As a marketing consultant working in various workplaces, I often work with many challenging personality types. Although there are times when you would love to dismiss people, we need others in order to accomplish our goals. Nothing sours an office like the stench of a bad attitude. The most important leadership skill to develop is working well with people, all people—difficult, crazy, envious and insecure.
In working with various personality types, people’s insecurities can be our greatest antagonist to the big picture—not to mention their personal struggles that often manifest in the workplace. Oftentimes the workplace is a grownup version of an elementary-school playground!
Some of my strategies for engaging and winning people are:
- Be clear and direct, and state your expectations clearly and upfront.
- Help people feel valued. Be willing to help them more than they help you.
- Offer targeted comments relevant to the subject matter only.
- Celebrate accomplishments and successes throughout the relationship so reprimanding isn’t as challenging.
- Give your undivided attention and keep eye contact when communicating.
- Keep an even-tempered voice and use all forms of communication, verbal and nonverbal.
- Have a destiny and direction for the team, project, or cause.
- Make decisions based on facts, not emotion.
Today’s leaders must learn to exercise patience and look below the surface to see the root of the real issue. The workplace is often a playground for adult emotions that have not been properly harnessed. A great leader must lead, even when it’s hard. Sometimes that means being a strategic therapist to achieve your organization’s best possible results.