People Skills: Part Two

Donna White

Donna White

By Donna White, Principal Consultant and Owner of Legacy Consulting Services and Legacy Billing Solutions in Montgomery, Alabama.

Thanks for returning for Part Two of People Skills. If you missed Part One, click here. Thanks, Nick, for sharing your insights!

We’ve been on the theme of people skills around here. I feel like I could write 10 weeks about this, but I wanted to condense this into the most important information and make it simple. The best teachings always take something complicated and make it simple. Sometimes even leaving you wanting more.

Last week we uncovered 4 truths about people and some insight, experience, and thoughts on each “truth” revealed. This week I want to go into a short and sweet list of…

10 Things Every Leader Should Know About People:

People are insecure.

    • Give them confidence.


     There’s a phrase thrown around a lot where I’m from; “hurting people hurt people”. Which I believe to be true. The opposite side of that coin is “Secure people secure people”.

People like to feel special.

    • Honor them.


    The truth is that no boss, leader, supervisor would be anywhere without a team. Someone has to fly at 30,000 ft while everyone else is on the ground level. This doesn’t mean you honor them when they do little things, but when they go above and beyond, honor them. Make your words sincere, make them specific, add some context, make it public, because it will add value to them.

People are looking for a better tomorrow.

      • Give them hope.
      • “The Key to today is belief in tomorrow”. Everyone lives for something better to come. If there is no hope in the future, there is no hope in today.

People need to be understood.

Listen to them.

    • This is a more personal thing to do. When you’re investing in your team ask them questions about life.


    • What do they talk about?


    • What do they dream about?


    • What do they laugh about?


    What do they plan about?

People lack direction.

    • Navigate for them.


    Everyone can steer the ship, but a few people can navigate and help chart the course. John Maxwell says, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”

People are needy.

    • Speak to their needs first.


    This is something you have to have strong balance in as a boss, or a leader. You can’t meet everyone’s needs, but you can find one thing to help them with.

People get emotionally low.

    • Encourage them.


    • Encouragement is an important part of people’s emotional spectrum. There is a study done a while back where 20 people stood for a long as they could in ice water. 10 of them by themselves. Another 10 were standing with people around them encouraging them. The people with encouragement stood in the water 4 times longer than those alone. This study was done multiple times always with the same results.


    People want to succeed.

Help them win.

    • My favorite work story, was having a boss stay with me until 10pm at night one time and help me install programs on computers. He didn’t have to, but he knew it would help me get a win. When the big bosses came in the next day, he let me have all the credit. I made sure I worked harder for that boss than I did anyone else at that company.

PRO-TIP: As a boss, what you reward, will get replicated.People desire relationships.

    • Provide community.


    It’s hard to provide community in every situation, but even the little things add value to people. If you can’t do it within the walls during business hours – create opportunities for teams to hang out and get together as much as possible. Have group lunches, pull people from their desk one afternoon and play a game for 15 minutes. Have a group chat where you can be goofy (but professional) while you work.

People seek models to follow.

    • Be an example.


    My best bosses, teachers, pastors, supervisors have always been the ones who sat down next to me and created an example. A simple way to lead in EVERY level. When training someone: Model the project for them, and let them watch. Then redo it again but with them helping. Then redo it a third time, and have them show you, while they do it themselves. There’s humility in getting down in the trenches with your team.

While I wrap this up – there’s balance to all of these examples. Especially in the business world. Obviously as a boss you have to make decisions and gauge performance. However, you’d be surprised what a little time invested in someone can result in. The best part of Legacy Consulting is that every single one of these things are present in one way or another here by the lead team.

Reach out to us with questions, thoughts, and ideas on this!


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