel understood and valued. They became even more productive and involved in the company’s well-being.
Why should you invest in developing people?
Some of you might think that investing in developing people will be a loss if the employees left your organization. There are chances that people might leave, but there are equal chances that they’ll stay. Now, even if they leave, you’d want them to say good things about you to other people.
Being an entrepreneur, I hire many employees regularly. Many times when I ask them why they left their old job, I used to get the same answer.
The team management was not good.
The boss/ manager was very selfish.
I did not see myself growing in the organization.
No one likes to work in a company where there’s no scope of growth. However, when people feel part of a team, they feel growth and develop new opportunities. When you help your people grow, they contribute more towards your organization. In fact, they wouldn’t even think of leaving.
How can interpersonal skills help your organization?
I have seen that most organizations do not prioritize developing people. In fact, many bosses do not even communicate with their staff for months. An organization where the boss hardly takes out time to listen and address the problem of its people can hardly grow.
You can take the example of Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, and many other ventures. He has ace leadership and interpersonal skills. He has strong team-building skills, and under his leadership, he and his team have taken their ventures to newer heights.
Even being one of the top entrepreneurs in the world, he still asks for continuous feedback from his team. He believes in listening to every ‘single piece of advice.’ He follows a feedback loop to know what he’s doing wrong and how things can be done in a better way. Musk believes that communication should travel via the shortest path to get the job done. Any manager who follows a chain of commands will face poor communication. He thinks that the free flow of information at all levels builds a transparent and stronger team. His insightful and ideal leadership skills have shown prolific results in his organization.
5 Ways to Help in Developing People
If you are looking for ways in which you can help the people of your organization, family, or your loved ones develop into a better version of themselves, then here’s what you can do.
- Make Time for People
The first thing that you can do to help your employees or people develop is taking out time for them. You must take out time from your day to listen or communicate with your employees. You’ll have to make developing people a priority and schedule time to make it happen.
- Add Values to Their Lives
As people work with you or partner with you, they expect you to understand their vision and what is important to them. You should have a clear context about each team member to check their relation and vision. It will ensure that you are developing people in relevant ways and adding value to their lives. You can add value to people’s lives by simple acts like sharing insightful articles or teachings.
- Train People
One very important aspect of developing people is training and mentoring them. Your team might not want someone to teach them, but you can coach or mentor people in innovative ways. Training helps people by raising awareness and encouraging people. You can arrange coaching sessions for people and help them with skills you think they might lack.
- Draw Team Spirit: One very essential skill for developing people is building team-spirit in them. Throughout our lives, we meet many people. We can either work against them or work with them. Trust me, the results of the latter are much better. When small-small components of a car combine, such a great innovation occurs. Look at your body and how small body parts come together to function efficiently. In the same way, when you learn to work with a team, you drive better results. I personally feel that one of the most essential interpersonal skills is how you collaborate, communicate and work with other people. Not only in organizations, but also in the family, the spirit of respecting and working with others helps a lot.
- Show Confidence in People: A person who’s constantly unmotivated or lashed out for his wrongdoing can never develop. Many times people who do not involve themselves much are ignored by others. Such people might have a lot of potential, but no one trusts them or relies on them. It becomes very arduous for such people to form self-esteem. As a superior family member or employee, you should show confidence in the people around you. Do you remember how in school there used to be one favorite child of the teacher? The teacher would always ask that child to do all her work. The other students would often feel they are not valued. Similarly, sometimes this culture is also followed in offices. It hinders the development of people around you. When you show confidence in someone, they keep your confidence by giving their best.
- Take Feedback
How would you know if you’re working right or not if you don’t take feedback? Feedbacks are crucial to measuring improvement and satisfaction. You can ask your employees for honest feedback about your leadership and working-style. It’ll help you get an insight into what they think of you and how you can improve. Not only this, but you should also provide constructive feedback to the people around you. Acknowledge them for their good skills and correct them where they go wrong.
- Listen and Don’t Just Talk: Today, everyone wants to put forward their point of view. No one is ready to listen to other people. Some people know how to present themselves well. On the other hand, there are also people who have a lot to say but don’t know-how. With time, such people start feeling lost in the crowd. They often feel their advice or speech does not bring any change. If you want someone to develop as a person, you need to listen to what they have to tell. Being a life coach and an entrepreneur, I make sure I listen to everyone around me. Even in counseling, we aim to provide our clients a safe space to talk and vent out emotions. It is because when they do so, they feel better and do better in the future. People improve and succeed in life when they have someone to talk to. So, be there for someone. Listen to their ideas and views and help them if they go wrong.
- Motivate People: I don’t think I need to emphasize how important motivation is in developing people. Motivation is what leads mankind. If you’re motivated enough, you can change the world. However, if you’re not motivated, you might not get yourself a glass of water. Motivation is important for everyone around you. As a manager or head of the family, you need to motivate others around you. For instance, if you’re a manager, you need to motivate your team. Instead of saying, “ It’ll be very hard to meet the deadline” say “ We’ll work and finish work before the deadline.” This simple change of thought is enough to keep people around you motivated. When a person is motivated, they feel confident and handle all their problems with grit and determination.
- Show Empathy
Everyone wants to work in an organization or work with people who empathize with them. Things are fine when everything is going well. But, as things go wrong you’d look for someone who’d understand your problems and support you through tough times. Now, as a leader, if you remain unaware of the sufferings of your teammate, how can you call yourself a good leader?
If you want to develop people in your team, then you need to show empathy towards others.
- Be There For People: One thing that can change the entire world is a helping hand. Today, we are too consumed in ourselves, we do not feel the necessity to help the people around us. People go through a lot each day, heartbreaks, deaths, losses, health issues, and whatnot. Many such incidents can put a lifelong impact on them. However, when you are there for someone, they might not suffer alone. Pain gets a little less when shared. You don’t have to go around to look for people who need your help. Check on your friends and family to ensure they’re doing well. If they aren’t, help them in any way you can.
Interpersonal skills can take you a long way. When I talk about helping in developing people, it is not limited to your workplace. Interpersonal skills play a critical role even in family and social life. The way you treat, talk, engage, and empathize with people says a lot about you. You can have true and real people around you only when you’re helping them grow.
These simple ways of helping people develop can bring colossal changes in anyone’s life. Always remember, be there for people and they’ll stand by you when you’ll need them. A leader who helps other people grow is always admired and respected by everyone.