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Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal Skills

The ability to work with others clearly separates those managers who succeed from those who derail. Managers who are described as interpersonally adept—as having the ability to build and manage effective relationships—are routinely described by bosses, peers, and direct reports as being good listeners, collaborative, supportive of others’ ideas, trustworthy, and ethical. Consider this story, from CCL’s derailment studies, of a manager who displayed a strong sense of connection with people and was seen as building strong relationships:

A woman in the office had recently eloped and the department had taken up a collection to purchase a wedding gift for her. The leader instructed them to purchase an engraved cake knife because he had received one on his wedding day, and on every “cake occasion” they use this knife and it always reminds him of his wedding day and how much he loved his wife on that day (and still does). The woman was very touched by that sense of emotion and openness and truly appreciated the cake knife more than one could ever expect. I’m sure she felt a little more loyal to her manager as a result.


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