home > blogs
Motilal Oswal

By Motilal Oswal 17-May-2010 | 10:42

80% of people who fail on the job fail due to lack of interpersonal skills – not lack of technical skills

A senior executive is fired after a run-in with the Board of Directors. An ineffective team leader is given a new team to manage – the team mutinies. An employee is reprimanded after losing her temper with a customer. Three different individuals, three unique situations, one common problem: Getting along with others.

According to noted author and sociologist BJ Gallagher, 80% of people who fail on the job fail due to lack of interpersonal skills – not lack of technical skills. That’s the specific problem Gallagher addresses in Getting Good at Getting Along – a helpful new guidebook that’s jam-packed with proven techniques for maintaining productive working relationships. One of the many ideas from this work that got my attention is taking TOTAL responsibility for the relationships we have with others (see excerpt below). A novel idea that, when you really think about it, makes a lot of sense. Give it a try – encourage your people to do the same. And remember …

Whether you and your people work in a large corporation, a small business, or a non- profit organization, your work involves dealing with people. Organizational life is all about bosses and employees, teammates, peers in other departments, customers, vendors, clients, and other stakeholders. Your ability to get along with them is the single most important factor in how well you get along in your career! If you want to be successful, you must get good at getting along.

Lead well ... LEAD RIGHT


Excerpt from Getting Good at Getting Along

Many people say that the best relationships are those that are 50-50. It’s a nice idea, but it often falls short in real life. People hold onto resentments – waiting for the other person to “see the light.” People insist that others take their share of responsibility when an issue comes up: “I’ve done my part; now it’s their turn.” The problem is, you might be waiting a very long time if you always insist that relationships (and their problems) be 50-50 propositions.

If you’re really serious about getting good at getting along with others, here’s an idea that can transform your life: Instead of expecting people to meet you 50-50, try making it 100-0. You take on the entire responsibility for making the relationship work, and don’t worry about whether the other person is doing their part!

Yes, it’s a somewhat radical idea. But if you’re up to really having amazing relationships at work – and in your personal life – this will do it. You’ll never again feel that you’re at the mercy of someone else. You’ll never feel like a victim of another’s actions or inactions.

Here’s how it works …

  • Assume that the other person is a given. “He is who he is.” “This is her personality – she isn’t going to change.” Just accept the person exactly as they are – and exactly as they aren’t. This is who you’ve got to work with.
  • Ask yourself, How can I change my words or actions when I deal with this person? You don’t have to change your whole personality – you’re just going to use different language and behaviors when dealing with this person.
  • Try out new behaviors and new ways of conversing with your “problem person.” See what works and do more of it. If something doesn’t work, stop doing it.
  • Learn from others. Watch others who have excellent interpersonal relationships and learn from them. If you want good relationships like those, mimic them.
  • When there’s a problem, take ownership of it. As long as someone else is the problem, you’re powerless. But if YOU own the problem, then YOU can own and control the solution.