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Be Adaptable and Create a Balance

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on March 28, 2008

Interpersonal skills are extremely important for managers dealing with a wide variety of personalities. All of your employees will be different—each will have his or her own way of thinking and operating. Your challenge is to be able to help them overcome these differences and mesh as a team.

People generally have the tendency either to control or adapt in workplace relationships. Your goal as a manager should be creating a workable balance. Take time to reflect on who in your team prefers to control situations and who prefers to adapt to them. Recognize that when you are working with people who are similar to you, the situation may become tense and may require one of you either to take control or adapt to the other person in order to facilitate an efficient outcome.

A good leader respects different team members’ needs for closeness or distance in workplace relationships. Do not smother people who like to work independently; likewise, do not divert your attention from workers who like to ask a lot of questions and who often seek your guidance.

Keith Ayers
West Chester, Pa.

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