Thursday, October 8, 2009

Trade Tools 3

As a boy, I watched my dad briefly pursue an interest in art. He purchased and used some instruction material on learning to draw. Anyone who attempts to read my signature would quickly understand that I should never be interested in drawing, but I admit that I was fascinated by looking at sketches which showed how seemingly disparate lines can gradually form a recognizable picture. In addition to my dad's little-used training material, I also occasionally watched painters apply colors to canvas. Amazingly, they too, would turn what looked like nonsensical brush strokes into beautiful landscapes.

I thought of those lines and brush strokes as I recalled the past few days of my "real" life -- the one in which I am a pastor. As I have taken brief respites to write a few words here at Dwell and Cultivate, I hope that, somehow, they will connect together and make some sense about Trade Tools.

In Part 1, I addressed what some call "Attitude Skills." Your effectiveness in life has little to do which what happens to you and everything to do with your response to what happens to you.

The second Trade Tool helps determine just how far you go with your good attitude. "Organization Skills" are necessary to gain the maximum benefit as you plan and execute your labor.

Both of these can leave you severely handicapped, though, unless you have a third Trade Tool on your toolbelt: "People Skills." To put it simply, virtually every job on earth rises and falls on our ability to relate to other people.

I plan to write about this tomorrow, but why don't you help me out? What great lessons are you learning about how to work effectively with the people around you?


Scott said...

Listening is one the most importatant people skills a leader can have. People want/need to feel that they are being listened to without interruption. This takes some practice and discipline. In times I have practiced this skill, thing have gone well. When I haven't - sometimes I had a bigger mess to clean up.

C. Beth said...

I'm working on a real estate transaction right now. Last week someone at the mortgage broker's office did something I wasn't happy with. I politely let her know how I would have preferred that she handle it. She responded well, but I knew that sometimes hearing that someone isn't 100% happy, can be disappointing. Yesterday she spent a lot of time with me on the phone, answering questions I had. Today I emailed her to let her know how much I appreciated the time she'd spent with me yesterday. I want to make sure that along with being honest with someone about things that need to be change, I'm also forthright with them about the things they are doing very well.

Rachel Cotterill said...

I did one of those profiling tests a while back, something called Belbin which helped me put into words the ways in which people work together - and particularly, to find a label for my most natural role in groups, which is to know where everyone else's skills & knowledge lies, and to make best use of that kind of thing. (the Belbin role is called 'Resource Investigator if you're interested)

So I think part of People Skills is about knowing the ways in which people are different, and accounting for their needs/preferences. The stuff others have said about listening, being honest, and appreciating the good stuff is all important, too.

If you're friendly, honest, and open-minded, I think you can pretty much make up the rest :)