Revolutions have to start somewhere. I believe that the skills outlined in the People Skills Revolution Handbook could transform the way that people interact with each other, one to one, in organisations, in groups, in families, at a the national level and on the international stage.
Those who have developed these skills in a consistent, step by step manner become the best ambassadors for the approach but the number of people performing this role at present is relatively small. They include my clients, participants on my courses, readers of the original book and people like the CEO described in the chapter on Making Peace who have found and followed their own personal development paths.
But it is not just about having the answers to a number of the problems facing people today. As the CEO would say it is also about having the right answers at the right time. At the moment I believe that manipulators and drama kings and queens have the upper hand. Leaving the rest of us bemused about what is happening. As a result we are gradually loosing our sense of control, without quite knowing why. It suits a lot of people to keep us like that. It is not until we start becoming aware of what is happening, noticing the behaviour which maintains the status quo and challenging it with our people skills that society will become a more pleasant and productive place to be. What needs to happen is for all the nice, cuddly, honest, often shy, people to learn the people skills to achieve their goals and dreams in a direct manner, starting with assertiveness. I believe that when this starts to happen others will notice and begin to say ‘I want what they are having’. When this process reaches a ‘tipping point’ more people will be attracted to join the revolution. This is a revolution where nearly everyone has something to gain and a tiny minority, have something to lose.
Sometimes it feels like I am having a sale when people do not have money in their pockets. I believe the ideas in this book will ‘catch’ either when people see the success that others are having or when their own sense of dissatisfaction with the current situation is heightened. For this to happen awareness needs to be raised about what manipulators do and people need to understand and be able to step out of the dynamics behind the drama triangle.
A major shift is lightly to occur when more readers experience the radical positive change in behaviour and outcomes that the ideas in the book can bring about and when other people observe this happening.
To increase the nucleus of people on this journey I have decided to include a section for groups to follow and an approach to using the People Skills Revolution as an organisational development tool.
People Skills Revolution – a group development approach
Since training budgets are tight at the best of times and it is difficult to fit extra activities into busy lives, I have developed a process for groups which divides the content into 22 two hour sessions which can be organised over a period of six months to a year. These have been designed in such a way that they can be run with or without a trained facilitator. They can also be bolted together to run five one day workshops on assertiveness, influencing, negotiation, taking a stand and making peace.
A note about the group development approach. I believe in treating people as intelligent, capable adults who can change their behaviour to achieve better results. For this reason the 22 sessions are fast paced and cover a lot of ground. From experience I believe that people can handle this degree of stretch particularly when they and other group members achieve better results as they weave through the process. The sessions represent guidelines and suggestions and can be run over a period of six months to a year.
It is hoped that the groups which form will then continue to meet to further develop their people skills and increase the impact they have on their immediate environments and the wider society.
People Skills Revolution – an organisational development approach
Since writing the original People Skills Revolution I have become aware of the potential to use the step by step approach to developing sophisticated people skills as an organisational development tool. I believe the approach if developed from the bottom up at a ‘grass roots’ level and supported from the ‘top’ as a strategic initiative would substantially contribute to a high performance organisation. This could be achieved with a minimum of cost and achieve huge benefits in terms of improved customer service, clear focus, reduced stress and increased profits.
The defining characteristics of such a culture would be a focus on production rather than drama and the creation of an enjoyable, ‘can do’ attitude to work. This in turn would engender great customer service, and significantly increase the client base leading to greater profit and satisfaction levels.
From my previous experience of organisational development it has become clear to me that a very small minority of senior managers can sabotage an initiative when operating at board level or just below it. When I mentioned using the group approach to organisational culture change, I was surprised that the chief executives and the directors of finance I was speaking to had all considered how to use the approach in their own environments. All of them suggested that the book and the techniques would be most useful when used alongside coaching for their senior managers.
I added to this by saying that from my experience once people had started on the approach and had access to the People Skills Revolution techniques that most people only seemed to need three sessions at monthly intervals before they became ‘hooked on the success’ that these step by step approaches and strategies can provide.
As an interesting addendum to this idea, one director who had known me and had been familiar with the People Skills Revolution approach for many years suggested that as a director of finance he would only offer the opportunity of coaching to the people in the organisation that would benefit from it. He was keen to ensure that at board level those who had a tendency to become entrenched in organisational politics and games did not get the chance to develop the skills that would enable them to do this in a more sophisticated and dramatic way.
Which brings me back to the point that the People Skills Revolution approach is a step by step approach to empower people to develop sophisticated people skills which will benefit them, the groups they are a part of, the organisations they work in and finally the wider community.
For more information on the 22 two hour sessions to develop people skills in a systematic and step by step manner, please refer to the People Skills Revolution Handbook. The People Skills Revolution book and the People Skills Revolution Handbook are both published and available from Global Professional Publishing.
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