Interpersonal Skills: Key Predictor of Executive Success

Strong Interpersonal Skills

Begin with interpersonal skills! Hiring managers get paid to make good decisions on their personnel decisions. Hence, one of the most important things these HR folk could do to ensure lower turnover in these key positions is to hire the right person the first time. Typically, a set of competencies is created, people are interviewed and a choice is made. Are you a hiring manager? What would you do if you could make better choices? A recent AMA study says you can:

“A key takeaway is that soft values drive hard results—and that companies and their investors need to put more effort into evaluating the interpersonal strengths of potential leaders. Evaluating technical competence alone isn’t enough,”

Communication and Interpersonal Skills

Sitting before you is someone with the exact competencies you are seeking. How will you discover their soft skills? Take them on a tour of the operations. Take them to lunch. Notice how they treat the line employees. Observe their interaction with the waiter. If they seem to take an interest in these people you’re off to a good start. Ask them about their friends in their previous jobs. Focus on the behavioral skills you are seeking and ask them to describe a real situation and how they handled it.

The bottomline, according to the AMA Study “A high self-awareness score was the strongest predictor of overall success.” Good managers know their strengths and they embrace their weaknesses. I once worked with a couple people who took pride in their low empathy skills. Sad for them because this is another one of those predictors of strong interpersonal skills. Interestingly, people with multiple siblings rated higher in managing results and in getting along with others in the workplace.

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