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We Need to Change the Way We Look at People Skills

Sometimes, I feel business is like a game of soccer. Multiple players sprint behind a ball and struggle to maintain the possession. But, there’s only one player who eventually scores the goal, and after a short celebration, the chase begins again. Rapid technological advancements and cut-throat competition have forced companies to innovate and strive harder to survive in the market. 

We might saddle up to emerging technologies and feel great about ourselves, but we are missing something significant. The thing which makes us human. Today, amidst all the rush, it’s time we change the way we look at people skills. It is not just crucial for companies, but even MBA students can benefit a lot by focusing on these seemingly primary skills. 

So, what are People skills? 

The ability to listen, communicate, both written oral and written, empathy, emotional regulation, and, most importantly, trust is some of the most sought-after people skills. Most of these skills are interlinked. For instance, if you want to empathize with someone, then you need to listen to the individual. 

Importance of People Skills:

Mere words are not enough to explain the importance of people skills. For instance, if you are a sales manager, then you need to understand the perspective of the customer for completing the sale. Similarly, if you want to negotiate a critical deal, then you need to be calm and composed. Every job requires a different set of people skills. If you lack these skills, then you wouldn’t be the right fit for that particular job.  

If you turn the pages of history, you may notice that some of the greatest leaders and educators had exceptional people skills. While most management programmes tend to avoid focusing on these skills, I hold a diverse viewpoint. Of course, we need the leaders of tomorrow to be innovative and technologically informed, but they also need people skills so that these leaders have the edge over advanced technologies. Management institutes can take a cue from this and engage MBA students in specialized courses for improving their people skills. 

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