Is people management a soft skill?

You wouldn’t let someone drive a forklift without any training, but managers are frequently put in charge of a company’s most important resource – its people – without any formalised support. Find out how Interaction L&D can help turn your managers into resilient leaders

Is people management a soft skill?

The way we experience the world is based on connections made with other people. Human beings are tribal; we surround ourselves with family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances and we are wary of people who we can’t connect with authentically.

In many organisations, our success and progression is rewarded by our technical prowess – how much you know and how effectively you can apply this knowledge. This progress usually comes with the reward of people management, meaning we now expect these managers to build teams around them that can deliver. But can they?

Psychological and motivational theory suggests that people working in a team will always perform better when they feel connected and valued by those around them. The irony is that we don’t always give our managers the necessary people skills to establish, develop, and maintain these connections. 

We wouldn’t dream of putting someone in charge of a forklift in a warehouse without the appropriate training. However, when putting managers in charge of the greatest resource a company has – its people – we do so without any formalised training support beyond the statutory HR processes.

Working in partnership with our clients, we combine emotional intelligence with practical and pragmatic behaviours to help managers become confident and resilient leaders, forge effective working relationships, retain talent and build high performance teams.

Want to find out more about how we do this?  We're sponsoring the CIPD Developing Line Managers Conference in London on 27-28 November.  If you're coming along, stop by for a chat or visit our website for more information.