This blog is about my book – The People Skills Revolution.
I always find it difficult to explain the book because it is nothing like anything you have ever read before. It’s not a one, idea book that promises a lot but has very little substance. It’s a step-by-step approach to developing sophisticated people skills, which is underpinned by a model called the Continuum of Interpersonal skills. It is a complete system of personal development that works both at the level of skills and the level of beliefs. It has proved to be effective for the hundreds of people I have worked with over the last 12 years.
If you follow this approach you will significantly improve your ability to stand your ground, influence people to your point of view, negotiation enjoyable win-win outcomes, conciliate with others and finally make peace. It is a unique approach, which promotes an incremental build of skills and beliefs which is based on the idea that success breeds success.
Before I tell you a bit more about what the approach can achieve I want to tell you something about the influences, which assisted me to develop the systematic and effective continuum of interpersonal skills model.
Briefly they were
- Being born with a cleft palate
- Being raised in a family with very negative beliefs and very poor interpersonal skills
- Believing I had low self esteem because of my birth defect
- Working in a health education unit where people smoked and realising that it took more than information for people to change their behaviour
- Attending an assertiveness course in order to run them myself which transformed my view on life and my personal effectiveness
- Aiming for an ‘I positive, you positive’ stance in all my dealings with others
- Being mentored by someone in my 30’s who made me realise that negative beliefs were not inevitable
- Becoming obsessed with my own personal development and wanting to ‘step into my own power’
- If something worked to do it again and build on it
- If something did not work to stop doing it
- Whilst running management, team and personal development programmes becoming fascinated by how people change and develop
- Undertaking a Master’s Degree in Change Agent Skills and Strategies
- Realising that people only change when they feel safe and know where they are heading
- Realising that most people regardless of seniority have negative beliefs about themselves.
- Realising that belief systems and skills sets work in tandem with each other
- Realising that positive change requires a positive belief combined with a positive skill set
- Having a number of organisations as stable clients who asked me to run personal development workshops on assertiveness, influencing and negotiation.
- Translating my successful approaches into approaches that my clients could use and to test their effectiveness
- Sharing the approaches with others if they proved to work
- Being able to work with thousands of clients in transition due to outplacement
- Being asked to become an executive coach and have access to some very bright senior managers (mainly directors of finance) over a long period of time in one case over 7 years
- To enter into a dialogue with clients about the successfulness or otherwise of the techniques
Emergence of the continuum of interpersonal skills model
- Firstly tracking my clients’ progress and then starting to anticipate where they were likely to go to in terms of their personal development.
- Realising that you need to address any negative beliefs before teaching people the people skills which would make them more effective and to build that into the development process.
- Realising that there was a high degree of repeatability in the results we were getting
- Realising that there was an underlining approach to personal development which providing you addressed negative beliefs and used a step-by-step approach to people skills building would lead to lasting incremental and cumulative change.
- Realising that virtually all, if not all, people problems resulted from a lack of assertiveness regardless of the seniority of the client or the apparent complexity of the problem
- Realising that a lot of people who lacked assertiveness were not going to get on because they did not have the skills
- Caring that good people were being disadvantaged because they did not have the skills that some of their more ‘clued up’ counterparts had.
- Noticing how people who became more assertive very naturally started to relax and become more influential but did not have a map to help them to develop these skills
- Noticing how people became better negotiators if they had learnt to become more assertive and had developed to the confidence to influence with style
- Realising that skills were cumulative, building up from assertiveness and that one set of skills built the foundations for the next set of more sophisticated people skills
Development of the continuum of interpersonal skills model
- Becoming an observer to the development process and realising that there were skill sets above the skills of assertiveness, influencing and negotiation
- Spotting how excellent negotiators were backing off winning in order to develop positive relationships with their colleagues and counterparts
- Starting to form the idea of a continuum and looking for skill sets which would be further up towards the top of the continuum
- Identifying the stages of ‘making peace’
- Identifying the final stage of ‘taking a stand’, which transforms excellent conciliators into potential peacemakers.
- Developing step-by-step approaches to develop the skill sets of assertiveness, influencing, negotiation, conciliation, taking a stand and making peace
- Realising that this is a radical, stable and effective approach to personal development that is can be learnt by anyone with a degree of intelligence, a readiness to step out of their comfort zone and examine their belief system
- Being challenged by a long term coaching client to write the People Skills Revolution book as my own personal development opportunity
Briefly the continuum says that if you start to learn the skills of assertiveness in a step-by-step manner (even if you are very senior in your organisation) and are prepared to revisit your belief systems you will start to get results that up to now you may only have dreamed of.
Success breeds success providing you are able to step out of your comfort zone. By experimenting with these tried and tested techniques for developing the skills of influencing, negotiation, conciliation, taking a stand and making peace you will begin to feel much more calm, confident and in control enjoying the process of working with people to achieve your goals.
If you would like to know more about the approach and how it could work for you, I will be blogging about various elements of the People Skills Revolution process in later blogs. If you would like to get started on your own personal development journey now, you can buy the People Skills Revolution from Amazon, Global Professional Publishing or contact me through my website, www.Solutionsunlimited.co.uk
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