Importance Of Interpersonal Leadership During COVID-19

We all know the importance of communication skills at work. Interpersonal skills are part of that and allow the workforce to connect and share ideas/emotions. It consists of verbal and non-verbal communication. But what exactly are interpersonal skills?

They are the traits and behaviours you show when communicating, including your ability to build and develop relationships. Empathy, motivation, active listening, flexibility, teamwork are some examples. These skills are significant during recruitment processes, job interviews, managing disputes, etc.and especially during difficult times such as the Coronavirus pandemic.

Interpersonal leadership is all about inspiring and leading others,  and leaders must prioritise these elements to ensure workforce recovery after a crisis, as employees may be apprehensive, unmotivated and unproductive Employers must understand how to do it effectively, giving workers the right amount of freedom and the right tools that will allow them to successfully work. Also,

This kind of leadership also means that bosses need to be close to the workforce, create dialogue and connect with them. No matter what the platform, whether it is in-person or digital interactions, leaders must be invested and present to reassure and guide employees. This is especially necessary for remote workers, as working from different locations often cause misunderstandings and miscommunications.  In an era of constant distractions and solicitations, paying attention and listening to someone can be a challenge, therefore, interpersonal leaders must work on it. Also, people management skills are strictly linked to interpersonal leadership skills. The latter does not exist without people management, as interpersonal leadership is a way to manage and interact with the workforce.

Making use of other digital platforms can strengthen remote interpersonal leadership. For instance, there are programmes that allow you to track the workforce productivity, tasks, etc, which makes it easier for bosses to effectively communicate and guide workers towards the results/goals they intend to achieve. Making employees feel confident is key, as it is a way to make them feel valued and appreciated for their abilities and work.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is another essential part of interpersonal leadership, as it relates to the ability to efficiently identify/manage our emotions and those of others. Thus, as we can imagine, this can help leaders successfully manage and interact with workers, especially during tense situations. As an example, managers who cannot control their emotions and indistinctly criticises employees will certainly not help improve the work environment or job satisfaction.Conversely, a manager who reassures an employee after detecting that they are bothered due to the crisis shows high EQ functionality. An attitude such as this helps employees have trust and solidarity in the workforce no matter the challenges.

Coaching sessions, workshops or trainings are effective ways to help leaders and managers develop their interpersonal leadership skills. As we have seen, interpersonal leadership during COVID-19 are valuable in the workplace, and now more important than ever. They enhance work relationships, improve respect and trust, which leads to better workers’ productivity and performance.

References:

  1. The Pillars Of Interpersonal Leadership – Structure, Leverage And Confidence, January 2020, Forbes
  2. Important Interpersonal Skills That Employers Value, November 2019, The Balance Careers