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5 Essential people skills for Directors and Managers

You want to bring in a new process, new procedures or any change. You no doubt want your people to be more productive and bill more. Well, telling people what you want them to do and getting them to do it can be two different things.

If you want your team to buy into you, then you need to sharpen up your people skills, or soft skills as they are known.

Here are 5 skills that you can work on that will build up the relationship with your team.


Empathy is about understanding the other person. Really understanding the person, you understand their motivations, the reason for their actions. When you understand, you then are in a position to motivate, support and offer advice and correct any errant ways of workings. If you know someone understands, you are more likely to help them, when they need it.


I'm talking about active listening here, not just with your third ear. How you actively listen is to look at the person, notice their body language and facial movements when they speak. Is it congruent with what they are talking about? Focus on what they are saying with a point of understanding where they are coming from. You need to have a clear mind, not think about what you are going to say. Just sit and listen.


Ooh... this is a tough one for some people. When something is happening, a consultant saying the wrong thing, doing something that you have asked them not to, or they ask you what you think is a ridiculous question, you may lose your cool and get hot headed and how do you stop yourself in that moment? Well, if you can recognise it, then stop, breathe and all you have to say is 'I'll talk to you in a second' to give yourself that moment to calm.  No one will know that you've nearly lost your shit.


When you support someone, they will really be on your side. It's also amazing how much they will grow and develop when being supported. Praise, recognition, and helping them will be supporting. Ask your employees the question, what do they need from you right now and you can give them that in some shape or other.


Trust gets built, it gets built over time when you act with integrity and honesty. You simply do what you say you are going to do. You communicate if something can't happen. This is also about trusting your managers and employees. Trust that they will do something to the best of their ability and trust them to do the job. If you manage correctly, you will see very quickly if they are over or under performing. Giving people trust also allows them to grow.

Keep developing your people skills and use how people respond to you as a benchmark of where you are. It will pay dividends for you.

If you'd like to book your coaching session with Vanessa, get in touch.

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