Many Executives Stress on the Importance of People Skills for Success
by Mashum Mollah Management 26 June 2019
In today’s economy, a plethora of new technology companies, products, and services are being launched and sustained virtually every day. Some go on to great success and accolades and others struggle to find capital, customers and, ultimately, revenue. It’s one thing to have a great idea. It’s often quite another thing to sell it.
While entrepreneurs are often innovative and have high levels of expertise in their industries, many business leaders say that strong people skills in dealing with employees, customers and others are equally important. You and your team need to be able to explain, educate, inform, and of course, sell. The late Steve Jobs is often used as an example of an executive who was both visionary and highly articulate.
Experts Speak on People Skills:
1. Stacy Hanke:
According to author and Forbes contributor Stacy Hanke, highly influential CEOs have the following five skills, which they use daily: brevity, collaboration, approachability, transparency, and transformativeness. “Top-performing CEOs know that strong communication skills are the key to lasting influence and success.” She adds that “By creating an atmosphere of approachability, CEOs encourage employees to share ideas, concerns, and feedback vital to company success. As a result, CEOs build stronger relationships and deepen trust in leadership.”
2. Richard Branson:
Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group and one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, says he developed his interpersonal skills early in life. “The most important skills I had to learn to be successful,” he told CNBC, “were people skills.” He said that looking for the best in people, praising and not criticizing them is necessary for you to become a great leader. “You need to be a great listener as well.”
3. Michael Dell:
Dell CEO Michael Dell agrees. He believes that by being around the best possible people, executives and entrepreneurs will challenge organizations and force them to think differently. “Try never to be the smartest person in the room,” he was once quoted as saying. And if you are, I suggest you invite smarter people or find a different room.”
Because there’s a sales effort inherent in every customer interaction, particular attention should also be paid to how business leaders interact with their customers.
4. Brian Tracy:
On his website, sales author and speaker Brian Tracy says that “Your ability to negotiate well on your own behalf is the key to both personal and business success. You can always get a better deal if you know how to improve your interpersonal skills. You never need to settle for less or feel dissatisfied with the result of any negotiation. The secret to knowing how to negotiate is through understanding that there is almost always a way that you can get better terms or prices, whether you are buying or selling. Your job is to find that way.”
Source: Brian Tracy
“People buy from people,” says John Fielding, founder of Array Marketing in Toronto. “Because ecommerce is such a major part of the sales experience, it’s easy to let your website do the talking. But the human connection is equally important, both with customers and employees. A leader needs to be visible to both groups of people. Let’s face it, if we’re not communicative with our customers, they’ll go to a competitor who is.”
Similarly, people skills are an important asset during negotiations when you’re trying to get what you want.