Creative Leadership

Why “People Skills” Matter

Every day, gifted and talented people fail because they aren’t good at dealing with other people. I just finished a conversation with a CEO who has a creative director who’s dedicated and talented – but he just can’t get along with anyone. He alienates everyone, and as a result, people won’t listen to his ideas. No matter how great your thinking is, if you can’t communicate it to people who can help make it happen, then you’re heading toward failure. Social skills matter – especially in today’s digital, connected world. I see it in Hollywood everyday. Even in the entertainment industry, where it sometimes seems being a jerk is mandatory, movie stars, celebrities, producers and directors, and more fail because they’re unable to relate to the very people who can help them the most.

For a generation who’s grown up looking at screens rather than people – this is an important lesson. Learn to get along with people. Learn to express your ideas with passion and grace. Those social connections will ramp up your success far more quickly than simply relying on the power of your ideas alone.

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  1. There is no greater skill to learn and apply in life on every level than people skills. I watched a manager sink herself and our staff’s moral in the first few months of her new position because she didn’t get along with anyone…. She was a jerk to no end. She took everyone to the bottom with her while blaming the staff for her failure in the end.I don’t think it’s always people skills that are lacking in some. People will walk through life with unresolved issues and the nearest person always makes the best target. The problem with that… it turns into a boom-a-rang.

  2. As often as I see exhortations about the need for soft skills, I’m not seeing recommendations of good training sources for adults who might be falling short (and how to broach the subject). Suggestions??

    1. Replying to myself a couple years later! Check out Emotional Intelligence 2.0. A soft skills test with targeted training for those who want to learn on their own, or certified trainers for groups/businesses looking for training resources.

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