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First of all, be an example. Help the child to…

Be approachable, be easy to talk to. Spend the extra effort to put other people at ease. Where needed, be warm, pleasant, and gracious. The Japanese people set a great example for graciousness. We can all improve this.

Be sensitive to and patient with the interpersonal anxieties of others in the organization you lead. Build rapport well. Listen well. Get informal and incomplete information in time to do something about it.

Show compassion. Sincerity is crucial. Genuinely care about people. Demonstrate concern about their problems. Be available and ready to help. For this to be effective, you have to demonstrate real empathy with the joys and pains of others. Children do this well from birth. It is trained out of some by the adults around them.

Stay cool under pressure. Being composed means not becoming defensive or irritated when times are tough. Act mature so others can count on you to hold things together during tough situations. Consider how well you handle stress. Are you easily knocked off balance by the unexpected? Be careful to not show frustration when resisted or blocked. You can be a settling influence a crisis.

Laugh a little. Develop and use a positive and constructive sense of humor. People are more at ease with those who can laugh at themselves and with others. Avoid crude humor. Be appropriately funny, using humor to ease tension.

Improve your interpersonal savvy. Relate well to all kinds of people, at all levels of your organization and other organizations. Develop the ability to build appropriate rapport. Relationships are so important. Be able to build constructive and effective relationships. Use diplomacy and tact, diffusing high-tension situations comfortably.

Effective leaders are patient. They are tolerant with people and processes. Listen and check your facts before acting. Do your best to understand the people and the data before making judgments and acting so you don’t have to back track as much. Waits for others to catch up before acting where possible. Be aware of pacing. Some people can handle faster changes more easily than others. Follow establish process where appropriate.

Be open with others. Be easy to get to know for those who interact with you regularly. Admit mistakes and shortcomings. This may sound like weakness, but people appreciate the ability to acknowledge your own faults. Be open about personal beliefs and feelings without being pushy.

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KW Lanham


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