Monday 2020-06-01




By Kholwaphi Mdziniso | 2020-01-14

People skills for leaders and managers are very important in the workplace.

In the past, every grumpy manager could succeed by just knowing the business. Now managers and leaders need to find a meaningful way to relate to people in the workplace.

As the business environment continues to evolve, leaders need to be coached and mentored on how to relate better to others, especially now that people are educated and much more informed.

It is very clear that pure technical knowledge can only get you to a certain point and beyond that, people relations becomes critical.

In the new information era, people relations and communication are very key. in fact communication has become a much need and key valuable business tool. Understanding different mindsets and culture perspective is more crucial for leaders.

To deal effectively with diversity, leaders have to be flexible on how they relate to people from diverse backgrounds. No one’s personal set of philosophy rules will prevail intact in organisations designed to incorporate diversity.

To make organisations with diverse workforce viable and to be effective, leaders need to learn a new respect for cultural and philosophical differences. In fact, the big question is how well are leaders equipped to deal with diverse work forces, to optimise productivity through the human resource? Truth be told, leaders need to be trained on people relations in the 21st century.

The importance of

people relations

Whenever two people get together to do a job, whether at executive level or junior level, the success depends on how well they get along. This is especially true if they are required to work together for a long time. If they do not trust each other, fail to communicate openly or try to discredit each other, their satisfaction and productivity will suffer. And worst is that the organisation as well will suffer in the process.

The need for productivity in organisations requires and encourages interaction among individuals. The more a job requires two people to work together, the more important the nature of the relationship between them becomes.

There are a lot of brilliant people who cannot relate with others, sadly, such people do not yield the results they would if they master how to relate to others. Even where interaction is only peripheral to the task, relationships can still be a source of satisfaction or frustration and affect the total work effort in many ways.

Good people relations support the work effort, bad ones inhibit it.

In work settings, you cannot always choose compatible people to work with, but you can learn to understand and improve your work relationship even with people you may not have chosen to work with in the first place. Leaders must bear in mind that the interpersonal relationships among subordinates can enhance or sabotage their ability to achieve organisational goals. For any organisational member, being able to relate effectively with others is crucial to personal satisfactions, productivity and career development.

Key influencing

factors in

people relations

It can be very frustrating trying to figure out all the possible reasons why people do or do not get along well together. However, some of the issues can be due to;

n Personality factors

When trying to understand our feelings and behaviours, it is useful to be aware that how we think and feel about ourselves and others may be very unlike how they think and feel about themselves or us. These different evaluation and reactions depend upon each individual’s self-concept, frame of references. n  Self-concept

Starting with the messages we get from our parents, which are later reinforced by significant others in our lives, we learn to view the world and ourselves in certain ways.

The view that we accept of ourselves in our self-concept, which may be anything from essentially positive to negative, most of us  protect ourselves from any attempt to change our self-concept even if it is a painful way, we somehow learn to accept that.

Our value system also affects how what we view as right or wrong.

Each of us behaves so as to avoid pain and to maintain or enhance our lives.

n  Frame of reference

Everyone’s frame of references is an abstraction of reality and everyone sees reality differently because of different past experiences. Furthermore, constant experiencing keep the reality changing somewhat.

Therefore, it is very difficult to understand another’s frame of reference, especially since we tend to filter their behaviour through our own frame of reference.

 Our behaviour is logic to us given our frame of reference, and so is everyone else given his or hers.

 To understand others, we must try to understand their frame of reference without judging them in terms of their own values.

n  Feelings

We all continually experience feelings about ourselves and others, but many of us have not learnt to accept and use feelings constructively.

How we express our feelings is perhaps the most frequent source of difficulty in interpersonal relationships. Problems arise not in interpersonal relationships, not because emotions are present, but because they are not used well.

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