The Ladder to Success – the Continuum of Interpersonal Skills
I have been in the privileged position of working a number of clients for a very long time. When I started off a lot of the courses were related to personal development and management development but as time progressed they offered me the opportunity to run courses on subjects like influencing, negotiation and conciliation. When running these courses, I observed that the people who did best on negotiation and conciliation courses were people who were assertive and able to influence. In words you might be wasting your training investment if you trained people in the more sophisticated skills if you did not have the basic underpinning skills.
I then got into executive coaching and again was lucky to have some very stable clients over a long period of time, most of which were Directors of Finance in the NHS. Again I realised that lack of assertiveness was the root cause of all their interpersonal skills issues – however senior they were in the organisation and that once they had learnt to basic skills of assertiveness they were able to quickly progress on to learning to effectively influence and negotiate with colleagues, senior management and outside organisations.
At first I was tracking their progress and then I started to anticipate their progress and become much more focused and directive in the way I worked with them. As a result, I created something called the Continuum of Interpersonal skills where one set of foundations skills became the underpinning skills for the next set of increasingly sophisticated skills. So assertiveness was the foundation stone at the bottom, followed up the ladder by influencing, negotiation and conciliation. Then through observation and research I realised that there were skills further up the continuum, which I called taking a stand and making peace.
Using my training and development background, I also realised that people learnt new skills most effectively when they had very clear step-by-step approaches to follow and were enticed out of their comfort zone in a structured way that increased their confidence and sense of control. So what developed was a very clear step-by-step approach to developing increasingly sophisticated interpersonal skills which worked time after time and built on the principle that success builds success.
As a result of this discovery I was able to develop my clients in a highly structured manner where they knew from the beginning where they were heading in terms of developing their skills.
Then one day, I suggested to one of my long term clients that he wrote a book on his experience of working at a national strategy level and straightaway he challenged me to write about my continuum of interpersonal skills model as my own personal development opportunity.
Well I wrote the book and got it published in 2012 and the following year I wrote the People Skills Revolution Handbook to enable readers to turn the theories in the People Skills Revolution into achieving practical and positive results.
The People Skills Revolution and the People Skills Revolution Handbook are available through Solutionsunlimited.co.uk, Amazon and the Global Professional Publishing website.
Please note that all the information on this blog is copyright and cannot be reproduced in any form without the prior permission of the author who can be reached through the Solutionsunlimited.co.uk website.