How to Connect Better as a Leader and use Your Strong People Skills

BlogLeadership Development Posted: Friday 1st April 2016 by

There’s no such thing as a ready-born leader. While certain skills may be innate, leadership demands constant work and practice. What’s more it requires the emotional intelligence to understand the people working for you and what they need from you as their manager.

As executive coach and author, Scott Eblin, explains; being able to connect with your employees on a personal level is the first step to being able to get the best out of them.

Knowledge is key

Flawless company and industry knowledge is a prerequisite for any leader. However, knowledge and intelligence can be alienating if not offered in the right way. According to Elbin, information should be imparted in a way that feels personal, with frequent use of the second person helping listeners to feel directly engaged.

Knowledge also extends to the employees themselves. Pay attention to small details about the people in your charge: their experiences and interests as well as their aspirations and concerns.

It’s all in the delivery

Unsurprisingly, successful leaders identified by Eblin all shared strong oratory skills, none more so than former US president Bill Clinton, described as a “master story teller” who could deliver a “killer line”.

Good delivery means projecting yourself well and engaging with people by creating the impression you are speaking directly to them. Clarity is also key: leaders need to be able to condense information down into simple messages, or even a single, memorable line.

The personal touch

To reiterate, connecting with a group means being able to make each employee feel valued and, more to the point, like an individual within a wider circle. Specific references to employees – their achievements and views – in meetings is a great way to let them know they are appreciated and respected.

It’s also about having the emotional intelligence to recognise the different moods and feelings of your employees and being able to adapt accordingly. You need to know the right time to offer encouragement or a quick pep talk.

While strong people skills are often linked to personality, they can be learnt and, more importantly, honed. You might be self-confident, enjoy hearing the sound of your own voice even, but this counts for little unless you can connect with colleagues on an individual level.


Human Results offer expert HR services on retainer, or on a one-off basis to help guide you through the daily challenges of managing your business from a people perspective, including employee engagement, dispute resolution and resolving workplace conflict. We also provide expert leadership development coaching programmes to secure long-term capability within your organisation, and a critical support structure for your leaders.

For more information, call Human Results on 01952 288361 for a no obligation, confidential discussion.

Blog post content provided by Abintegro; an engaging, content-rich, online platform for career management and transition.

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