Monday, December 13, 2010

People Skills are Important

Organizations often state, “Our people are our most important asset.”  If this is true, the corollary should be “People skills are essential in our daily work.”  People skills are the way that individuals relate to their supervisors, those they supervise, clients, and other team members.  

At Peoplemap training recently, Mike Lillibridge pointed out that the longer a person stays with an organization, the more important their people skills become.  An entry level employee is usually hired for his or her technical skills not their people skills.  After some time with the organization, three years or more, employees are evaluated almost equally on their technical skills and their people skills.  When the person becomes a “valued” employee, their technical skills may be only 30 percent of their “value” and their highly developed people skills represent 70 percent of their value.  When a person becomes a leader, manager, or supervisor, their “advanced” people skills make up 80 percent of their work and their technical skills only 20 percent.

We may not hire for people skills, but we expect them from employees as their responsibility grows in the organization.  Mike pointed out that successful companies develop their workers’ people skills.

So how does this apply to the church?  I talked recently with a friend who works closely with seminary graduates in their “first call” placements.  For young adults with little experience in any organization, they often lack two abilities--project development/planning and relational skills.  In other words, one of the things they really need is people skills, but often they are called for their “ministerial” skills first.

Just because a person has been called to ministry, he or she may not necessarily have the people skills necessary to be an effective minister.  Pinnacle Leadership Associates is one resource to churches, judicatories, and not-for-profits who want to help their team members develop these skills.  Contact Mark Tidsworth for more information.

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